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February 14, 2007 / missknowitall

Happy Valentines Day!!!

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.~ Victor Hugo 

6 Steps to Better Love 

1.  Understand it 

2.  Say it 3.  Prove it 

4.  Accept them 5.  Ask for it 

6.  Teach it 

1.  Understand it. 

love (luv) n. 1. A deep, tender feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from a kinship or a sense of oneness. 

Many Marriage counselors and family therapists complain that people will wait to come to them for help until the relationship is so damaged that it is almost beyond repair.  That would be like waiting till you’ve developed gangrene before putting a band-aid on a small wound.  We should constantly be developing, strengthening, and growing our relationships, and we should be willing to seek and to ask for help way before any real damage can take place.  So, read books, take classes, ask advice, pray, be counseled and take action now, and every day.  Learn so you can understand how relationships work, what makes a healthy relationship, and how to repair damaged relations. 

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  Read a great book, or two, about love.RESOURCES(Just to name a few)Achieving a Celestial Marriage –institute student manualThe Total Woman – Marabel MorganBonds That Make Us Free – C. Terry WarnerI Don’t Have To Make Everything All Better – Gary & Joy Lundberg100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships – David Niven, Ph.D.Becoming Women of Strength – Peggy McFarland & Cheryl Carter 

2.  Say it“How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways……” 

If you love someone you should let them know.  You may think “They know I love them, I clean for them, I cook for them, I work for them, I’ve stayed with them all these years, etc…”.  Well, sure they know it, or at least they think they know it, or maybe they just hope that it’s true.  You may think that saying “I Love You” is easy and you may think you say it enough but you would be amazed at how often we let our kids go to sleep, let our husbands leave our sight, and say good bye to our parents without telling them the most important thing you have to say, “I Love You!”.  The most amazing thing about saying “I Love You” is that you are almost guaranteed hearing the other person say “I Love you too”, and who doesn’t want to hear that?  Oh, and by the way, any time you say “I love you, but_____” (I’m busy, you are too loud, ect, ect…” then that I “I love you” doesn’t count. Now that you can say “I Love You” go a step further and put it in writing.  Make your proclamation of love last a little longer by putting it on paper, then they can fold up your love and carry it with them in their pocket to make them feel happy all day.  Picture a young woman who’s father passes away.  He was very busy working while he was alive and didn’t get very much time to spend with his children.  But before he passed away he took a moment to write a little love letter to his daughter in her journal.  It’s a hug and kiss and an “I Love You” that the daughter can relive anytime she opens her journal.  The daughter is now a grown woman with a family of her own, but the need for her father’s love never lessens.  What a gift that she can still turn to his comforting words and know that he cares.Little things you can do daily:  stick a little love note in with your child’s school lunch.  Sneak a little love note in your husbands wallet so he’ll find it later in the day.  Send your friend a loving note on a pretty or a humorous little postcard.   

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT  1.  Say “I Love You” to your loved one at least once a day for one week.  (sounds easy but you may be surprised)2.  Take time to sit and write a love letter to your person.  Tell them all the ways they have blessed your life.   

3.  Prove it“How do you prove to someone that you LOVE them?” 1.  Touch them. Did you know: studies have shown that people who touch while arguing yell less, the argument lasts half as long, and the argument is 80% more likely to end on a positive note?  So, hold hands when you’re mad.  In a society where personal space is so valued it is a true show of love to pull someone into that personal space with you.  Touch is a great relationship ruler, I can always tell that my relationships need some first aid attention when I don’t want to touch that person.   

2.  Listen and learn.  Really listen and try to get to know your person.  Do you know even the simple things like favorite color, favorite food, what they would do if they had a million dollars, their dream job, their pet peeves, their worst fears?  Take time to learn about your person so that you can better express your love for them. 3.  Gifts of thought.  “It is the thought that counts”.  I think this means more when you actually think about the person you are giving to.  Does your gift show that you listen to, and value the wants of your gift receiver?  This doesn’t mean you have to give your person everything they want.  My father always dreamed of owning a big mountain Jeep.  We never could have bought him a jeep but one year for Christmas my mother bought him a tiny toy Jeep.  This showed my father that my mom understood his dreams and desires and that she took the time to recognize them.  If you are planning a romantic evening, first ask who are you doing it for?  You, or him, or maybe both of you?  You want the romance, now what does he want?  Think about a romantic dinner at a hoagie house and then getting ice cream that you eat as you look at exotic cars.  Never ask what a person wants unless you are willing to value their answer.  If you ask your child where they want to eat and then choose your way anyway you have only proved that you don’t care about their opinion.  In all things, take the time to prove to your person that you love them enough to recognize their hopes, dreams, and ideas.  Just think if they returned the favor to you? 

