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True giving, as Erich Fromm points out, is other-oriented, and requires four elements.

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On another occasion I read something she'd written and offered feedback and praise. Because deep, intimate love emanates from knowledge and giving, it comes not overnight but over time ― which nearly always means after marriage.

The intensity many couples feel before marrying is usually great affection boosted by commonality, chemistry, and anticipation.

And just as easily, it can spontaneously degenerate when the magic "just isn't there" anymore. Love is the attachment that results from deeply appreciating another's goodness. After all, most love stories don't feature a couple enraptured with each other's ethics. God created us to see ourselves as good (hence our need to either rationalize or regret our wrongdoings). Nice looks, an engaging personality, intelligence, and talent (all of which count for something) may attract you, but goodness is what moves you to love. Just focus on the good in another person (and everyone has some). I was once at an intimate concert in which the performer, a deeply spiritual person, gazed warmly at his audience and said, "I want you to know, I love you all." I smiled tolerantly and thought, "Sure." Looking back, though, I realize my cynicism was misplaced.

Erich Fromm, in his famous treatise "The Art of Loving," noted the sad consequence of this misconception: "There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love." (That was back in 1956 ― chances are he'd be even more pessimistic today.) So what is love ― real, lasting love? What we value most in ourselves, we value most in others.

[Love] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 1 Corinthians 13:6 We are constantly bombarded in our day with messages which seek to destroy the Biblical definition of marriage.

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