Saturday, December 03, 2011

Are you REALLY in love?

Are you REALLY in love?
Bergner (2000) cites 7 required elements that you or your romantic partner must have in order to fully be considered, 'in love'. The article goes over the seven key elements required for love:
1) Investment in the well being of the beloved,
2) Appreciation and Admiration,
3) Sexual Desire,
4) Intimacy/Inclusion,
5) Commitment,
6) Exclusivity, and
7) Understanding.
If you don't feel one of these requirements for your partner, you probably do not feel 'in love' yet. If, on the other hand, you DO feel 'in love', but lack one of these requirements, you do not technically have true love for your partner, and you should ask yourself why you are missing one of the requirements. In this latter case, you may have a form of love, but not true 'romantic' love.
I would like to add that based on the above, you can technically be in love with someone else even if the feelings are not reciprocated, i.e. 1) ready and willing to invest in the well being of the beloved, 2) having deep appreciation and admiration for him/her, 3) having sexual desire for him/her, 4) wanting intimacy and inclusion in his/her life, 5) desiring commitment with that person, 6) desiring exclusivity, and 7) holding an understanding of the other person.
I have recently found that it is helpful to share this list with romantic partners, so that they too can better understand what love is.  If you both discuss where you both are on each of the 7 requirements, you can work towards kindling (or rekindling) the love in your relationships.
Berger, R. M. (2000). Love and barriers to love - an analysis for psychotherapists and others. "American Journal of Psychotherapy, 54(1), Winter 2000.
No Rules, No Excuses, No Regrets (r)
-Monroe Mann, Esq, MBA, ME

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