Written by Pauline Wallin, Ph.D.


By Pauline Wallin, Ph.D. Author, "Taming Your Inner Brat: A Guide for Transforming Self-defeating Behavior"

The perfect card,repparttar perfect gift,repparttar 126171 perfect date . . . Isn't there enough pressure in relationships without having to live up to some romantic ideal on Valentine's Day?

This is not howrepparttar 126172 celebration of February 14 started out. Its origins stem from Pagan and Christian history. Back then there were feasts celebrating fertility, and later there was recognition of St. Valentine (whose actual existence is questioned by some experts) who secretly performed marriage ceremonies for soldiers whenrepparttar 126173 emperor had forbidden it. But there were no TV commercials depicting models with perfect bodies and perfect teeth giving each other chocolates and back rubs. Valentine's Day back then was not a test of how good a lover you were.

Modern relationships are difficult enough without having to stage a major performance on a designated day. Men agonize overrepparttar 126174 greeting card racks, hoping that they can choose a card that is not too funny, not too mushy. Andrepparttar 126175 gift: how will she interpret it? If I buy her chocolates will she think I want her to get fat? If I don't buy her chocolates will she think I assume she is fat? Isrepparttar 126176 gift too extravagant? Is it too impersonal? Are roses too predictable?

This is not what love is all about. Love is much more complex than flowers and chocolates. Social psychologists have been studying interpersonal attraction and love for almost four decades, and they still haven't figured it out completely. What is known, however, is that love relationships are multi dimensional. Sexual attraction, or what some people call "chemistry" is only one ingredient of a love relationship, and often not evenrepparttar 126177 most important one.

Distinctions have been made between passionate love and companionate love. Passionate love is an intense longing forrepparttar 126178 other person. It is accompanied by extreme feelings: ecstasy when things are going well, and despair when things are rocky. Passionate love is also characterized by physical sensations, such as rapid heartbeat and "butterflies" inrepparttar 126179 stomach.

Discerning The Loving Heart

Written by Margaret Paul, Ph.D,

The following article is offered for free use in your ezine, print publication or on your web site, so long asrepparttar author resource box atrepparttar 126170 end is included, with hyperlinks. Notification of publication would be appreciated.

Title: Discerning The Loving Heart Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: Copyright: © 2003 by Margaret Paul Web Address: Word Count: 663 Category: Relationships


How often have you hadrepparttar 126171 experience of connecting with someone – a friend or a potential partner – who turns out to be an uncaring person? At first you think this is a really good person, and then downrepparttar 126172 line you discover thatrepparttar 126173 person is self-centered, narcissistic, angry and uncaring. You wonder how you could be so wrong, and what can you do differently next time?

I have discovered in my 35 years of counseling that people seem to decide very early in their lives whether or not they want to care about and have compassion for others’ feelings. As a result, people have different levels ofrepparttar 126174 willingness to feel others’ feelings. Some of us deeply feel others’ pain and joy, while other people don’t. Some people can recall caring about others’ pain and joy from a very young age, while other people remember being concerned mostly with their own feelings and needs.

The people who have chosenrepparttar 126175 deeper level of compassion are oftenrepparttar 126176 ones that becomerepparttar 126177 caretakers, whilerepparttar 126178 less compassionate people becomerepparttar 126179 takers. Caretakers are people who have learned to take responsibility for others’ feelings and well-being, while takers are people who expect others to take responsibility for their feelings and well-being and often blame others when they don’t take on this responsibility.

If you are a compassionate person who easily feels others’ feelings, you might find yourself drawn to people who are in pain. Your compassionate heart naturally wants to help those people who are in pain, not only out of caring, but also because their pain is painful to you. The problem is that this person might not care about your feelings as much as you care about his or hers.

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