Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Are You In Love?

Do you believe in love? Are you in love with someone special?

Have you let them know it lately?

There are many ways to say “I love you” to someone. When considering love, it can be a feeling, a thought, a spoken word or phrase, a gesture, or a solid action demonstrating love clearly exists from one person to another.

What Is This Strange Feeling we call LOVE?

If you feel that you love someone, you're likely either feeling a sense of “belonging” or a sense of “loyalty” or a sense of “passion” for that person. Have you ever seen someone who “felt” in love with someone but never told them how they felt? What were they waiting for?

Sometimes, we don't share our feelings with others because we are afraid that we might be rejected. Or, we may have been hurt by a lover in the past and now feel the fear that this new person may not work out, either. Last, perhaps we've already given it a go with a special person and had less than the desired success with the relationship, and feel that going back in might cause more hurt in the future. In any event, there are reasons why people sometimes do not express their feelings of love for each other. However, I will point out that in most of these instances, it is FEAR that stops people from sharing their feelings with each other.

In case you've missed some of my other articles on this subject, FEAR blocks LOVE. You can't have your optimum relationship airplane take-off with fear on board the plane! FEAR works like a DRAG on any relationship. So, if FEAR is stopping you, I'd say to RELEASE the FEAR! Once you've released the fear you will free your soul of the burden that blocks your conscious self from expressing your true feelings. At that point you will be able to express your love freely with the person you love.

How can we express the love we feel?

Once you've decided to express your feelings, you now have choices. You can either SAY how you feel, or you can SHOW how you feel.

Say it loud, say it proud!


When we say “I LOVE YOU,” we are expressing our feelings in the most direct and sincere way possible. We could still say, “I care about you” or “I dig hanging out with you” or “you're a lot of fun” but all of those ways of expressing feelings could just as easily be feelings of friendship as feelings of love. If you want to say “I love you” to another person, why not just come out and say these three magic words?

Now, if you're like me, you probably appreciate hearing when another person says “I love you” to you. So, go for it, put it out there, and let your heart strings play their tune.

Have you told someone you care about deeply that you love them?

If you were hurt in the past, you've got to move beyond that hurt, put the fear behind you, and embrace saying how you feel IN THE MOMENT now. When you can do this, you will experience MORE love in your life – I'm certain of it. If you sense people arguing, why not step in and offer a bridge towards faith, hope, and love in the GOOD of things. When we work as a team, support each other, and offer encouragement, life is SO MUCH BETTER!

In my family, we all say “I love you” when parting. We do this frequently – I'd say about 30% of our conversations end with “I love you” stuck in there some place. I don't know if I've been as good with my relationships. For some reason, I'm a bit non-committal and don't always say how I feel when I love a woman. I've made a new resolution in 2008 that from now on, when I feel it, and we have engaged in a committed relationship, I will say "I Love You" much more often. If you feel like you love someone special, tell them. You might have something to lose, but we certainly can't win anything if we don't play the game of life. And playing means jumping in and saying something.

Don't just say it - SHOW IT!

Now, you may also feel better if the person also SHOWED you how much they love you as well as TOLD YOU how much they loved you. After all, we can't play if we don't interact.

My sister once told me that children base their judgment of how much you love them by how much TIME you spend with them, doing things together. Is it any different for teenagers, college kids, thirty-somethings, mid-life adults, or elderly? I read in an advice column last week how a Grandmother felt her love was rejected and didn't matter because the kids and grand kids weren't showing appreciation for the time she was investing towards them. On the other hand, I've also read about mothers trying to get their kids exposure to a grandmother who didn't act involved or show up to birthday parties. The love street goes BOTH ways. Just reach out and show the people in your life that you love them.

We MAKE time for those we love...

Don't just TAKE time - MAKE time for the people who are special to you. Spend meals and vacations together. Go fishing together. Attend plays together. Read a book together. Watch a movie together. Go for a walk together. Just do things together. I love going to play golf and tennis with my brother and nephew. It's become a favorite past-time now with all of us that grew out of my reaching out one day saying "Come play golf with me!"

In my family, not only do we say we love each other often, but we also SHOW each other that we love each other by making special trips and visits to be with each other. We share special meals together. We're there for each other during hard times. We play together. We take vacations together. We make a point to communicate with each other – even when we're busy. Is your family making the effort to SHOW they care as well as SAY they care for each other? If not, why not start this practice today?

Actions speak louder than words...

Here are a few useful ways to SHOW YOU LOVE SOMEONE with your ACTIONS:

