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Does Giving Love, Get Love?

 Mini-Love-Lesson  # 270


Synopsis:  This mini-love-lesson answers the title question in the affirmative; gives a number of caveats and complications; explains giving love; reviews a much missed love truth; and reviews when giving love does and does not get love in return.


The Answer

The Answer to the title question is mostly yes with some highly important caveats and complications.

The good news is there are abundant examples of a loving person giving lots of love to another person and, in time, love starting to flow back to the original giver.  It happens with lovers, stepchildren, friendships, marriages, comrades, acquaintances and every other kind of relationship which has reciprocal love potential.  The more often and the more well you act to send someone love the more it increases the likelihood, but not the certainty, they will return love to you.

Caveats and Complications

Not giving love very often or very well is a good way to not get it, or not to keep getting love once you have it.  Giving indifference and/or love destructive actions more than you give healthy, real love can block the love flowing your way.  Love might be starting to grow in someone’s heart but the showing of love can get turned off for sundry, self-protective reasons.

Trying to give love on purpose just to get it, does not seem to work very well probably because the love given is not likely to be genuine, healthy, real love.  Fake love tends to fall apart after a time.  Likewise, acting from one of the false love syndromes tends to fail unless real love can replace it (see Real Love False Love).

Giving even genuine love to very unloving people tends to work poorly, at best.  Attempting to love those people who put a very low value on love or those who value other things much more highly than love (like money, status, power etc.) regrettably is very problematic.

Trying to love active substance and behavioral addicts (with addictions like gambling, sex, relational dependency, etc.) can be torturous and sometimes dangerous.  With help (Twelve-Step programs and couples & family counseling) it can be done successfully but mostly only when the addict is getting appropriate help (AA, NA, etc.) (see Recovering Love).

Usually worst of all is trying to love a psychopath or a sociopath because they can be quite good at faking love for a time.  Brain studies suggest they may be suffering from malfunctioning, neurological abnormalities making healthy, real love an impossibility.

Lacking sufficient healthy self-love can sabotage getting love from others.  Not having adequate healthy, real self-love tends to limit trusting that one is loved when it comes, as well as limit trusting that one’s ways of giving love are really wanted or are of sufficient quality (see “From Self-Love to Other Love and Back Again”).

Love works best as a free gift.  When love is unconditionally given without regard to what can be gotten in return, love can flow most freely.  It is a bit of a paradox that doing free-gift-love is one of the most likely ways to get a lot of love in return.  It seems like it should be quite evident that people want to love loving people.  So, if you already are not a loving well person, you might want to become one.

These are but some of the caveats and complications encountered with getting love by giving love.

What Does Love Giving Love Actually Mean?

It is not enough to just feel love.  Love has to be done, sent or given for it to have any effect.  How well love is done, sent or given is of great significance to the success, or failure, of love relationships.  Put simply, love is given by doing the actions or behaviors that convey love, show love and demonstrate love (see “Getting Healthy Real Love in Your Life”).  Without love conveying actions, most of the many wonders and marvels of love go unrealized.  So do most desires for love relating.  Sadly, a lot of people under-do their actions showing love and, consequently, they miss-out on the full potential of love relating.  It is by the frequent and well-carried-out acts of love that love grows, spreads, becomes strong and is hugely enriching.

A Much Missed, Fundamental Love Truth

Feeling love is natural.  Doing love is learned.  Is it not reasonable to think that those who learn and practice the how-to’s of doing love well, tend to be the ones who get the most and best love.  There slowly is growing, research evidence suggesting the better and more skillfully one can give love, the more one is likely to be the recipient of excellent and abundant, healthy, real love.

Love sometimes is attempted as a trade, or a quid pro quo, or even as a manipulation.  Those attempts have very limited or lasting success.  The more love can be done as a well-crafted, free gift, the more powerful it is likely to be and the better the results are likely to be over time.

Long-lasting, happy love especially is dependent on love being done well.  Doing love well comes from learning to do love well and not relying on love feelings alone.  Ovid, the great Roman poet in the year 1, taught “for love to be lasting, it must be done skillfully”.  It also helps for love to be given frequently and much.

When Giving Love Does and Doesn’t, Get Love

Arguably, many, perhaps most, failures at love relating are not because people did not feel love for one another but because love was not given and done often enough and/or well enough.  Of course, another reason has to do with the various syndromes of false love.  Likewise, most great, love relating successes happen not just because the participants feel great love but because the participants learn to do love often and well, together in teamwork.  Great love relationships are a teamwork endeavor requiring learning and practice at giving and receiving in a coordinated, conjoint, cycling of love behaviors.

It is important to note that it is not really learned until it is practiced.  Performing love is much like the performance arts and sports (see “Love Is a Performance Art”).  It takes ongoing learning and practicing love-conveying actions and the knowledge of the do’s and don’ts of love.  To learn we must study, then jointly apply what’s learned, jointly practice, jointly evaluate, jointly work to improve and then study some more.  Love feelings just get you started.

One More Thing
Teaching and talking is a great help to learning.  So, who are you going to talk to about what you’ve just read?  Whoever it is, please mention this site and its many mini-love-lessons on the how-to’s of love.  Thanks!

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Love Success Question: Are you making learning about love fun, if not please do.

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