Can one have true love that can last a lifetime? The answer is yes or no, depending on the choices that you make at specific points along your life’s journey, “What will you choose? Love or no love?”
The choice is yours, and whatever choice you make determines whether you will live a life in love or with no love. This is not to say that choosing, “No love,” today will prevent you from choosing, “Love,” in the future, but it may mean missing your opportunity for big love, as those opportunities are so rare, so make your love choices wisely.
Be aware that what follows contains many contrasts so be prepared to see a lot of buts.
Love is not just a feeling, but it is an action. As we all know feelings come and go. Then there is commitment, but commitment without love is more like a prison. But choosing to take action to love, even if you may not be “feeling it” at the moment, oh, that is planting seeds of love to be harvested next season.
Also know that love comes from within, from within you. You can only feel the love you allow yourself to feel, and your feeling does not come from the object of your affection. Now, he or she may be intentionally sending you their love in so many ways, but you can only receive or feel the feeling of his or her love based on the love that you have to empower his or her love.
So, love starts with you. Any feeling that you ever feel about love, being in love, or not feeling loved comes from within you. You are fully responsible for the love you receive or feel. You, alone.
7 Ways to Choose Love or No Love
1 Trust and Respect
Often touted as the most important thing in a relationship, the ability to trust and be trusted, to respect and be respected, these ideas are they keys to love. Active lying or passive lying, like lying by omission, or being deceitful are definitely choices for no love. You may be able to feign love for a while without trust and respect, but not for long.
Try to remain open and honest, live with strength, honor, and integrity. If you slip and fall, don’t try to cover it up. Try to be forthcoming with any challenges that you might be having and by all means, choose love in your communication style with your loved one.
2 Communication Characteristics
If you are in the habit of either accusing your partner, being disrespectful of your partner or feeling that you must defend yourself when communicating with your partner, you are not choosing love. Choosing love in communication is speaking your truth but not in a negative way. Say what you need to say, but say it in a gentle, calm, respectful manner. And if you’re partner is trying to say something that might be difficult to communicate, encourage him or her to get it out. Be patient, understanding, and try to find some valuable message in what they are trying to say. Thank him or her for having the courage to come forward, and be brave enough to ask them if there is anything else that they might want to say? And if they have shared more, ask them, “Is there anything else?” Keep asking until they can’t think of anything else to say about it.
Don’t be surprised if they come up with something more to say later. Just be sure to remain nondefensively humble and as gracious as possible honoring the openness of their sharing with you. This is choosing love.
Being defensive, raising your voice, accusing your partner in retaliation, otherwise pitching a fit, walking out, or giving them the silent treatment is no love.
3 Seek to Fully Understand Your Partner
Since you are two different people with completely different backgrounds, you will see and communicate things differently, and something that you think you have communicated really specific and detailed may have been received completely differently than you intended because your partner is experiencing your communication through his or her perspective, from their own previous life story.
We all do this, and assume that we are correctly interpreting what someone is trying to tell us, but find out later that this wasn’t the case at all.
Seek clarification. Try feeding what you understand back to your partner in your own words to see if you are on track. If you are, your partner can explain. Being able to better understand your partner goes a long way in establishing a solid foundation for enduring love.
4 Physical Intimacy
Many problems arise in a relationship due to issues surrounding physical intimacy. Be aware that there is no wrong way to approach dealing with problems when they come to sex in a relationship. According to Dr. Eaton, the biggest problem in relationships is a mismatch in sexual hunger. If one of the partners is a nine on the scale of sexual hunger, and the other is, let’s say, a three, this is clearly a mismatch. But that doesn’t mean that you throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Try to find a compromise. Try sexual bargaining. Maybe there’s something your partner wants that is not even connected to sex that you can satisfy for him or her. This is choosing Love in your willingness to compromise. Note that your giving in the absence of authentic hunger is as enthusiastic as that thing that you want in exchange. If you choose Love, you are making a stand against the mundane or routine, so switch it up every once in a while. Be creative and have fun with this.
Nothing helps to strengthen a loving relationship more than a good sex life, though of course other areas of the relationship should be tended to equally. In this way, you are creating a balanced love that is fully sustainable over time.
5 To Love or Not Love Boundaries
Everyone has boundaries, and if they don’t, they should have. Hopefully, discussing boundaries takes place during the early stages of courtship, otherwise, you will see yourself trying to navigate a minefield in the middle of your relationship, never knowing when you will feel that “click” under your foot and find your partner in need of having a serious talk, which can be agonizing.
Just remember that this goes both ways. You must respect your partner’s boundaries just as much as you would expect him or her to respect yours.
6 Domination, Submission, or Manipulation
There is no love in a relationship where one partner dominates, demands submission, or manipulates the other partner. The relationship is not a weapon or tool, it is cooperation, or corporation, where both parties should be equally vested and have equal say and shares in said relationship.
Inequality and manipulation can show up in many ways from actively controlling, lording over, or even expressing violence or abuse, or it can be passive by shutting down, initiating the silent treatment, withholding sex, playing the victim, or disappearing to teach your partner a lesson.
Note: Physical abuse should never be tolerated.
7 Try Something New
The last thing you want is for your love to be boring, so switch it up. Try something new. Go to a new restaurant, take a dance class, get out of town and take a single overnight or weekend minivacation, go skydiving, whatever it is, do something new and different. This breathes the breath of new life into a relationship that might otherwise grow stale.