How to Love Someone and Feel Like There is True Love Within Us
The greatest obstacle to learning how to love is our own uncertainty about what love actually is. This may be due to cultural influences that teach us to imagine love in certain limited and narrow ways. Love encompasses a vast range of positive and very strong emotions, from an ultimate transcendent good habit or virtue, the most compassionate human characteristic, to the easiest natural joy. Love isn’t a selfish desire for material things – it’s a natural expression of our caring and attachment to another person.
In fact, two very different but highly related forms of love are now widely practiced and experienced around the world. Romantic love, also called sexual intimacy, is closely associated with lust, which itself is often associated with eroticism (the sexual function of the body). It’s when we experience intense feelings of love and desire for another person that these two forms of love start to interact. Intense feelings of love for another person can include feelings of guilt, shame, approval, trust and self-worth.
Unconditional love, on the other hand, is not based on any emotion or reaction to another person. It’s something more basic and fundamental, a simple form of bonding that involves ourselves and another person without any expectation of reciprocation. When you experience unconditional love for another person, you automatically treat them as a unique and special part of your own being, and share in their good fortunes and happiness. If you are with someone, you share in their good fortune and happiness – and no matter what, they are always guaranteed to love you back, unconditionally.
While it might sound like very abstract and complicated notions, both forms of love have proven to be extremely powerful and nurturing. It has been proven that those who practice and express romantic love with honesty and devotion have many more fulfilling and successful relationships than those who practice other forms of love such as lust and friendship. Even the most difficult of relationships can be made to work if the heart is opened and allowed to receive and respond to the other person’s romantic love. In a way, this is the true path to happiness.
To clarify, loving someone with an emotion isn’t the same as experiencing one. For example, when I’m in love with someone, I experience intense feelings inside me. However, when I’m not in love with anyone, those intense feelings subside and become more of a comfortable place to be. Intuitively, this means that I don’t feel like I’m falling in love with anyone when I’m in a relationship with my partner, but I do when I am single. Thus, loving someone implies giving that special feeling to someone you are in a relationship with, but not necessarily falling in love with them.
Whether you experience romantic love with someone new or someone old, the act of sharing affection is always the ultimate reward for all the effort. Expressing love doesn’t require any emotion, but simply sharing with another person that you feel that they are worthy of your affection and time and energy. This is the true meaning of love.