Love: What is it?
Loving the wrong way
How to love right
Love: What is it?
-An intense feeling of deep affection
-A great interest and pleasure in someone
-Strong feeling of attachment for someone you are attracted to sexually or romantically
-To have someone’s best interest and wellbeing as a priority in your life
-Intense overwhelming irresistible longing for someone
-To care for another’s happiness, safety and health
-To make yourself vulnerable to another
Loving the wrong way
Love is very complex, intense and can be all consuming. It encompasses human beings entirely- our spirit, soul and body. What further complicates matters is that people come in different varieties. We have differing personalities, tastes, drives, desires, needs, ambitions, dreams and wants. What might interest someone may have no effect whatsoever on another person. As is commonly stated “one man’s food is another man’s poison”. We may carry out certain actions, do certain things and even give certain gifts to our significant other thinking we would please them and get a totally opposite reaction to what we were expecting. This constitutes loving the wrong way. Actually and this is key and very important, we are to love people based on how they are “wired”. Therefore we can come to one conclusion: loving the wrong way is to express our affections for the object of our love without taking into consideration the way they would “prefer” to be loved. Make no mistake about it, everybody has a preference for how they want to be loved. Regardless of how much effort we put in, how much money we spend or the kind of material things we give, failure to meet our partner’s desired underlying need in the particular way they want is LOVING THE WRONG Way
How to love right
How do you love right? 2 key words will directly and indirectly determine how to love someone the right way. What are these words: Sympathy and Empathy. But then, what actually is sympathy and how can we define empathy? Sympathy is feeling compassion or pity for the hardships another person encounters while Empathy goes a step further. It is actually putting yourself in the shoes of another. It is sensing the need or condition of your significant other and doing something practical to meet that need.
It is the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. Now, to the million dollar question: how do you show empathy? This can be done in one or more of the following ways:
1-Treat people as being important: Every human being on the surface of the earth craves validation, we all need to know we matter to someone, we are not just a non-entity taking up space. This is a deep God given need or desire and actually the truth is everybody is important.
2-Use your imagination in practical ways: There are times when we all are tired, worn out, burnt out, stressed, hungry, thirsty, in pain, afraid, sad, angry and a host of other emotions. For example no one needs a tutorial on hunger, we all have experienced it. Therefore when you go out of your way to imagine what someone is going through and do something to address it, you have used your imagination in a practical way.
3-Challenge your prejudice: All of us have suffered or have been victims of environmental programming. This often distorts our perspective and outlook on life. A direct consequence of this is to brand people with stereotypes. In Nigeria for instance there are tribal negative stereotypes like “All Igbo’s are crazy about money”, “All Yoruba’s are hypocrites”, “All Hausa’s are violent” and “All Fulani’s are genocidal murderers“. Even if this were true of some (because deviants, psychopaths and sociopaths exist in every tribe), it cannot be true of all. There are also gender negative stereotypes like “All men are flirts or are polygamous in nature”, “All women are promiscuous”, “Females crave for money and will only marry rich men”, and “All men engage in domestic violence”. Again, these statements may be true of some but not of all. Any attempt to carry over these biases into a relationship spells doom.
4-Listen: Listening is a key element of communication. No relationship can survive for long without adequate communication between the partners. Taking time to listen to both what is spoken and what remains unspoken but is projected via actions goes a long way in cementing a relationship.
5- Offer physical affection: The truth is we all are physical beings, living in a physical world. Studies show that any child deprived of adequate physical affection while still within the formative stages of growth, becomes dysfunctional. This depicts the deep need for physical affection and expression in human beings. Any intimate relationship that has its fair share of hugs, kisses and sex will definitely withstand the storms and vicissitudes of life that we all will inevitably encounter with the passage of time.
6-Withhold judgement: Most of the time we are too quick to fall into the trap of judging someone, particularly our better half. Studies show more often than not our snap judgments are usually wrong. Never assume you know what the other person is thinking, feeling or imagining at all times (we are not God). When we withhold judgement, it saves us from jumping to wrong conclusions and hurting the one we profess to love.
There is a right and a wrong way to love. When we truly know what true love is, it will help us to avoid loving someone wrongly in a way we think they want to, or ought to be loved. On the flip side, when we learn to love right it opens doors for possibilities of unimaginable bliss in our relationships. SO LOVE RIGHT!!