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Hunting for Love

Mini-Love-Lesson # 198
FREE: one of over 200 mini-love-lessons touching the lives of thousands in over 190 countries – worldwide!

Synopsis: To hunt or not hunt for love; conscious and subconscious hunting; the hunting controversy; hunting while married; those who give up hunting; science versus tradition; those who can not be bothered; five big helpers for good hunting and more are looked at in this mini-love-lesson.

Who’s Not Hunting?

Everyone’s hunting for love who has a paucity of love in their lives according to certain behavioral scientists.  They are hunting either consciously and knowingly or subconsciously and do not consciously know it but they are, nevertheless, hunting for love.  That is thought to be true even for those who do not believe in hunting for love as well as those who think purposefully hunting for love works against finding it.  With rare exception, those hungry for love and especially those love-malnourished or love-starved one way or another are looking for the love they naturally need.  Or at least so goes that thinking.

Have you ever heard someone say something like, “I’m waiting for love to find me, and I went to the single’s club just to make friends and have something to do, but I wasn’t really trying to find love.  I wouldn’t feel right doing that”?  There is evidence that suggests our natural need to be loved and give love pushes our hunting behavior whether we are aware of it consciously or not.  If that is so, it seems our inborn drive for love will not let our conscious mind be fully in control of this vital need.  It will make compartmentalized thinking and denial mechanisms block our awareness, if that is what it takes.  At least that is what some researchers and love theories postulate.

So, do you judge this thinking may be generally true?   Is it true of you right now?  Are you hunting for love and know it, or maybe do not know it.  Could this explain some of your behavior?  Does this  explain some of the behavior of people in your life?  What about important people in your past?

The Married and Still Hunting

It would appear many love-hungry, married people also subconsciously and sometimes consciously hunt for the love they feel they need even though they are consciously, vehemently against doing so.  Time and again during marriage and affair counseling I heard things like, “I don’t know why I sat next to the single guy at the meeting, I just did.  Do you suppose that’s where my affair really started?  I certainly didn’t know that was what was happening at the time”.

Arguably, many of the under-loved and married are on the hunt most of the time.  Those who are doing it entirely consciously may be also readying themselves for divorce.  That seems especially true for those who tried and tried to get more and better love-relating to happen in their marriages but to no avail.

Another thing I heard a lot in marital therapy goes like this: “She tried to get me to go to marriage counseling many times and I just wouldn’t go.  Now she’s divorcing me and has a lover.  What am I to do?  Is too late?”  That is the kind of statement many therapist who deal with couple’s, love-relating issues hear time and time again.  The relational therapist’s reply usually contains something like, “Possibly it’s not too late.  Let’s see what we can do about it”.  Oftentimes, with a good relational therapist, that leads to reconciliation but many times not.

What about Those Who Give up Trying?

It is true some people have been so hurt, so broken hearted and have become so afraid of trying again that they really do not consciously or subconsciously search for love.  That does not mean they do not still long for the love that would do them great good to have.  Some of these people can do okay and even do well by living on a healthy diet of love with good friends, family, children, pets, their religion or deity and sometimes with a cause usually involving helping or enriching others.

Giving up on hunting for love is not always about romantic love.  Sometimes it is because of family love-relating gone drastically wrong.  Heavy-duty friendship betrayal also can play a role here.  Sometimes what is involved is severe physical and/or emotional abuse, rape, incest or some other serious maltreatment.  It also simply can be about loss of a deep, strong, usually long-lasting love.
Sadly, there are a lot of people who feel they dare not risk any love relationship, at least not with human beings because it may lead to too much heartache like they have felt before.

Another thing some therapists frequently hear goes something like this, “Getting the dog saved me from suicide” or “I stay alive because the animals at the sanctuary (farm, ranch, refuge, etc.) need and love me and I love them”.  Secretly, these people usually admit that one day they might start to seek romantic love again but not yet.

There also are those who previously had a great and fulfilling, couple love but their love mate now is gone and they are carrying on tolerably well.  They seem to do okay enough living off their inner reservoir of love, built up over years with a really good love partner.  Then there are those that have been severely hurt by a love relationship gone wrong and they essentially turn into hermits.  I have never seen that work in the long run, though in the short run it can allow some time for healing.

The Controversy over Deliberately Hunting Love

In some circles, there is a fair amount of controversy concerning purposefully or deliberately hunting for love.  One school of thought says deliberately hunting does not work because romantic love only happens when you are not looking for it.  Remember, love is supposed to be blind.  It sort of is like romantic love has to ambush you, sweep you off your feet or trip you up so you can fall into it and it can totally possess you.  That is supposed to be the way to happily ever after.

