[This article was co-written with my colleague & friend, Julie Michaels]
I want to ask you to stop reading this for a moment, and just sit, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and see if you can remember a time in your life where you felt deeply, truly, unambiguously loved. See the person/people involved, where you were, what was happening, the sounds…feel that feeling of being loved throughout your body, noticing where in your body you most feel it. Stop reading this now and go do that. Come back and finish this article after you’ve done that.
Now, as you come back, still staying connected as best you can be with all those bodily sensations, I’d like you to ask yourself, “How often do I feel this way when I tell my partner, spouse, child, or friend that I love them?” How often are you really authentically feeling what you say when you utter “I love you” to someone dear? Now, ask yourself (and be brutally honest), “Do I feel this in my relationship with my partner more often than not?” Ask yourself, “Do I feel it with myself more often than not?”
Ideally, the answers to those two questions are “yes.” Yet, escalating divorce rates and rising levels of significant behavioral and learning issues with children would seem to indicate that that ideal is not the direction that things are going in with many many people. Our work with couples is bearing this out, as well. So, what’s the problem, really?
A key difficulty is that many of you aren’t really clear on how you truly feel/experience love and being loved. From what we’ve heard from all the couples we’ve worked with over the years, many are also suffering under the notion that how it felt in the beginning of a relationship is exactly how it still ought to be feeling now that the “honeymoon” has worn off. Another big issue is that you’re not likely stopping to newly and periodically think about the idea that the way you specifically feel love and loved is DIFFERENT from what makes anyone else feel loved, including the love partner you may have in your life…contrary to what Hollywood and Hallmark wants you to believe.
Now, imagine what could happen if you KNEW what YOUR way is, in such a way that you could communicate it to your partner they’d really get it (and, vice-versa). And, what if that communication came more from your heart (which, by the way, has more neurological connections than there are in your brain) than your mind? Here’s a way to look at it.
If you have a smartphone of some kind or a tablet, like an iPad, you probably know that what makes them run, just like our computers, is an Operating System. If you’re an Apple fan like us, then you know your iPhone and/or iPad runs on the MacOS (or Mac operating system). Did you know that you have your own unique Love Operating System (LoveOS), and that it’s one of three key foundations of great relating with anyone? That LoveOS is based on a combination of your neurological experiences that have been coded internally, and a lifetime of emotional (and even ancestral) history that tells you when you feel really loved. If you don’t know what our Love OS is, you can spend a lot of the time fumbling around haphazardly trying to get your love quota filled (giving and receiving) and wonder why you’re usually not satisfied, want more and more from your relationships, and are wondering “Is this as good as it gets?”
Two of the other key bedrocks of great relating are being masterful at communicating, and having values (especially relationship values) that are aligned with the values of whoever you’re in any kind of relationship with. If those two aren’t strong, and you’re not clear on what both of your LoveOS’ are, that relationship keeps living as a discrepancy that easily can make you feel that your love for each other is diminishing…which may not really be true. Besides learning how to communicate better (which allows you to even look at how aligned your values are with each other’s or not), you also need to resolve to evolve in your relationships. Wondering what that means?
It means learning – newly – what love means to you, how you feel it the most, and helping your partner know what that is. It means doing the same with them. It means experimenting with doing what works for the other person, even if it’s different from what you like, in the spirit of learning a new language. It means COMMUNICATING, even when it’s challenging to do so. Mature human love evolves from puppy love, to crushes, to falling in love, to deep attraction, and deeper intimacy that continues to grow if you nurture it. Love is an experience and feeling to be tendered and fed…which we easily forget to do in our day-to-day lives. Knowing YOUR LoveOS, and your partner’s (or potential partner’s), makes all the difference in the world. If you can combine that with values that align with each other, you CAN create a rock-solid, long-lasting relationship like the one we both have been enjoying with our partners for years.
So, today, begin to look at “How do I know when I’m loved?” Begin to be familiar with what you feel AS Love. Find out what your Values are in life and love, so you can freshly re-align with those you’re in relationships with in a more harmonious way. There will always be challenges in men and women living and loving together – we have different styles, we have different brains and processing – but when you match someone’s LoveOS, you can hit that sweet spot inside them that says… “Aaahhh” and light them up. Even more importantly, if you’ll commit to consistently feeding Love within you (rather than fitting it in when your busy schedule allows), in your partnerships, and in your relationship with your Spirit and whatever the Divine means to you, then you will not be asking “Is this it?” as much.
You get what you look for, not necessarily what you want. It’s how the filters inside your brain work and how the law of attraction fulfills. Love is everywhere – where are you looking? Where are you being responsible for the Love in your life and how it shows up? Einstein pointed out that we can’t change or fix a problem using the same mind and same elements that created the problem in the first place. So, I invite you to learn what your Love Operating system is, first and foremost. Learn what the other’s is. And be sure to include your Spirit, and your connection to the Divine, in this exploration. Do that, and your life will shift.
If you’d like more information on how to determine your LoveOS, and how to work with it in your partnerships, you can get more info by clicking here.