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The Three 3's of Love

Synopsis: We start with a way to get a bigger, better comprehension of love by using the Three 3’s Approach; and then going on to expanded wide-scale applications; developing an integrated understanding of the three 3’s naturally; more.


Comprehending Love: Bigger, Higher, Deeper, Wider and Better

If you are interested in bigger, better, higher, deeper, wider and more useful ways to understand the nature and dynamics of love, the ‘Three, 3’s Approach’ may significantly help you.  This approach introduces you to three sets of three things each to focus on for understanding and thinking about love and its many wonders.  Then, of course, you may want to use what you have come to understand.

The First 3: Thinking, Feeling and Doing Love

It often is taught that psychologically we do just three things:

Think, Feel and Behave.

‘Thinking love’ is something many people, subconsciously and sometimes consciously, are programed NOT to do.  Supposedly that is so love will remain unspoiled, mysterious, magical and subject to luck.  This, in essence, is anti-thinking about love training.  This anti or non-thinking training and subconscious programming has helped many people ruin their chances at a healthy, real life of successful love, has destroyed countless couples and families, and perhaps has hampered or ruined all but the very lucky in love and those who refuse to be blocked from usefully and healthfully thinking about love.

Like everything humans do, learning and thinking clearly and constructively about love turns out to be extremely helpful.  As an example of thinking about love, here are starter questions you might want to contemplate and explore.  Is love real?  What is love?  How do we give and get love?  How do we do healthy self-love?  What is false love and how do you distinguish it from real love?  How do we integrate sex and love?  Is love one thing or many?  How do we recover from the loss of love?  Can we love two people at once?  How much does love have to do with health, mental and physical?  Can we be love-malnourished or love starved and what does that do to us if we are?
These are just a few starter questions for which there exists lots of useful knowledge you can apply.  It is our contention that the more and better you think about love, the more you will succeed at love and the more incredible you will find love to be.

‘Feeling love’, feeling loving, feeling loved and feeling lovable are all important parts of the phenomenal process of love itself.  Many confuse the feeling of love with love itself but we suggest the feelings are but a part of a much larger and more important phenomenon.  There are two types of feelings to consider.  First, love makes people feel, emotionally and physically, a great many, different, wonderful things.  Remember, all feelings give guidance.  If you know how to find the guidance messages in your feelings and share them with those you love, the greater your experience of love likely will be.

Second, is feeling the absence of love.  The loss of love and the lack of love both can cause enormous hurt and physically as well as psychologically harm you, sometimes quite seriously.  At times we consciously do not feel our love but it is there and it can be tapped into and brought into conscious awareness.  Sometimes we do not consciously feel our lack of love but that too consciously can be tapped into and brought into conscious awareness.  At times the lack of love is felt but misidentified as loneliness, depression, anxiety, despair, etc.  The more you know about all the many feelings love triggers or brings us and the more you share these feelings, the more you are likely to become better bonded with those you love.

‘Doing love’ can involve behaving from and with love, enacting love purposefully, knowing and using the eight major ways of directly conveying love, being proactive about love, knowing the activities that help you absorb love and show good love receivership, can involve understanding the actions which help love bonding occur and the actions that have anti-loving effects, knowing the actions that assist healing love, can involve developing your love skills and practicing the behaviors that overcome and fix love problems, and a great deal more.

By focusing on these three and really involving yourself with them, you likely to become much more successful at love and make love a much greater experience in your life and in the lives of those you care about.

The Second 3: Your Natural Self, Programmed Self and Thinking Self

Perhaps you have noticed that there are a good many theories of personality which divide the self into three main parts.  A very old one from medieval times says you have an angelic self, a demonic self and soul self often caught between the other two.  Much later came the Mind, Body, Spirit understanding of the whole self.  More recently we have Freud’s id, ego and super ego; the conscious, unconscious and semiconscious or subconscious framework of the mind; and transactional analysis gave us the Child Self, the Parent Self and the Adult Self.

The brain researchers offer us several versions having to do with the frontal or cerebral cortex, the midbrain and limbic system and the primitive base brain and cerebellum.  Then there is the right brain, left brain and under brain or lizard brain understanding.  All of the three-part systems overlap and have similarities but also differences with each other.

For understanding love here, we present you with concepts coming from something of an integration of all these ‘three-part’ systems.

First comes your ‘Natural Self’ which means the mind and self you and all of us are born with.  Recent brain research especially is helpful with this concept.  It can be said we are born to love and be loved and that love is an inborn, natural, brain and body effecting process.  Without the getting and giving of healthy, real love, we malfunction and with it we thrive.  How to understand this process, cooperate with it and enhance it improves us and our love relationships.