Some reply to that scenario like this.  Remember that although falling in love feels like flying, similarly like other forms of falling, it so often ends in a crash in which you can get really seriously hurt and harmed.

An opposing school of thought goes like this.  Generally, people do best at most forms of achievement by deliberate and deliberated upon action.  That way both their conscious and subconscious minds do not have to fight each other and can work together toward the same goal at the same time.  For most people, conscious attention given toward learning and improvement-making practice works best.  There is a lot of evidence to say that hunting for love and love relating are no exception.  While love is a natural phenomenon that may just spring up in your life, or slowly grow in your heart, successful love hunting and love relating takes learning.  A good hunter is one who continuously learns more and more about hunting well.

Assertive Hunting

Assertiveness means actively being willing to make the first move to connect, increasingly probing into and revealing more personal knowledge, sharing feelings and often simply asking for what is wanted.  Walking up to someone and saying, “You look interesting, I want to meet you” is truthful and both brave and efficient hunting behavior.  Can you do something like that?

How to Hunt for Love – Five Basics

1.    Start with Self  To hunt and find love, start by becoming more loving and lovable.  So, are you improving your loveableness and your love-abilities?  Are your skills at giving genuine, heartfelt love increasing?  How about your skills at receiving love well?  Finding what could become Great love may take you becoming great at love.

Were you hoping to be loved in spite of your anti-love flaws and your non-loving ways.  We all have those.  Well, that does happen but those who do their part at love-behavior-improvement have a lot better chance.

2.    Go Forth Boldly, Carefully, Truthfully and Often  Enjoy, but be wary of attraction, both coming and going.  Don’t confuse attraction with love.  They are different!  Be friendly assertive!  Remember, active choosers tend to be safer and do better than those waiting to be chosen, and certainly do better than beggars, buyers and manipulators.  As you go, be increasingly real with some finesse.  Playing games, faking, over or under presenting yourself, forever hiding your less-than-perfect parts, your history, etc. may help catch but not keep someone.  The quicker you assert your truths, the quicker you test for tolerance and acceptance ability in the person you are love-relating with, both necessities for healthy love.

To questions you don’t want to answer, reply with some charm and something like “you don’t get to know that about me, at least not yet” and don’t volunteer explaining that response.  Remember, it’s a bit of a numbers game.  Those who go (out and about and go different) more often get more, often.  For carefulness, don’t play “strike one you’re out, or anybody’s out, and the game is over”; but maybe after three or so strikes, it is time to at least think about hunting elsewhere.

3.    Defend with Self-Love  When something goes relationally awry, use your healthy self-love with self-affirmation to defend against putdowns, rejection, disregard, disapproval, anger, indifference, neglect and everything negative coming your way.  Listen and seek to understand but don’t quickly take-to-heart negatives.  They likely say more about the sayer than about you.  Remember, that without self-love, other love suffers – sometimes greatly.

4.    Risk Asking for What You Want – Behaviorally  Happily saying “I want some affection” is good but is not as good as following those words with something like “so I’d like you to kiss me right now”.  This is because until you describe the behavior that gives you what you want, another person likely is not going to clearly understand exactly what behavior you are hoping will happen.  Remember, no two people really think anything exactly alike.  Hinting and thinking, if they truly love you they will know what to do and will do it, might work after you know each other for 10 years or more, at least some of the time.  However, asking for what you want behaviorally more efficiently explorers for a couple’s potential communication competence.

Especially kindly but assertively, ask for and give self-disclosure concerning what is important to you, and him or her, and what you are passionate about.     Increasingly ask personal but not too early sexual questions, and remember to practice good listening skills all along the way.

5.     Discuss Love Early   If you are going to hunt for love, you might as well get right to it, gently and with finesse, but clearly.  Probably talking about love in general at the very first, looking to see things like if the topic scares who you are talking to, if love is confused with sex, if they are hunting for it, if they are working at trying hard to dodge it, etc.. might reveal important things to know.  Then get around to what happened about love to them before you met them; are they willing to work at and with love to improve love-relating skills, etc..  For discussing love, you might want to use the mini-love-lesson “20 Smart Making Love Questions” plus any other mini-love-lesson from the Subject Index that grabs your attention.

Good hunting!

How about helping spread the new love knowledge a bit by telling someone about our mini-love-lessons???

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Love Success Question: How do you feel about someone else who is hunting for love targeting you as the goal of their hunt – do you feel turned on, happy, flattered, curious, angry, worried, scared or what?

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