How do you keep your love alive?

October 2, 2008 at 5:57 pm | Posted in love | 1 Comment
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It’s one of the most dizzying and blissful feelings in the world, being in love. However, after the first few heart-pounding months whiz by, there generally comes a season for exploring deeper emotional sharing . . . a time for the practical and demanding process of learning to love another human being. This second phase of love can feel impossibly tough, especially if you have little idea how to step beyond trying just to get your own needs met.

In his book, “Here and Now,” the spiritual writer, Henri Nouwen, comments on our human desire for love and connection, and the complexity that goes along with developing emotional closeness:

“The other, who for a while may have offered us an experience of wholeness and inner peace, soon proves incapable of giving us lasting happiness and instead of taking away our loneliness only reveals to us its depth. The stronger our expectation that another human being will fulfill our deepest desires, the greater the pain when we are confronted with the limitations of human relationships. And our need for intimacy easily turns into a demand.”

Loving someone often feels like incredibly hard work, doesn’t it? But choosing to engage in deep relationship is the most rewarding work we’ll ever do.

Quality work requires good tools, so here’s one that I believe is absolutely essential in nurturing lasting love. On a regular basis take the time to assess your needs and express them to your loved one. Then listen as the other person shares his/her needs with you. Finally, re-commit to try and meet one another’s needs as much as is humanly possible, not out of duty but out of a desire to care for each other.

What’s one of your most reliable ways to keep love alive?

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