Second comes our ‘Programmed Self’.  Much like a computer, we get programmed and become habituated to think, feel and act in literally thousands of ways.  Much of this is non-conscious or semiconscious.  A fair portion of that programming has to do with how we go about love.  How you were and are subconsciously programmed concerning who you will be attracted to, whether or not you will be susceptible to particular false love syndromes, how monogamous or non-monogamous you will behave, and a vast host of other love related issues are to be considered here.  Differentiating what is programmed as opposed to what is natural and, therefore, much harder to influence is quite significant.  Also especially important is how you can re-program yourself for love related improvements and success.

Third is our ‘Thinking Self’ or Cognitive Conscious Self.  It is this self that deals with the other two, tries to learn, understand and influence our life and goes about making choices for dealing with the world outside our self.  It is this self that is reading these words and hopefully doing good cognition with them.  It is the thinking self that tries to understand, and guide, and also work with what comes from the Natural Self and the Programed Self concerning love.

The Third 3: The Past, the Present and the Future

First, consider love in your past or your ‘Love History’.  We know that after you were born you got enough love to stay alive and not die of marasmus, infantile atrophy or a failure to thrive illness due to lack of love.  In childhood did you grow up more well loved or more poorly loved?  Was it confusing and contradictory or clear-cut and dependable?  Do you have unresolved love relationship conflicts from your past?  What was modeled for you in the way people did or did not do love around you?  Concerning love what happened to you in adolescence and be sure you include not only romantic but teenage friendship and self-love issues.  Also be sure to think about how you were trained to think and act about love by your culture and whatever subcultural groups you were a part of.

These often are most important.  Can you sort out what you learned concerning sex and love?  In all your past what did you learn that you probably need to unlearn?  How well do you think you understand the effects of all that on your love life today?  Do you know what you would like to change and improve?  Everybody can learn and use a tremendous amount from their personal love history.

Second, consider your ‘Present Love Ethos’.  Who do you love, and who loves you, and how well is that all going?  Are you living a love-conducive, love-healthy life?  How well are you doing at giving and getting healthy, real love?  Are you getting good at identifying and avoiding false love?  Do you need to escape a false love or try to convert it to real love?  Are you doing a good job of developing your love skills?  Concerning love, how are you growing?  Are you giving success-sufficient attention to love, love relationships and love relationship issues including the how to’s of love?

What are your current love problems and what are you going to do about them?  What about friendship love, family love, self-love and all the other kinds of love in your life today?  Are you doing a good job of enjoying love?  As you can see, there are lots of factors, ways and areas to consider concerning your present or existential love situation.  Usually it is best to attend to the one or two that seem most important right now, and then go on to others.

Third has to do with considering your ‘Love Future’.  If you keep doing pretty much what you are doing now, what kind of a love future do you think you will have?  How might you make it better?  What love skills might you need to develop for your love future to be healthy and enriching?  Do you need to add things that are going to be missing if you do not?  Are you aiming toward those you love being well affected by your love?  Are you aspiring to put new love in your life?  Are you focusing on getting yourself better and more well loved?  Are you making plans for exploring, adventuring, building or growing greater and more wonderful loving in your future?  Hereto as you can see, there is a lot you might want to think about and then do something about.

The Three 3’s Expanded

In what is perhaps starting to be called loveology, the three 3’s approach can be expanded into understandings about all people and, indeed, to understandings about all life as it relates to love.  There even are those who take understandings concerning love into the cosmos.  The three 3’s approach can be used for understanding love historically, biologically, anthropologically, sociologically, politically, economically, psychologically and a host of other ways.  Perhaps you would like to involve yourself in some of those expanded love, loveology ways.

Integrating the Three 3’s Naturally

I usually find that you really do not have to work at this very much.  If you just occasionally give thought to one area or another, and remember to glance at some of the other areas in the three 3’s list, hooking them together and integrating them will kind of naturally start to occur.  Here’s an example.  While you are learning about your Programmed Self and how it likely will effect or sabotage your love future, you also are into your love history and how it will affect your love behaviors and feelings, plus your cognitive or thinking self is at work.  Of course can purposefully try to link various sets of these nine factors together to see what you get.

Using the three 3’s approach will not get you to everything but it is likely to get you a lot further in your love understanding and knowledge than you might be currently.

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly



Love Success Question
Would you want to start a Personal Love Learning Journal for yourself, recording what you are learning, thinking, coming to understand and all the rest concerning love?

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