Synopsis: Here you get to learn about the counter-societal, teaching idea of getting yourself well loved; and three main, different than usual, ways to achieve that; a three level understanding of love actions you can take; and dealing with the question of who is to be in charge of the love in your life; plus some fine book and mini-love-lesson recommendations.
The Importance of Getting Yourself Well LovedSince you are reading this you probably have an understanding of the importance of love in your life plus you are being proactive not just relying on luck, fate, etc. to take care of your loved needs. What you may not know is just how widespread and deep the importance of love goes and some of the major things you can do to put healthy, real love into your life.
The evidence is mounting. Research in a wide array of scientific fields points to those well loved as living healthier and longer, happier, more productive, more successful, living more balanced, having better sex, helping others more, contributing more to the general well-being of all, recovering from illnesses faster, having better friendships and having greater success in all types of love relationships.
The converse also is appearing to be true. Being poorly loved or unloved looks to be bad for your health and well-being in just about every area studied so far. You might read Love and Survival by Dr. Dean Ornish.
The good news is you can get yourself well loved. The not so good news is much of what our love-ignorant world tells us to do to have love, find love, etc. doesn’t work very well. And then there also is the myth that you should do nothing until love finds you or your love fate is determined by mystifying forces over which you have little or no influence. One educated estimate reports that relying on that myth gives you about a 15% chance of succeeding at love. Luckily, certain in-depth analytical works suggest your subconscious probably does not believe in that myth and naturally pushes you to actively go searching for love whether you consciously know it or not. Now, if you add conscious learning and thinking about love, like you are doing right now, you can vastly improve your chances with some well-chosen and well informed actions. However, those actions are not commonly understood very well. They fall into three major categories which I will present you with right now.
I. To become well loved – become more lovable and then even more lovable!We can know that basically you already are lovable because you grew and got enough love to survive your first two years of life. Otherwise, you would have died of a failure to thrive illness like marasmus because that is what happens to unloved infants.
Your Lovability is something you can do a lot things about. First, it helps to understand what being and becoming lovable means and what those things you can do about it are and are not. One thing to do, if you do not already, is to own-up to the idea that you already are in possession of at least some natural, lovable attributes. Your job is to grow them and your all over lovableness, add to it, practice it and then show it.
Being lovable itself can be simply defined as having and exhibiting attributes, traits and characteristics which attract and draw affection and loving thoughts, feelings and actions to you. So, what do you know about the traits and characteristics associated with being lovable? It is important to know that lovability has both a more surface and a more deep meaning. Both are worth consideration.
Lovability at the more surface level means exhibiting traits like being adorable, amiable, charming, cheerful, cute, complimentary, engaging, embraceable, fetching, genial, pleasing, rewarding and winsome. There are others you may want to add.
Being lovable in a deeper meaning way includes characteristics like being kind, caring, compassionate, able to be tender, emotionally warm, accepting, supportive, trustworthy, harmonious, positive, non-judgmental, affirmative, self disclosing, tolerant, friendly, assertive rather than aggressive, and most of all easily willing and able to be sincerely loving. Here too, there are other characteristics you might want to include.
Now, you might want to start evaluating your own having and exhibiting lovableness traits and characteristics, along with goals and actions for making improvements. Consider journaling those. I also heartily recommend reading Lovability by Dr. Robert Holden, a book that could really help you grow your own lovability.
II. To Have Love – Become Loving and Then More and Better at Being Sincerely And Actively Loving!This is an old teaching literally going back at least to the year one when Ovid put it forth in his teachings and writings on love and sex in his famous The Art of Love. Modern, behavioral, science research suggests he was quite right. Those who are good at being actively loving to themselves as well as to others are the ones most likely to get good, healthy, real and lasting love coming their way.
Becoming more loving requires learning what being loving is and how it is done. It is a bit more involved than you might suppose. Therefore, you may have to study it rather closely and repeatedly. You may have to learn to think more lovingly and more about love itself (see “Thinking Love to Improve Love”). You may have to cultivate getting yourself in touch with the many emotions of love and feeling them more fully (see “An Alphabet of Love’s Good Feelings”). Most of all, it takes learning and practicing the behaviors that convey love and help you gain skills for getting love to happen. For your healthy self-love, it helps to greatly enjoy doing all that. Some of love’s sages teach that if you are excited and joyful in the process of learning to be more and better at loving, it is a good sign indicating you are doing it well.
