Intimate love — 30 July 2010
Help your partner feel truly loved

Love may not make the world go around, but feeling loved certainly propels one to the highest state of serenity, calmness, security and potency. Helping your partner achieve this level of happiness is primarily within your power.

Though there are many definitions of love, they usually encompass: attraction, desire to be with, to please, help and enhance the loved one’s life in every way. Pure love has no personal agenda. It is the outpouring of positive regard and tender caring emotions focused on aiding the beloved to become healthy, happy and thrive.

In “The Evolution of Love,” Ada Lampert states, “maternal love appeared as the first love on earth. Maternal love is both the first love created by evolution and the first love that everyone experiences. This dual primacy has made maternal love the prototype of all subsequent loves we will know in the course of our life span; all subsequent loves seemingly draw the materials required from this primordial love.”

When couples fall in love with each other they experience the euphoria of full acceptance, being viewed as flawless, pleasing and special, as they have felt in infancy through maternal love. Having been chosen by a person whom they love and admire quells their personal self-doubts and insecurities. For a time, they are adored, valued, unblemished and blissful.

In addition to the pure maternal love, origins of couple’s attraction, passion and physical love creates infatuation that Psychologist Dorothy Tennov termed “limerence.” In her research at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Tennov culled responses from 400 students’ questionnaire, as well as 2000 personal accounts. She described the individuals in love as being in a mixed state of elation, euphoria and hope as well as anxiety, insecurity, fear of rejection and uncertainty about their beloved’s enduring reciprocity.

Being infatuated is a mixed state of bliss and thus perhaps unsustainable. With time this phase wanes and with life’s stresses the couple’s nirvana subsides. Their relationship may become less positive, more distant and less fulfilling.

Couple therapy is designed to help pairs reverse the evolved style of disapproval, criticism, self-centered view, lost connection and reactivate their initial state of mutual appreciation, admiration, respect, consideration and goodwill.

Hearing “I love you,” is wonderful. However, if it is not matched by feeling loved, these three magical words lose their impact and may leave the listener unsure whether he/she is truly loved.

To help your mate feel unquestionably loved:

• Look into his/her eyes while thinking about how precious and desirable your beloved is.
• Be unconditionally available to help, support, encourage, praise, and cherish your partner while temporarily deferring your personal needs.
• Consider your beloved’s preferences, wants and desires first and foremost above all others and be as accommodating as you can be.
• Respond with utmost kindness and caring since your opinion, reactions and words are the crucial source of your mate’s self-esteem and emotional health.
• Remember that feeling loved is magical and is usually reciprocated.

Related Articles

About Author

Offra Gerstein, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in clinical practice in Santa Cruz, California for over 25 years, and specializes in relationship issues for couples and individuals for improved quality of life. Her work includes: mate selection, marriage, long term relationships, gay and lesbian couples, work relationships, parenting issues, family interactions, friendships, and conflict resolutions. Offra has lectured extensively to various groups, conducted support groups for several organizations, and has been writing a weekly column "Relationship Matters" for the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 2001.

(0) Readers Comments

Comments are closed.