VALENTINE'S DAY: WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?Written by Pauline Wallin, Ph.D.
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Companionate love does not have fire and heat that passionate love does, but it can more than compensate in form of closeness, trust and affection. Furthermore it lasts much longer than passionate love, which subsides relatively quickly.
Another way of defining love is in terms of three components: passion, commitment and intimacy. These interact with one another in various combinations, so that no two relationships are alike.
Long-term satisfaction in relationships does not depend on material wealth or success. Nor does it depend on physical attractiveness. A recent study of middle-aged college graduates indicated that good looking people, on average, were no more satisfied with their marriages or with their lives, than were plainer people.
So what does constitute long-term contentment in relationships? Psychologists have found that a feeling of equity is important. That is, partners feel they are each getting about as much as they're giving. Not that they keep score, but over long run things even out. This is similar to just being good friends to one another, supporting one another, laughing at each other's jokes even though you've heard them dozens of times. Another ingredient in long-term relationships is investment. This refers to material possessions, time and emotional investment. The greater investment, more likely couple will stay together.
So what does all this have to do with Valentine's Day? If you wish, buy that card or those flowers, but keep in mind that this is not a maker or breaker of a relationship. Better yet, show your partner love and consideration on other 364 days in year. It will make a greater impact than doing so according to calendar.
Pauline Wallin, Ph.D. is a psychologist in Camp Hill, PA, and author of "Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide for Transforming Self-defeating Behavior" (Beyond Words Publishing, 2001)
Visit http://www.innerbrat.com for more information, and subscribe to her free, monthly Inner Brat Newsletter.
Discerning The Loving Heart Written by Margaret Paul, Ph.D,
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So, how do you become discerning of who has a loving, caring and compassionate heart? The first step is to focus on developing as much compassion for your own feelings as you have for others. Often, very caring people leave themselves out, caring about others far more than they care about themselves. This leaves them vulnerable to becoming caretaker for someone who just wants someone else to take care of them, and then gets angry when you donít do it ďright.Ē If you develop compassion for yourself, you will start to feel much more quickly when someone is not really caring about you. If you are just focused on anotherís feelings, you wonít notice what you feel, and it is your own feelings that allow you to discern caring from a lack of caring.
The next step is to understand and accept that, no matter how caring you are to others, you have no control over how caring others are with you. You canít make someone be caring, and more you take care of anotherís feelings and well-being while ignoring your own, less caring other will be. The other person becomes a mirror for your lack of caring about yourself.
The more you learn to take full, 100% responsibility for your own feelings, more anotherís lack of caring will be intolerable to you. The more you are able to stay tuned into yourself and trust your own perceptions, quicker you will discern a lack of caring in others. The more you accept your lack of control over getting others to be caring, quicker you will let go of people who are intent on getting caring but not much concerned with giving it.
It really doesnít take long to discern loving heart once you have compassion for yourself, trust your perceptions, and accept your lack of control over others. People betray their intention to either give love or to get it, or to give to get, with everything they say and do. With practice, you can learn to discern loving heart very early in a relationship. If you want to stop recreating same relationships over and over, then develop your power of discernment.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?", "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By My Kids?", "Healing Your Aloneness","Inner Bonding", and "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?" Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:email@example.com