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PostSubject: Forcing Love   Forcing Love Icon_minitimeThu Sep 01, 2011 2:13 pm

Love is not something that can be forced. We cannot guilt someone into loving us. We can demand that they love us; however, that tends to have the opposite effect. In order to gain love, we must give love. Consider that people love us because of the way they feel about themselves when they are with us. Are your thoughts, words and actions are building the other person up, thus building the relationship or are they having the opposite effect?

On the other hand can we force ourself to love someone that we do not feel that we love? The obvious answer is no; however, we can choose to behave lovingly and we can allow loving feelings to grow. People may mistakenly believe that they have to feel as if they love someone, in order to behave as if they love them. The reality is the loving feelings follow loving thoughts and actions.

Why do we fall out of love? There are several things that can lead to falling out of love:
• Resentment is a huge factor. When we hold grudges and let resentments fester it is like throwing a wet blanket on the fire. If the blanket is big enough and wet enough it can put the fire out.
• Complacency can lead to disenchantment. Taking your relationship and each other for granted will over time decrease those loving feelings.
• Failure to put love first. When your relationship is not seen as a priority, it can end up getting the left over time. In today’s world left over time is scarce.
• Hurtful behavior can damages trust beyond repair. Things such as cheating, addictions, lying, and refusing to contribute can stress relationship beyond repair.
• Abuse destroys trust and damages self-esteem.
• Conflicting dreams can make it so that a couple has to choose between their dream and their partner.
• Lack of commitment can mean that relationships end prematurely.
• Selfishness is the opposite of unconditional love. When partners are selfish, love is conditional on them getting what they want.
• Perhaps you were never really in love. Maybe you were in love with the romantic notion of being in love, rather than in love with your partner.

In order to keep the fire burning warmly, you have to keep adding logs to the fire. If the fire is neglected it will start to die out. Love works the same way. In order to keep loving feelings alive, loving thoughts, words and actions are required.

If there is even the tiniest ember left, it can be fanned back to a roaring flame. If the fire is stone cold, you may need some gasoline and matches to get things going. At this point people often will not have any desire or motivation to improve their relationship.

Consider asking yourself some questions:
• What is it like to live with me?
• Do I take responsibility for my thoughts, words and behavior?
• What am I doing to help my partner feel loved?
• What am I doing to help my partner feel important?
• What am I doing to help my partner feel safe?
• What is one thing, if done consistently, that I could do that would improve my relationship?

It is possible to rekindle and maintain love. It requires a positive attitude and an input of time and attention. One person can make a difference, but sometimes the fire is cold and fanning it does not create the desired results.

Judith Viorst put it eloquently, “One of the advantages of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again.”
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