The question of how to be successful in love can carry more than one meaning. Some actually mean by it, “How can I have as many sexual partners as possible?” Some mean, “How can I make a certain person fall in love with me?”
I refuse to broach either question on this blog. When I write about success, I write about real success, the kind of success that brings lasting fulfillment, not the kind that focuses on ultimately meaningless pleasures and things. So if you’re disappointed, feel free to seek the answer to your selfish question elsewhere.
I want to approach the question, “How to be successful in love?” at an angle that isn’t often taken with it. I am going to consider it in the light of unselfish thoughts and actions aimed at someone to help them – and only to help them, not to get anything back.
Having been married for almost ten years and given birth to a boy who has been a challenge to raise, to say the least, I believe I have some credibility on this topic. Therefore I present to you seven principles to help you succeed in love.
1. Love yourself.
In the Bible, Jesus commands His followers to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” In other words, if you don’t love yourself, you will not be able to love your neighbor.
This is not talking about spoiling yourself or living only for yourself. Rather, it refers to respecting and appreciating yourself. A lot of people go about with “I can’t”, or “I’m not good enough” at least in their minds, if not on their lips. If you ar constantly self-defeating, you are not loving yourself.
Others live to please others, thinking that it is wrong to do anything to please themselves. So they never work on that hobby they would dearly enjoy, they never take a vacation, they never take any time during the day just to kick back and do something to energize and rejuvenate themselves.
Neglecting your personal needs is not loving yourself.
If you want to grasp how to succeed in love, you need to begin with yourself. Respect, appreciate, and nurture yourself. Then you will have a healthy perspective toward other people as well as the desire and energy to help them.
2. Give of yourself generously and cheerfully.
When I broke my arm and had to have surgery, I could do almost nothing for the first two weeks afterward. I couldn’t even dress myself. My husband had to do most of that for me, plus sweep the floor, plus fix all the meals, plus do the dishes from every meal, plus do laundry, plus, plus, plus.
He had to take over all my regular duties. And he didn’t complain once.
Recently, he had an illness that caused him to have a moderate fever for three days. I willingly set aside my writing and online tasks to wait on him. While I’m not always so benevolent – especially when our son is begging me to play with him – I’m not going to neglect a family member who truly is struggling to do for himself.
3. Don’t take your circle of people for granted.
This ties right in with the second principle. Whether it’s a good friend, a spouse, a sibling, or your offspring, if you really want to succeed in love you need to continually appreciate them.
Again, I fall short here. I snap at both my husband and my son far too often – and I can’t always blame P.M.S.; sometimes it’s that something has not gone the way I’d planned and I get irritated and frustrated about it – and I sometimes forget the reasons I ever married J in the first place.
Taking our loved ones for granted is common and natural, but can be overcome if you work at the habit of seeing the good in them as much as possible.
4. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
You may have heard the story before about a man driving recklessly down the freeway and cutting in and out of lanes, nearly causing several accidents. Your natural reaction is anger toward him.
Unless you know that the man is driving a seriously injured spouse or child to the emergency room. Suddenly, your entire perspective of him changes.
Has someone spoken shortly to you? Acted bitterly over some situation or other? Given you the cold shoulder?
When such things happen, our first reaction is usually to get offended or turned off. To protect ourselves, we build up a wall to keep that person from getting too close again.
But you don’t know what a person has gone through, is going through. What if all that person needs is someone to smile and listen and offer a hug or an encouraging word? You could lose a potentially great relationship because you immediately assumed the worst about the person because of their behavior.
Try doing the opposite, if you really want to know how to succeed in love.
5. Be nice.
When you are nice to other people, they generally are nice back. Because we were nice to the wealthy property owner next door, we now have access to his beautiful wooded acreage and were given his bulldozer guy to do a half day’s work for us.
It pays to be nice.
6. Apologize…even if you didn’t start it.
This is a hard one for me. Often when J and I have an argument, I come to the conclusion that it was ultimately his fault and therefore he should apologize to me.
He usually doesn’t. More often than not, it’s because he gets over the conflict a lot faster than I do, and he’s thinking that I have, too!
But sometimes I have really hurt him with my tongue. And frankly, if I had just slowed my brain and mouth down enough to listen, I would have discovered that he and I had been, after all, on the same page.
When I admit my fault in the rift, he admits his. It’s as if my ability to rise above my offense frees him to rise above his.
Try it in your relationships. It works.
7. Fix your mistakes as soon as you can.
A lot of people are embarrassed when they make a mistake. Instead of trying to fix it, they try to cover it up somehow. It didn’t cause a problem with anybody, so why ‘fess up about it or try to fix it?
The reason is integrity. Responsibility. “You make a mess, you clean it up.” Besides, you only think that your mistake is not going to harm anyone. But if you leave it like it is, it may.
So fix it.
How to be successful in love
To sum up, live the Golden Rule. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. This is how to make friends and influence people.
To your success!