A to Z of Love - 26 tips to be at your loving best
Love is one of the best human emotions of all. When you are filled with love everything else seems to fall in place. More importantly when you are in love you have peace of mind. Love need not only be of a romantic nature as it can also be defined as an intense feeling of deep affection. I have tried to deconstruct on what it takes to thrive on love with the A-Z of love. Here are 26 tips to be at your loving best.
Accept the other person – Always accept the other person as they are. If we understand how difficult it is for us to change ourselves we can imagine how tough it would be to change someone else. Accept everyone as they are. If you want to change someone change yourself.
Be there for the other person – Love is demonstrated only when you are there for the other person in times of need. It is great to be around when things are going well but it is in moments of crisis that true love is demonstrated.
Count your blessings – If you want to be in a state of peace and love the only way to achieve that is to be in a deep state of gratitude. Count all the blessings you have in your life. Give thanks for your life partner. Life is designed and it is exactly as it should be.
Desire should be there – Desire is one of the strengths of love. In the initial phase of love we all do things for the other person which we normally would not do once we have won over the person. This is not easy but at times we should think what will happen if the other person is not there. This puts things in perspective and increases the desire to satisfy the other person.
Engage with your partner – There are two schools of thought here. In love they say compatibility is very important. Some say opposites attract while others say similarities attract. The key is if you are opposite in temperament then it actually helps. Engaging with the partner means finding common ground in activities that both are interested in doing.
Forget and forgive – There is no way to sustain love over a long period of time without developing the ability to forget and forgive. First forget every silly thing you have done and forgive yourself. Next do the same thing with your partner. Forgetting and forgiving is the key that unlocks the hidden love while lubricating trust.
Goodness – There is a nice joke that says all day I have been nice and when I come back home let me be myself and throw tantrums. The key is to treat your partner the way you would a prized customer. This is easier said than done but it is a good metaphor which if implemented can remove the minor irritants that all relationships encounter.
Help – For love to thrive you need to be ready to help the other person through any setback. Everybody at some point in life goes through a crisis. This is the chance to showcase your true love by helping the other person when in need.
Invigorate – You need to invigorate which means being the energizer bunny and constantly radiate warmth through positive thoughts and inspiration.
Joy – Love is one of the great joys of life. When you are in a state of eternal joy love follows automatically. Being grateful and happy with what you have can lead to joy.
Kindness – There is nothing that improves a relationship more than kindness. Be kind to your partner and show empathy. Empathy is the key to the kingdom of love.
Listen – All of us struggle with this but listening without interrupting is the best booster to maintain love for the other person. Listen with complete concentration, paraphrase what is being said and keep your criticism to yourself.
Money – You might think what does love have to do with money. However I believe it does as if both parties are not open about their financial situation and hide things from each other it can result in big disagreements from which there may be no return. A lot of broken marriages are due to money issues. It makes sense not to make it an issue.
Nice – Be nice to the other person. Being nice never goes out of fashion. When we look at the movies we might believe that love happens one person plays hard to get and is sometimes obnoxious. However I think in real life love can thrive only when you are nice to the other person.
Overlook – The key to love is to overlook the mistakes of the other person. It is so easy to be a fault finder as if there was a reward for it. However the best way to maintain love is to be a good finder and overlook all mistakes.
Practical – Negative emotions of jealousy, envy and anger are the seat bed of incompatibility resulting in relationship distress. If you want love to thrive you need to be more practical and less emotional. If a situation looks like it is snowballing get out of that place immediately and take a 5 -10 min break before coming back to the discussion.
Quick-witted - This means having the creativity to quickly come with solutions for any problems. This also means having a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at misfortunes. This attitude can foster love.
Resilience – No matter how strong the love is there will be times when everything seems to go wrong. The only way to overcome these situations is by being resilient and the ability to understand that setbacks are normal when you are working on a long-term relationship.
Satisfy – By all measures the overall strength of the love is measured by how satisfied the other person feels in the relationship. In other words throughout your marriage you are the relationship manager and job number 1 is to make sure the other person feels satisfied to be with you. Is this easy of course not if it was there would be no problems.
Take the other person for granted – This is a sure sign of the love to be in trouble. Never take the other person for granted. Yes it may seem like nothing will happen but at times we need to remind ourselves that those closest to us are the ones we need to shower more love to. Again this is easier said than done.
Understand – As Stephen Covey said “Seek first to understand then be understood.” You need to really engage in empathetic listening and understand the other person from their point of view. This one suggestion if implemented successfully can solve a lot of problems in love.
Vagulate – This word means to struggle, to waver, or to be clumsy and stumbling. The point is at any time when you are in love there will be struggles, there will be times when you are totally clumsy and there will be times when you feel like you are stumbling. The key is to understand when you face such situations and get over them as early as possible.
Win - Win – In love or marriage your thinking has to be Win-Win. If you are competing with your partner and trying to score points it will result in disaster. Look for options where both parties agree. Look for the third alternative and at times yes sacrifice for the larger cause.
Avoid Xtreme positions – There are no black or white situations in love. There is only gray areas so be prepared not to adopt any extreme positions. You may disagree on which political party you support but does it make any sense to argue over this and affect the relationship. I don’t think so.
Yesterday – Forget what happened yesterday or in the past. The past is dead and that is the truth of life. You can keep track of all the bad things that happened to you over the entire relationship and the only result of all this will be plain misery. Forget yesterday to live happily today and in the future.
Zappy – Love can be sustained only if you are zappy and full of energy. Be lively and make sure you love life. Nothing is more impressive than a person who loves life. Being zappy ensures love can be sustained.
There you have it the A –Z of love. Of course this is not easy to implement but it is a gentle reminder on what is really required to maintain a long term relationship through which love can be sustained over decades. Happiness is the result of love. Love is the ultimate meaning of life.
The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.