Synopsis: This mini-love-lesson first proclaims love takes action; then goes on to discuss some common things that are mistakenly relied upon in people’s mindsets concerning love to take the place of action; much more.
Love Takes Action!Are you love active enough? Lots of people are not and that can lessen, spoil and even ruin a love relationship and a lot of life.
Some say healthy, real love works both like a very nurturing food and a healing medicine. However, love has to be actively given for it to do any good. Therefore, giving love takes actions. If love is not actively given, shown, demonstrated, delivered through actions, the people you love may become love hungry, love malnourished and love starved. If someone you love is in need of love’s healing effects that person may not cure, recover or recuperate from whatever ails them nearly as well or as quickly as they might with a lot of love actions coming their way.
Relying on Just Knowing“I know he (or she) loves me but they don’t show it much or hardly at all”. In counseling that sort of statement is something I have heard time and time again. Knowing someone loves you is good but it is like being aware food is in the pantry but not getting to eat it. Yet many people have been brought up on the idea that knowing someone, like a spouse or parent or mate, loves you should be enough. That does help a little but it doesn’t lead to living a love-abundant life or even a love-sufficient existence. Just knowing, without healthy real love being actively given and received, won’t meet anyone’s minimum daily requirement for optimized functioning.
Relying on Love’s Magic“I guess I just thought love took care of itself, and that it was sort of like magic and once you were in love you didn’t have to do all that much about it. Then I got served with divorce papers. What a horrible shock that was.” This was the lament of a person working hard to figure out how to get their spouse back and repair their neglected marriage. Quite a few people sort of subconsciously think love will sort of magically take care of itself and the people in the love relationship. That is like a farmer thinking the crops will water, fertilize and harvest themselves.
Relying on Your Spouse/Mate“Women should take care of everything that has to do with love along with the children, the house and the social calendar. We men have to take care of making a living, the yard, house repairs, cars and making sure everyone is protected and safe. That’s the way my daddy taught me. I guess life used to work that way but it doesn’t anymore. So, what is it I have to learn about this love thing?” This somewhat reluctant insight was voiced by an older gentleman admittedly more enamored of the past than the present. But he did love his wife so he was willing to learn the new ways his wife was insisting on. And actually in time he got quite good at it, and was as good about his new love action skills as his wife was.
Relying on Custom“He forgot my birthday again. He never holds my chair for me, or opens the door for me and he has yet to get me flowers. I thought if he really loved me he was supposed to do those things. Now I’m hearing I have to ask for these things if they don’t happen. If he really loves me isn’t he just supposed to know to do these things and then do them? If I have to ask doesn’t that spoil it?” Well probably this gal’s guy did not learn the same things she learned about how love was to be shown.
In fact he may not have learned anything about actively showing love. Therefore, communication that is quite clear and specific is likely to be needed. Yes, she will have to lovingly ask for what she wants and probably will have to do a good job of it repeatedly. She also probably will have to look at how he does show his love and learn to recognize it, applauded it and appreciate it.
Relying on Sex“She seems to think that because we have great sex that’s enough but I want more. I want us to share our dreams, our hopes, our fears and everything else important. I want us to talk and enjoy going places together just as a couple. I want us to share the rest of life and there’s so much more to it than great sex.” This was the complaint of a fellow who had previously pretty much relied on sex to take care of all his love needs. He had found a woman with the same mindset but now he wanted more. Their relationship had shrunk and become increasingly unsatisfactory. With couple’s enrichment work this couple did fine, as do many couples who discover their relationship has been too love inactive.
Ways to Become More Fully Love ActiveExamine the areas of behavior listed below in which people can be ‘love active’. See if you think you are sufficiently love active in each of them. If not, you can choose particular actions to add to your behaviors so that you show your love more fully. You might also wish to talk to those you love about which areas they would like you to improve in, and ask for suggestions as to the particular behaviors they might like to see you begin to do. Of course, you might want to give them similar information and suggestions.
Areas of Behavior in Which People Can Be Love ActiveBasic Love Action Areas
1.Tactile (physical touch) love actions
(including affectionate touch, comforting touch, romantic touch and sexual touch)
2. Expressional love actions (nonverbal expressions)
(including facial expression, tonal expression, gesture and postural change)
3. Verbal love actions
(including spoken, written and electronic messaging)
4. Gifting actions
(including tangible object giving, experience giving, favors, errands, providing services, etc.)
Median Composite Love Action Areas
5. Affirmational love actions
(including compliments, praises, thanks, valuing, supporting, honoring, etc.)
6. Self-disclosure love actions
(including sharing and showing emotions, thoughts, actions, hopes, fears, dreams, confessions, secrets and personal intimate and idiosyncratic ways of being, plus sharing one’s physical self)
7. Tolerational love actions
(including being patient, accepting, understanding, enduring, giving clemency, leniency, and benevolence, and being flexible, nonjudgmental, etc.)
8. Receptional love actions
(including showing and stating appreciativeness, sincere thankfulness, etc. and fully absorbing love shown to you)
Advanced Love Action Areas
9. Protectional love actions
(including protectiveness, watchfulness, safeguarding, defending, preserving, care taking, protective guidance giving, guardianship, escorting, security providing, shielding, health assistance, etc.)
10. Nurturing love actions
(including any and all actions which assist a person’s healthful growth and development, actualization of potential and healthful strengthening)
11. Bonding love actions
(including any and all acts which bring about a sense of connectedness, closeness, loyalty, intimate affiliation, etc.)
12. Metaphysical love actions
(including joint or intercessory prayer and/or mutuality in meditation, worship, liturgical practices, joint experiencing of the oceanic, transcendental and awe-inspiring)
As you can see love actions are divided into three major classifications or areas and 12 subcategories or types of love action. Within each are hundreds of possible individual love actions. One thing you might do is think of a specific action you might do in each of the 12 types of love action listed above. You also might talk to someone you love about what they might want done in each of the above 12 categories. For healthy self-love action you might consider self loving actions having to do with each of the love action areas and categories above.
Hopefully this will help you become sufficiently and perhaps even abundantly ‘love active’, if you are not already.
As always – Go and Grow in Love
Dr. J Richard Cookerly
♥ Love Success Question
What will happen in your life if you are not sufficiently love active?