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT This should be easy enough.  Give your person a new touch every day for a week.  This means that if you are lucky enough to always give hugs and kisses then you need to try something new.  Suggestions:  For your spouse try sneaking up behind them and giving them a hug from the back.  Caress a cheek.  Run your fingers through their hair (even if they are bald!).  Feel their muscles and tell them how strong they are (this one is great for teenage boys too).  Hold hands at dinner.For your children, try just sitting next to them and putting your arm around them.  When sitting next to them try softly tickling their back.  Compare the size of your hands by placing them palm to palm.  Dance with them.  Chase them like a monster and then grab them and roll onto the ground laughing.  For Friends, give a hug.  Pat or squeeze a hand.  Put your arm around their shoulder.       

4.  Accept them“I love him so much BUT I can’t stand it when……” 

Accept, accept, accept!  Who is your person?  A tunnel visioned engineer, a touchy feely artist, a stuffy historian, a low self-esteem introvert, a socialite?  So that is your person.  Do you still want a relationship with them?  Then accept them as you found them.  How would you feel if your loved one bought you some hair dye and said “you’d be so pretty if you were blonde”?  Probably hurt and then the hurt would be covered by anger.  That is how we make others feel when we are constantly trying to change them.  Once you can truly accept your person you can start to convince them that you truly love them and that you are not just trying to change them.  Once you can convince them of that they will start to let their defenses down and then they will actually be MORE apt to change (on their own) because they will suddenly feel free to grow.  Live daily with the desire to love your person as they are. HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTAnytime you get annoyed by something your person does, right down something that you know you do that can be annoying to others.  Then anytime your person repeats an annoyance instead of feeling disgust, anger, or embarrassment, use that energy to work on improving one of your list items about yourself.  Is this supposed to prove that you are a bad and extremely annoying person?  No!  Absolutely NOT!  This is just to remind you that we are all human, we all have our quirks, and aren’t you lucky that your person loves you even with all your quirks?  So return the favor.   

5.  Ask for it“I shouldn’t have to tell him that I want flowers.  Any human with a brain knows that women like getting flowers.” 

I have often heard women say this.  I have even heard myself say this.  Yet I have never heard a woman at a restaurant tell her waiter “I’d like something yummy” and then get mad at him for not knowing exactly what he should served her.  When you go to a restaurant you take time to think about what you want and then you give very precise orders as to what you want and how you want it prepared and served.  You do this because you are investing your money in the meal and you want to be satisfied.  You are investing your precious time and life into your relationships and you want to be just as satisfied with them as with a good meal.  So why not let your person know what it is you want from them?  Does it dampen our idea of what romance should be to have to ask for what you want?  Maybe, but I think it is even more dampening when what we want doesn’t happen and then we fume about it.  This applies to all our relationships. HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTThink of the one thing you just really really wish you were getting from your person (Maybe you just want to hear them say thank you, or you need more approval, or you want flowers….).  Write it down and be very specific.  Say a prayer, or meditate.  Then politely, lovingly and very clearly ask your person for that thing.  You may have to ask more than once before you get it, or you might be surprised at how happy they are to finally know what it is you’ve been wanting from them all this time.   

6.  Teach them“He teaches who gives, and he learns who receives.”~Emerson So you’ve been asking your husband to take out the pile of garbage for 3 days now.  He finally does it and then waits with big proud puppy eyes for recognition of this wonderful feat he has just conducted for you.  What is your reaction?  At best, nothing, at worst a sarcastic and snide remark about how you do so much and you’ve had to do it in a kitchen full of garbage.  What did you just teach your husband?:  Even when you do what I ask I will make it unpleasant for you.  You wait forever for a friend to ask you how your life is going and when she finally does you are so mad that it took her so long that you decide not to tell her. You just taught her that it is pointless to ask.  People react to stimuli.  They really do.  So, while you may feel justified and vindicated by your actions, you have basically just thwarted your own desires.  In those rare and brief moments when your person does something that you’ve been wanting them to do, you must take full advantage of the opportunity to reinforce that behavior.  So, next time your husband takes out the garbage give him a big kiss and tell him how much you appreciate his help around the house (even though you’ve waited all week for the garbage to go out and you are doing dishes AND cooking dinner AND running a load of laundry at the same time).  Next time your child clears their plate, smile and tell them how grown up they are (even if they spill a few peas on the floor).  Next time your friend shows an interest in your life tell them how wonderful it is having a friend who cares and wants to listen to them.  You will be surprised at how much they want to receive that praise again and how often they will repeat the action. 

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTEveryday for one week be aware of your person and when they do something you like reward them with smiles, praise, and extra affection.   And be aware that if your smiles, praise, and affection are even slightly laced with sarcasm, annoyance, or insincerity then this will not be effective. 

     

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