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Is Doing Love More Important Than Feeling Love?

 Mini-Love-Lesson #285

Synopsis: Two questions: what happens if we are programed subconsciously to mostly focus on love feelings more than doing love?  And what happens if we choose to focus mostly on the LOVE DOING approach?  Reportedly the Love Doing approach has many positive, life-changing aspects.  Accompanying is a brief introduction to Doing Love at Three Levels and the 12 Major Action Groups of Love Behaviors by which love is done according to our research.

A More Important Question Than You Might Think!

Do you know about LOVE DOES?  Love Does is the name of at least three things.  One is an international organization working to save children and other victims of sex crimes and abuse worldwide.  Another is a straightforward easy-to-read book about doing love and its importance.  It is by Bob Goff, an international law professor activist for human rights.  The third is a socio-philosophical position in the new natural science of Loveology which holds that feeling love is important but doing love is more important!

For quite a long time feeling love seems to have received the bulk of attention.  Do you love me?  Do I really love so-and-so?  Is this real love?  Do we love each other enough?  Those, and many other similar questions, are all love feeling-focused queries that loom large in many people’s lives from time to time.  They join with social edicts like “you will know it’s true love when you feel it!”  And “let your love feelings guide you”.  Plus, “true love is that overwhelming emotion that makes you do what love insists you do, no matter what”.

Love, Not a Feeling, Not an Emotion, Instead a…

The preponderance of recent, scientific evidence points to love not being an emotion or feeling but rather a natural, inborn, vital system that triggers or produces many diverse emotions.  This evidence gives confirmation to love being a systemic process occurring naturally in the brains of higher order lifeforms, and maybe others, which is then manifested in love behavior or love doing.

Sometimes we feel love and sometimes we don’t because we are busy feeling other things.  However, once a love connection is well-established we usually can consciously tap into it and feel its presence.  Think of loving your child, grandmother or anyone really dear to you and you are likely to know and briefly feel your love for that person.  Remember, emotions actually are mostly felt short-term and then replaced by other emotions.  Established Love is long-term, even lifelong, whether at the moment you are feeling it or not.

Don’t Make this Great Mistake!

There is a very mistaken and destructive teaching about feeling love.  It is that all we need to do love is feel it.  Like, somehow our feeling love will guide us to do the right love relating actions and the magic of love will take care of everything else.  Maybe there will be a few emotional bumps and scratches leading to then living happily-ever-after, or so goes the myth.  Although our conscious, reasoning mind can doubt this, another part of us so dearly wants to believe this is a truth of love, that we often do believe it.  Sadly, acting as if this is true can ruin a budding or false love relationship that might grow into the real thing.

If this myth were true, the divorce rate would be far lower, parental child abuse much more uncommon, spousal murder unheard of and every lover’s anniversary would get remembered, romantically planned and well celebrated.  The truth is love feelings come and go naturally and are only erratically related to love relating.  Love relating is learned and is best skillfully developed and practiced to be successful.  Love feelings turn out to be only so-so guides to love actions.  Consistent, quality love or best-love behaviors mostly are a matter of skill acquisition and development, just like all other high quality actions.

How We Learn Doing Love

If we grow up in a loving home, we subconsciously may have absorbed love’s best practice knowledge and do it sort of automatically.  Otherwise, high-quality love actions can be purposefully learned and continuously improved, just like any art or skilled craft .

Sometimes people put enough thought into the how to’s of doing love in romance, into child raising or some new deep friendship and then, once the love relationship is established, for various reasons the love behaviors begin to fade or they quit doing the actions that convey love.  If that happens, the love relationship suffers and may even die.  At best, it will become only mediocre compared to what it might have been.

Good love consistently enacted takes good habit formation and updating with renewed new learning.  As Ovid, the great love poet of Rome taught in the year one, lasting love takes skill!  Skills are learned best by repeated practice with skill improvements being deeply enjoyed.  Becoming skillfully love actionable, loving and lovable usually does an amazing amount of good and brings on an astonishing array of good feelings for all concerned.

The Do Love Approach

Doing actions of love can be accomplished whether we feel love or not.  They can happen out of a commitment to be loving, a belief love behaviors are of high value and importance, out of religious faith or philosophy, and out of a sense of gambling on doing caring love actions as a best practice when we don’t know what else to do. “When in doubt do love” can be a guiding best practice when we know what the love action options really are.

To help become aware of those options we briefly introduce Love Actions at Three Levels and their component 12 Action Groups of Love Behaviors.


Level I ,   Core Love Actions                                                                      

(Basic concrete, more specific love actions which form the building blocks of higher-level love doing behaviors)                                    

Core Action Groups of Love

1. Touch love behaviors

2. Expression love behaviors (facial expression, tonal expression, gestural expression, postural expression, etc.)

3. Verbal love behaviors

4. Gifting love behaviors (object gifts, experience gifts and service gifts) 

Level II ,   Crucial Love Actions

(Behaviors essential to ongoing, quality, lasting love relating)

Crucial Action Groups of Love

5. Affirmation love behaviors

6. Self-Disclosure love behaviors (being emotionally transparent, open, intimately self sharing, going psychologically naked, etc.)

7. Tolerance love behaviors

8. Reception love behaviors (actions obviously indicating positive reception of love showing it has been received)

Level III ,   Cardinal Love Actions

(Higher order, broader range love behaviors, often with larger and longer impact and effects)

Cardinal Action Groups of Love

9. Nurturing love behaviors

10. Protective love behaviors

11. Well-Being love behaviors (includes differentiated love actions of healing, altruism, humanistic, humanitarian and benevolent love behaviors)

12. Metaphysical/Spiritual Love Behaviors

There is much more to learn about each of the above groups of behavior that express, demonstrate, send, transmit, create, cycle, channel and generate love.  Research exists on each showing they are statistically differentiated, separate yet interconnected, independent categories of how love gets done.  Furthermore, some indications exist that each of the 12 action groups of love may have somewhat different physical health, psychological health and relational health benefits.  More information about each can be found at this site and others.

We hope to provide a “how to” book more fully delineating each of the 12 action groups of love in the not too distant future.  We are pleased and boastful to say information about the 12 action groups of love given through workshops, in various presentations along with use in counseling has been quite helpful to many people already.

From Doing Love to Feeling Love

Feeling love can lead to doing love but it can also work the other way around.  A great many people find that once they are doing more of the actions of love, they start to feel it more and especially is that true of love’s many joyous and great to feel emotions.  Also occurring while or after doing love actions are love’s emotions of being deeply touched, profoundly moved, greatly empowered, awesomely affected, passionately inspired and heart-warmingly infused.  Even when those great emotions are not felt, love action gets an lot of good done and that is a huge positive to be proud of and pleased about.

One More Thing

With whom might you enjoy talking over this Mini-Love-Lesson?  Who else might you mention it to?  Who do you know who might benefit from it?  Help spread the word that love relating knowledge can make love relating better by telling them about the several hundred of mini-love-lessons available at this site – Thank you!

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

♥ Love Success Question: After reading this Mini-love-lesson are you probably going to be a more doing love oriented person?

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