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

Sadly,

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

www.soulpoetry.org

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.

relationships

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

Allowing Love!

My heart goes out to you, as I was in a relationship for 31years with a man that could not understand or return my love.
He loved me but not the way I needed.
Return love is the most difficult, if it is not there from the start there is every chance it will not evolve.
You talk of his repulsion to your loving him to much, Men have a fear of being over powered or engulfed by what most women as nurturers and mothers find easy, (open giving), but in a lot of cases the intimacy is lost in the giving and expecting in return.
We are all different, our pasts and our ancestors pasts all carried on through the generations, experiences of possession, agression and power struggles at different times of our lives or past ancestors lives all making an impact on our ability to love and trust.
Sometimes in seeking love, we loose the intimacy, it becomes more a demand than an act of understanding or the willingness to allow it to grow naturally.
An example is over feeding a plant with fertiliser and water, it looks wonderful to start, we give it love and what we think it needs to keep looking beautiful, it starts to labour under the over load of water and fertaliser, we look at it and give it more thinking it is starving, (our need to provide and sometimes over supply), it dies and we feel like we failed, and we have, we did not give it fresh air and the time to grow naturally.
Love is the same over demand can distroy the natural flow, if the flow is not there then learn lovely lady.
Your X was not capable of giving the love you desire, he was not able to return the love you gave, to be honest he most likely didn't even know what he was doing wrong.
Hate women (I don't think so), wanting to hold onto his self respect and independence (maybe more to the point).
This article talks of trusting your partner enough to allow yourself to become vulnerable, a lot of people will never find that trust.
I wish you Love and Light, and the patience to allow love to grow, not demand it in return.
We forget sometimes being givers, that it is harder to receive than to give.
Become more relaxed and stay open, the cage door never locked if your man loves you he will never need the door locked he won't want to leave, and if he finds confidence and not challenge in loving you,
Love Will Flow both ways,
V Rose X

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.

Enjoying my Journey

Thank you,
More enlightenment, we are learning every day.
Life, Love, expectations and the time warp of looking back, not wanting to repeat then trying to move forward.
After marriage I found the meaning of love difficult to understand.
31years with a man that never let me into his world, feeling lonely yet admired and loved in his own private way.
Now 12years of searching for a Love even I didn't understand, but knew it had to exist.
I find myself feeling at peace, at 60 years young, vital and feeling like I am still 30! I feel I am not alone any more and eventually my soul mate, lover and life partner will materialise, as I am sure we must be on the same path of discovery, and will run into each other eventually.
How exciting to read and find now that I am not (as my friends keep telling me) to fussy!
I seek all that this article describes, I know how to allow myself to be loved now, yes I am a woman that understands how a mans mind works, wishing as a small child I was born a boy, yet now loving the fact I wasn't "giggles"
I am now evolved, ready to meet my mate and share my being totally, the physical not my only gift.
Respect, admiration, affection, intimacy, acceptance and sharing and most of all my willingness to become vulnerable but this will come with "trust".
Time will tell, my past, my parents and their parents have left me a legacy I can move forward from or blame.
I choose the freedom to "fall in Love".
I wish you all love and light in your search for your ability to be loved, and hope positive love crosses your door step!
V Rose x

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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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