Synopsis: This mini love lesson gets you started on how to give healthy, real love as a useful step toward also being able to get it; then goes into the four most basic, core types of behavior discovered by research which convey healthy, real love.
How to Give Healthy, Real Love and Then Get ItTo get love, learn to give it. How do you do that, you ask. A wonderful answer has been given to us by massive, expansive, long-range, wonderfully well done research conducted in social psychology.
That research has discovered 383 distinctive behaviors likely for stimulating feeling loved by the recipients of those behaviors. Luckily, advanced, astonishing, ‘magical’, statistical analysis techniques now have boiled down all that to just eight simple groups of behavior, which you can learn . In addition to that, clinical and field work by practitioners of relationship therapy have added all sorts of important goodies to this knowledge.
If you learn, practice and get good at the major ways of sending your love to others, all sorts of improvements in your life become likely. A ton of research supports that contention.
Many people come to me asking how they can fall in love, become loved, find love, get love, be lovable, etc.. The first thing to do, I suggest, is concentrate and learn how to give healthy, real love. Then practice and get really good at it. At this site you can study what healthy, real love truly is and about the eight major categories of behavior that social psychologists and others have discovered which send, demonstrate, deliver and give healthy, real love directly to others. Plus there are four more larger, wide-ranging categories of how love is given, but first get the basics.
Presented here are the basic, core, four major ways to directly give love which lay down a groundwork for learning the rest. Each of these can be applied to romantic love, spouse love, love of a child, friendship love, and many other types of love, including healthy self-love.
Introducing The Basic, Core Four1. Touch Love
Touch, or tactile love, is defined as physical contact which demonstrates loving affection, support, caring, comforting and also sensual and sexual loving, plus the special category of healing touch. Touching with love perhaps is the most basic and oldest form of demonstrating love. It probably is the first form of love people experience, usually beginning in the womb and very soon after birth. Babies who do not receive loving touch die of ‘failure to thrive’ illnesses like marasmus even though they are otherwise well taken care of.
Before loving, holding, cuddling and stroking became part of the care program given to infant orphans, 99.9% of them died before reaching the age of two in the orphanages studied in North America and Europe. It is feared that older people in various care facilities also may die sooner without loving touch. There also is evidence to suggest that between those two age groups those who go without loving touch are far more likely to experience all kinds of serious, psychological disorders and perhaps physical ones also. So, learn to do loving touch – a lot!
Take a look at the following list of words expressing how many different ways loving touch may be done.
Holding, hand holding, petting, stroking, caressing, cuddling, hugging, kissing, embracing, clasping, nuzzling, foot rubbing, snuggling, fondling, squeezing, tapping, light tickling, full body pressing, lap dancing , tease pinching, cupping and at least a dozen others for the sensual and erotic, love expressive, touch actions.
Another category of tactile love involves healing touch. To be lovingly touched when ill or injured, distressed, or in any way dysfunctional is known to be surprisingly healing, including at the physical level. Wounded areas lovingly touched by someone loving you heal faster and better according to no small number of studies.
2. Expressional Love
Expressional love probably is the second oldest and also is a very basic, quickly delivered form of showing love. Expressional love is accomplished by loving expressions in your tones of voice, loving facial expressions, loving gestures and love communicated by posture movements. If someone you love comes in the room and you stand up (posture movement expression), hold open your arms in welcoming (gesture expression), smile (facial expression) and say “aahh” in a most loving tone of voice (tonal expression) you probably have done a really good job of sending several bits of expressional love.
Most people are surprised to learn that in direct, personal, face-to-face communication only 7% of the communication is carried by the words being spoken. Tonal expression conveys about 35% of the message and facial, gesture and body motion can convey 55% of the total message. So, get good at studying what your tones, face, gesture and whole body movements are saying and help them speak of your love to those you love.
Become good at the looks and sounds of love and then it is more likely that those will flow back to you in greater abundance. When you do this love-bonding becomes far more likely and love relationship health is nourished. However, don’t do it for those reasons because the mere giving of love action does wonders for you whether you get anything in return from others or not. Remember, real love is a free gift.
3. Verbal Love
The words that convey love can add all sorts of power, intricacy, elaboration, understanding and magnificence to the way you deliver your love to another. Verbal love includes words spoken and words written. Verbal love simply is defined as the behavior of using words to convey and express love.
The simple “I love you” statements are perhaps the most common form of verbal love. Pet names, nicknames, terms of endearment like sweetheart, darling, honey, etc., words expressing the many and varied, different emotions caused by love (remember, love itself is not an emotion but a powerful natural process), special made-up words shared only by intimately connecting lovers, words of passion when love is part of the passion, poetic and artful phraseology, positive humorous terms, double meanings, and other very personally expressive and descriptive word-craft all count here in the verbal expressions of love.
4. Gift Love
Gift love is defined as presenting to a loved one tangible objects, resources, opportunities or experiences aimed at conveying love, and having no component of expecting a return action or object being sought. Gift love is generally thought of in two major forms: those that are more tangible gifts like things attractively wrapped in boxes but also including resources like finances; and the other form of experience gifts like surprise birthday parties or a picnic date, offering opportunities counts here too like letting someone use your place for the party they are giving.
What is important is to enjoy the giving of the gift and let that be enough. If the recipient of you gift enjoys it, says thanks, gives you something in return, or shows off your gift or makes laudatory statements to others on your behalf that’s all extra. ‘Giving to get something back’ is not a gift, it’s a manipulation.
Experience gifts like taking someone to an event they really want to go to, playing music they really like to hear, or providing an opportunity for them to do something adventuresome, beautiful or extraordinary can be among the best of gifts. For conveying intimate love sometimes unexpected, small gifts like a single rose can be more important than larger gifts like a whole bouquet when presented just right. Gift love is best considered an ‘art form’ well worth learning and practicing.
To really learn and get into all eight of the major ways of directly giving healthy, real love I, perhaps egotistically, strongly recommend you read my book, Recovering Love, available through amazon.com, iuniverse.com, and others.
As always – Go and Grow in Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
Of the above, basic, core, four ways to give love which are you best at and how are you going to get even better at it?