To help you learn what the behaviors of love are, I recommend you familiarize yourself with this three level, 12 point schema. Remember, love is complicated and this will actually make it more clear and simplify it – some.
BEHAVIORS THAT CONVEY LOVE CATEGORIESCardinal Behaviors of Love (those of comprehensive and inclusive preponderant importance)
Nurturing love actions (growth, developmental, actualizing)
Protecting love actions (guarding, prevention, defending)
Healing love actions (healthcare, recovery and well-being)
Metaphysical/Spiritual love actions (meditation, prayer, ritual)
Crucial Behaviors of Love (those that are acutely important and decisive in major, ongoing love relationships)
Affirmational love actions (affirming the value of the loved)
Self-Disclosure love actions (sharing oneself, transparency)
Tolerational love actions (tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness)
Receptional love actions (receiving love well gives love)
Core Behaviors of Love (those that are basic and foundational)
Tactile love (connection, affection, sexuality)
Expressional love (facial, tonal, gestural, postural)
Verbal love (words spoken and written)
Gifting love (object gifts and experience and service gifts)
To learn and have a fuller understanding of these categories, I suggest you consult the Behaviors category in this site’s labels links below and start with the mini-love-lesson titled “Behaviors That Give Love – the Basic Core Four”. My book, Recovering Love, covers the Crucial and Core Behaviors more fully and very usefully. The Five Love Languages, by the Rev. Dr. Gary Chapman, has helped a lot of people with the how-to’s of being loving with a different and somewhat simpler, action-oriented approach.
III. To Become Well Loved and More Loved – Become Love Active, and then Much More Love Active!Go create your own new and better chances for love. You can do that by going the same old places you always go, with the same old people but risk acting in more loving, new and different ways. You also can do that by risking going to different places and with new groups of people while acting more loving in your new and different ways.
Take what you are learning about love and put it into actions again and again. Go out and about being lovable and loving! Make the places you inhabit your experimental love lab and your practice fields. Have fun with honing your skills when helping people feel more loved, valued, attended to, cared about and enjoyed. Give some thought and a little planning to quick hit-and-run loving, fast guerrilla attack love and brisk who was that mysterious stranger love actions. Get some images in your mind of what those terms might mean and enact some of them. Practice on just about everybody including yourself. Do be sensitive to other’s adverse reactions and tame it down a little when necessary. But if done with a smile and sincere good-will, you probably will get positive reactions and will be modeling good loving and lovability in the process.
It can be very important for you to pay the price of discomfort as you go explore new and different groups of people. To do that well, it is important for you to ponder what you think of them rather more than be concerned about what they think of you. Remember, socially it works better to be the chooser than the chosen and certainly far better than being the beggar. Usually, the trick is to be friendly assertive (not aggressive) as you listen and ask questions more than you talk or work to impress. It is very okay to target people you are attracted to but don’t forget attraction and love are very different things (see “Attraction or Love or What?”). Much of what you do probably will not work very well, especially at first. Healthy, real love usually does not usually come easily nor should it. It works best if you count your victories as a whole lot more important than your losses. You can learn how to succeed from both victories and losses.
Who Is Going to be In Charge of Your Love?Doesn’t your life of love belongs to you? Yes, you can share ownership with those you love and those who love you but isn’t it your joyful job to not only give but get yourself well loved? That, of course, flies in the face of much cultural training which teaches going after love gets in the way of getting it, that it is egotistical and selfish and it is not the way love is supposed to work. Could it be that those ideas were invented to keep the competition de-activated? Could it also be that, regarding love, whoever said “the race goes to those who dare to run it” was right? I might add that it also goes to those who learn to run well and practice a lot.
If you really get determined to get yourself more lovable, more loving and more love active and you use the three major ways (Core, Crucial and Cardinal behaviors) plus employ everything else you can learn to do about healthy, real love, it is likely but not guaranteed that your life of love will be a much bigger, better success. Work happily to become more lovable, more loving and more love active and see what happens!
One More Little ThingWho can you talk this over with who may enjoyably disagree or challenge these ideas or your ideas about these ideas? While you are at it, we would like it if you tell them about this site and its many, totally free, mini-love-lessons.
As always – Go and Grow with Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
♥ Love Success Question: Who and what got you to think the way you have in the past thought about love and how well has that worked?