What Would Aristotle Do?

The power of reason.

How Good Are You at Loving?

You can get better (or worse) at loving someone. It is also possible to rank how well you are doing at loving someone. In fact, I will provide a “love inventory” that will help you to determine just how good you (or your significant others) really are at loving. Read More


I was never loved by the (x) husband....abuser for 31 years, but I know how to love.


Kind Regards, Alice

so...afterall what does the

so...afterall what does the score mean? mine is 3.4

average range

Since you have self-rated according to a rating system that designates a ranking of 3 as average, this would place you in the average range. Look at the categories in which your ranking was weakest and work at improving in those areas.


reading this made me think and view myself as a person. sometimes i wonder if i really have a heart because i was once in love and i got my heart broken and after that i felt like i been cold towards who ever comes my way.

Broken Heart

I have had my heart broken many times (in very cruel ways), but am still open to life,people and living.

See how your relationship stacks up

As a psychologist, I work often with people who didn't know how to love well, as well as those who don't know how to choose a skillful lover (i.e.: relationally skillful). A simple Love Inventory, as presented in this article, is an excellent way to try to hold on to some rationality in the midst of the emotional overwhelm of early love. Addressing the issues in the inventory by asking questions and observing another's behavior provides an excellent counterbalance during the thrill of infatuation. I created a deck of cards, Things to Know Before You Say "Go", for my clients with 76 important questions to consider when seeking healthy love. There is a great deal to learn before you give your heart away. The cards help you see how a potential partner stacks up. Whatever the method, I believe a dose of critical thinking is essential in finding lasting, passionate, and healthy love.

"Love" it!

Excellent article and advice. If folks applied these simple steps to themselves as well as those around them, the world would be a much better place.

Useful Tool

I'm not entirely sure any of us are capable of accurate self-evaluation when it comes to how well we love others...it has been my experience that skewed definitions of love and misguided intentions and perceptions about love is or should be, have left us all with lots to learn. I appreciate your article because it spells out the character qualities which combine to form the kind of love that people will find the most satisfying..but which so few seem to have patience for...they would seem so obvious..like common sense or even natural occurances to some of us, but my work and research has revealed malignant self-love of epic proportions. Your blog serves as the ABC's for those who've lost their way.
What I personally take away from this, is that I loved my ex-husband in this way; I was loyal, supportive, committed, empathic, considerate, honest...and it was all my choice..the love that I felt for him, as honest as I knew myself to be...was pure. I simply wanted nothing more than to love him...and he refused to accept, and soon, even tolerate that love. I think being loved, for him, was a revolting experience due to the emotional incesting by his mother...much the same way that a sexual abuse survivor might be sickened by physical affection...Letting him go, while difficult, was made easier by the fact that I had empathy and consideration for the pain he was clearly in...there will always be some part of me that will fear or feel accountable for loving him 'too much', as his mother does...I'm actually sure I did, during periods of the relationship...strangely, the stronger and more interdependent I became, the more withdrawn he was believing he had nothing to offer, or maybe that he simply hated all women and took pleasure out of denying me love. I let him go because I love him....that much I know.
Years later I find myself in another relationship and I can only hope that the love I give is wanted and accepted (and 'right'? or healthy) and that I am loved in return. (however, the absence of a return did not stop me from loving before...being loved back would just a bonus!)
My Valentine's Day thoughts on love.... :)

Keep your love light on!

I was very moved by your personal account. You strike me as a courageous person. You are not easily scared off from going after what you want and what is worthwhile for you to attain.
I wish you the very best in pursuing your new love! --Elliot

excellent article

I think it takes four things for a soulmate. Two people who are emotionally healthy or reasonably so who are reasonably open about their wants and needs each of whom would never use what they know to manipulate or harm the other person and who understand that love is how you make the other person feel. For romantic love, it takes that fourth and final thing that we call chemistry — or more crudely lust — because without that the love is platonic not romantic.

What many people don't realize is the process of love is essentially the same between platonic and romantic love. It feels different bc of chemistry, but the method of developing those feelings is the same.

Reading this article made me

Reading this article made me realize that "love" is not just a feeling but its also actions that makes the feelings real. No matter what type of love relationship a person has wether its with ther spouse,brother,parents far relatives its all the same basic principles. After taking a previous psyhology class i learned that love is a stimulation in the brain that causes the same effects as cocaine. with this being said this article proves that love is a overall feeling because in a marital relationship there wont be any lying,cheating,dishonesty because "love" as defined is about making the other perosn happy in all ways. Being supportive is also a big topic even if its just supporting a family member for a new promotion or something big that they have accomplished those are all signs of love. This article made me reanalyze many of my relationship and made me wonder am i good at loving the people in my life? The ugly truth is that im not the best because i have a lot of skills to work on based on this article but it was very helpful and im confident that it will make all my relationships stronger in the future.

Love = Being for Others

"Reading this article made me realize that "love" is not just a feeling but its also actions that makes the feelings real."

I offer to you that love and inquiry, even "action" and "being" are synonyms.

How do you express love?... by expressing... it's redundant. When do you feel love? When the expression is toward you.

People have such a hard time defining love because they want to make it a state of being (a convention) instead of being itself (existential). So people spend 60-70 years going full circle, developing incredibly complex 'equations' of being and in the end they start reducing and simplifying again and they finally derive a simple truth that love equals 'being for others' for lack of a better phrase when I'm very tired (exercised three times today! ... good!)

loving and caring

Very worth reading over and over. i join a friend in chemo Feb. 3. She is alone and having surgery and the worst chemo treatments coming now. She is partially blind now. Has VKH. Joined the support web page. Seek learning. I must modify myself to address all the points of love you mentioned. I must be a better person to be a better care-partner to her. She is greatly loved as my friend. Now, I have to step up and be a better person.

Thank you!

I really enjoyed this article. It provides reinforcement to continue loving my husband of 19 years. While so many elements happen naturally, it's positive to have all things that I want to deliberately maintain captured here. Thank you so much! I will share this with my sister who has not had success in relationships and continues to suffer as the giver and receiver of healthy love.

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Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., is President of the Institute of Critical Thinking and one of the principal founders of philosophical counseling in the United States.


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