A 20 Factor Check List
1. Well being
Healthy Real Love makes us want for the well being of loved ones.
Toxic False love wants primarily for our own well being, wants and desires to be all important, and can sacrifice the supposed loved one for self.
2. Self Love Healthy Real Love makes us balance our healthy self love with our love of others.
Toxic False love wants others to sacrifice and diminish their self love for our benefit.
3. Strength Healthy Real Love causes us to want our loved ones to be strong & powerful in their own lives.
Toxic False love makes us act to diminish our loved ones’ strength so we can dominate and control them and, thereby, feel more false safety.
4. Growth Healthy Real Love promotes the growth, development, education, and advancement of those we love.
Toxic False love works to block & hamper growth out of fear of being surpassed, outdone, and abandoned.
5. Aloneness Healthy Real Love allows & promotes alone time, understanding it’s healthful benefits.
Toxic False love fears being alone and allowing a supposed loved one to be alone or off to himself or herself.
6. Sex Healthy Real Love mixes both self love & other love into shared eroticism making it democratic, varied, open to exploration of new & different intimacy, & always guided by caring.
Toxic False love is absent of sufficient love expression &, thus, often is sexually demanding, obsessive, or dominated by sameness &/or fearfulness.
7. Power Healthy Real Love pushes us to share power equally, work to synthesize & compromise, operate with free speech, independent action, alternating leadership, negotiation, & interpersonal democracy.
Toxic False love pushes us toward either dictatorial dominance, or an abdication of selfhood through fearful surrender.
8. Difference Healthy Real Love promotes & delights in the loved one’s differences, ways of being unique, dissimilar viewpoints, divergent approaches, varying ways by valuing the enrichments they bring to relationships.
Toxic False love works to suppress & eliminate differences and bring about the false safety of sameness.
9. Dependency Healthy Real Love helps work for the loved one’s self dependency, one’s own self dependency while also promoting agreed upon, chosen, mutually supportive interdependency.
Toxic False love wants the supposed loved one to be dependent on the false lover, or wants the relationship to be mutually co-dependent.
10. Jealousy Healthy Real Love is not jealous, not even a little bit, because love does not spawn jealousy, possessiveness, or irrational suspiciousness.
Toxic False love is jealous because it is grounded in inadequate self love & the fearful insecurity that we can not hold the love of another by our own personal worthiness.
11. Friends & Family Healthy Real Love causes us to attempt to love, like, or at least be appropriately & be consistently accepting of those the loved one loves & likes (including pets, ex-spouses, dysfunctional relatives, etc.) but not to the point of supporting destructiveness.
Toxic False love causes us to work toward excluding, limiting contact with, & markedly avoiding the loved one’s interaction with their ‘others’.
12. Trust Healthy Real Love makes us take the ‘gamble’ of trust in our love and the loved one’s love &, therefore, causes us to willfully become ‘vulnerable’ to them, their words, and actions. This is done to affirm the loved one and make the relationship function in workable ways.
Toxic False love makes us mistrust, spy, be suspicious, hinder the freedom, doubt, & distrust the supposed loved one which eventually destroys the love relationship.
13. Self Disclosure Healthy Real Love helps us accept & become self disclosing of (past, present, & future) thoughts, feelings, actions, victories & defeats, strengths & flaws, & all else.
Toxic False love works to hide our less pleasant aspects, be secretive, present false images, & fears exposure.
14. Priorities Healthy Real Love puts love first of all values.
Toxic False love puts many things above the importance of love.
15. Healing Healthy Real Love causes us to work for the health of our loved ones.
Toxic False love often works toward illness, or avoids the promotion of healthful living.
16. Affirmation Healthy Real Love is affirming in word and action. Compliments of being & doing, praise, brags, showing affirmative support, cheering for the loved one, and more demonstrations are common. It also makes us look for, appreciate & affirm the qualities of our loved ones.
Toxic False love praises & compliments for personal advantage or gain. It often also dis-affirms with criticism, put downs, devaluing & debasement.
17. Tolerance Healthy Real Love causes us to tolerate the less pleasant aspects of those who are loved unless those aspects are clearly destructive.
Toxic False love tolerates little demanding its own way, or tolerates destructively to weaken the supposed loved one’s strength.
18. Reception Healthy Real Love makes us highly receptive to our loved one’s likes, needs, wants, ways, and especially expressions of love.
Toxic False love makes us neglectful, avoidant, critical, & undervaluing of our loved one’s efforts to love us.
19. Gifting Healthy Real Love helps us frequently and openly enjoy gifting our loved ones with what they want both with object and experience gifts.
Toxic False love helps us give gifts we want, gifts designed to manipulate, impress, result in return gifting from the loved one, or to give few or no gifts at all, and to gift with poor and negative attitudes.
20. Joy Healthy Real Love helps us take joy in those we love, take joy in their joy, work to enjoy what they enjoy, share what we enjoy, & create mutual joy.
Toxic False love works to disregard or discount the joy of the supposed loved ones, and try to manipulate them to only enjoy what we enjoy.
As always – Grow In Love.
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
Image credits: “Fairy eggs fullsize” image by Flickr user melanie_hughes .