  1. Write a handwritten note. Notice: I didn't say send a text message. The meaning of taking the time to write a letter still carries far more weight than sending an email or a text message. We've grown so lazy in the modern era! Is an e-card the same as a hallmark birthday card? I hardly think so. People TOUCH a letter. They don't touch their e-cards. I remember when my wife, before we were engaged, sprayed perfume in her letters to me so that I'd remember her smell when reading her love letters to me. Can you SMELL an email? Enough on that. So, yes, put it in writing. I was joking with a friend by my pool last week and said “I think it's hot when a woman writes me a love note, like 'I love you' or 'you made me so hot last night' in lipstick on the mirror, or sticks a little love note under my pillow saying something like 'I think about you...' while I'm sleeping, or creative things like that.” She replied, “I send my fiancée a text message!” What do you think a man is more likely to remember: the lipstick note, the note under the pillow, the note in the lunch pail, the card with perfume, or the text message? So, put it in writing but also make it something memorable by engaging the senses and making it physical!
  2. Put yourself in front of them. My Dad once told my sister that if she wanted to attract a man, to dress pretty, be smiling and happy, and make sure she stood in front of him at events where he shows up! I recall meeting my last girlfriend that way, when she was standing there at church laughing at my crazy jokes! She later followed me around the appetizer trays as we chatted, and we talked for about forty minutes that first day. Clearly, there was something going on! Are you spending time or finding activities where the person you love is spending their time? I play gigs. I've found that women, when they want to express interest in me, often show up at one of my saxophone gigs. It's a way they're letting me know they're interested and it's probably also fun and casual for them so it is easy for them to put it out there. My sister met David, her eventual husband, at a group event at Campus Crusade for Christ. David and his friend, Chuck, invited Terri and her friend, Susie, to frozen yogurt one night, and then later they went on a double-date to a movie. Chuck put his arm around Suzie, David gave Terri a kiss goodnight, and the rest was history! In one of my all-time favorite movies, It's A Wonderful Life, Mary Hatch, the woman who loves George Bailey, finds a way to go with him to the dance, to spend time around his family, to support him in his dream to “lasso the moon” and pretty much demonstrates, consistently throughout the movie, that she totally loves him lock, stock, and barrel. I wouldn't mind being loved like that, too!
  3. Do something nice for them. This one is tricky. You want the thing you do to be a favor, not create an expectation. So, use this with discretion. An ex-girlfriend once told me she thought I loved her when I took out the trash. She also said she showed her love to me when she folded my socks in the laundry (I'm color-blind), saving me anguish from wearing a navy sock with a black sock! Those little things sometimes matter. The things we do for each other, baking cookies, cooking a meal, mowing the lawn, bringing soup when they feel bad, giving them a back massage, rubbing their feet, are all ways to show you love someone. In school, I remember I scored points when I offered to carry a girl's books one time. Little things that show you are a gentleman, or a lady, matter. Show up with flowers, chocolate, or some other little small gift. Show up with a CD he likes or some other gift he wants. Do something to show him you care. Dress up for each other and look nice for each other - even after you've been dating for three years!
  4. Be there when times are tough. When someone is ill, experiences a loss at their job, goes through a tough time at work, loses a friend or loved one, goes through a death in the family, an accident, or any other thing that could be considered a “times are down” moment, it is critical that you show the person you love that you care. Seriously, friends show they are friends by being there – in both the good times and bad! If you love someone, show them you love them. Don't let them down when they're going through a tough time. Be there for the people you love when they go through tough times and you'll prove that you're a loyal, loving companion!
  5. Hold hands, hug, kiss, or make love with them. If you want to show someone you care, don't withhold physical affection. Show them you love them by greeting them with a hug and a kiss (a long one if you're already intimate – the 10-second kiss concept helps keep relationships a little spicier!). Touch them, rub their shoulders, pat them on their hip, wrap your arm around them when you're standing by them, and connect with them physically. It is a way to show we are connected, mentally and emotionally, with someone we love, by touching and connecting with them physically. I recently saw a woman and her husband together, and while they were considering a serious decision, I noticed that she rubbed his arm, rubbed his shoulders, smiled at him, gave him encouraging looks.. there was so much in her body language telling him "I love you!" that it was right there on her sleeve!
  6. Don't withhold your love. If you're still in love with someone, but playing hard to get or distancing yourself, whatever you do get back in there and communicate that you love them! Why would you pull away and cause them to doubt that you care if you truly still DO care for them? And by all means, if you're in a committed adult relationship with someone, do NOT withhold physical affection. If you're holding out, sexually, consider giving your lover sexual love unless it is painful or highly uncomfortable for you to comply or give physical affection due to an injury or illness. I've seen men cheat on women because they withheld sex. I've seen women cheat on men because they were only “getting it” once every two months. If you're in a “love” relationship, why wouldn't you want to “make love” with each other? If you want to show, through your actions, that you love someone, then making love is the most intimate and powerful way you can demonstrate your love for your partner. Of course, make sure you're fully able to trust each other first, then engage in sex as it is appropriate. But, once you're in a sexual relationship, do not then start to withhold or find excuses to avoid sex. It will degrade how you show your love through actions more than anything else you can do. As a friend of mine recently said to his girlfriend "I can deal with all the crazy stuff you put me through if you give me regular sex, but when you withhold sex all I hear and see is the bad stuff." Yes, sex matters.
  7. Give before you expect to receive. (Or give without expecting to receive.) If you've been holding back, expecting your lover to give to you first, I'd suggest YOU GIVE to them FIRST. Why initiate? Because, by putting it out there you help encourage others to love you the way you would like to be loved. We have a song we play in my band, BODY, called "Give Some to Get Some," which is about this very thing. Give some without expecting anything back, and you might be surprised by what you do get back.

If you want to build more love, yes, it is important to both say "I love you" to your partner AND show them, through your actions, that you're someone they can count on, that you're someone who supports and believes in their dreams, and you're someone who will celebrate the good and bad times, too.

If you're IN LOVE with someone, don't leave it to mystery – or to chance – for them to find out. Take action and SHOW you love them by doing something, right now, to demonstrate your love, and you'll improve the love in your life.

Enjoy this article? You'll also enjoy my article on Fun Dating Ideas here at AspireNow.

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