How To Love Someone:
Hello, my name is Noah Elkrief; and in this blog post I’m going to talk about how to love someone. When people ask the question of how to love someone, it is often assumed that loving is some type of acquired skill. As if we need to learn how to love. But, the truth is that loving is natural to us. When we came into this world, all we knew was love. We loved our parents naturally, without having to learn anything.
By the time we are adults, since it is very rare for us to experience love, we seem to think that we need to learn how to do it. But, if we want to learn how to love someone; we simply need to start with the question: “Why do I not love them? What is it about them that I don’t love?”
If you don’t have any reason not to love someone, you will just love them
See when we don’t have any reason not to love someone, we’re left loving them; it’s that simple. If we have no reason not to love it’s just our nature to love. So if you’re with somebody and you feel anger towards them, or judgment towards them, or lack of love with them; it’s generally because you have some story about them. More specifically it generally means that you have some story about how they’re not good enough or they’re doing something wrong.
The most common reason why people want to love someone is when they’re in a relationship with them. So, I’m going to speak about that a little more specifically; but everything that I speak about in terms of relationships—romantic relationships—can really be applied for everything or everyone.
The most common reason we won’t love someone is because we compare them to our ideas of “perfect”
In relationships, we tend to have an idea about the perfect way to do pretty much everything. We have ideas about the right way to cook, how much they should clean, the right thing to say, the perfect way to sleep with us, the perfect thing to say, what they should say, what they should do in this situation, how they should interact with the children, how often they should call us, all of that. Have you noticed this? We have so many ideas about the perfect way to say and do things that we’re constantly comparing what our partner does with our idea of the right way.
For example, we may think that the perfect way to interact with our children is for them to go to their soccer games and drive them places. Then, if they don’t have the time to do that or they don’t feel like doing it at some point, we think that they shouldn’t have done that, or that they don’t love the kids enough, or that they’re not a good enough father. Or, we have the idea that they should always clean up after themselves. And when they don’t clean up, we say they aren’t good enough, they don’t care enough, or they don’t care enough about us.
How to love someone: First, discover what stories are making you not love them
In order to love the person that you want to love, you first need to discover what is preventing you from loving them. The only thing that can keep you from loving someone is your own story about them or what they did. But, before we address how to lose this negative story about them, you first need to identify the specific story that you have about the person you want to love.
Please take a moment now to look at why you don’t love. Think about the person that you’re trying to love; and then ask yourself:
- How are they not good enough?
- What do they do that isn’t good enough?
- What do they do that they shouldn’t be doing?
- What do they do too much of?
- What are they doing wrong?
When you tell your story about them, you feel anger & disappointment
When you think about what they’re doing wrong, when you think about what they’re not good enough at; how do you feel? Do you feel resentment? Do you feel disappointed? Do you feel lacking in your relationship?
When you asked yourself the questions above, notice what specific answers you give yourself that provide a feeling response. In other words, when certain answers/stories showed up in your mind, you began to feel tense, angry, frustrated, or disappointed. These are the answers/stories that would be useful to write down.
It doesn’t feel good to judge our partner. It doesn’t feel good to constantly be comparing our partner in the way they act to our ideas of perfect. It just doesn’t make for an enjoyable relationship or an enjoyable experience ourselves; and especially not for them also. Because when we resent them, when we judge them, we also tend to treat them without love.
How to love someone: Discover that your stories about them aren’t true
If you don’t want to experience resentment, disappointment, and lack with your partner, and you want to experience more love in your relationship then you need to be willing to question whether your judgments about them are true and useful.
Once you are aware of what you think they’re doing wrong, ask yourself:
- Could somebody else really love their “bad” trait? Could somebody else really like it for their partner to act in the way that I think is wrong or not good enough?
- If somebody else could love this aspect about them (or the way they act), am I sure this trait is really “bad” or their actions are really “wrong” or “not good enough”?
Take a moment to locate what you think they are doing that’s “bad” or “not good enough”, then ask yourself:
- Could the opposite be true? Can I think of a few reasons or examples as to why the opposite might be true?
This exercise is about discovering that your anger and disappointment is created by your thoughts and not by your partner or what they did. This can help you to stop blaming them for your unhappiness and lack of love… which can ultimately help you to love them.
The main question to ask yourself is “Is my emotion created by the facts or my thoughts about the facts?” If they don’t put away their dishes, or if they don’t clean up after themselves, it seems that you immediately experience resentment towards your partner. It sems as though you’re angry because they didn’t do what they should do. But, if you didn’t have the thought that says “They should have cleaned up after themselves”, how would you feel? You would feel fine, with no resentment. But as soon as you have the thought says, “He should’ve done that”—bam—anger.
The next question is “What do I want to experience? Do I want to feel angry right now; or do I want to be at peace? Where is this anger coming from? His actions or my thoughts about his actions?” And when you can see that it’s your thoughts about his actions or her actions that cause your anger then you can stop blaming the other person for your emotions. Instead you can blame your own thoughts. That lets your partner off the hook a little bit. It’s not their action that created your resentment. It’s only your thoughts. Your partner is not to blame for your unhappiness, so you can stop blaming them.
Look at the judgment you have about them, what they shouldn’t be doing, what they’re not good enough at and all of that. And now look: Do you know with absolute certainty that they know what your idea of perfect is? Alright, so sometimes you might think they should call me once a day, or twice a day, they should call me from work, they should this or that. But maybe our partner doesn’t even know what we want, what the perfect thing is to us. We just assume that they should know. But how are they supposed to know? How are they supposed to act in a certain way, if they don’t even know how we want them to act?
If you can see that your partner isn’t to blame for not acting “good enough” then there is nothing to be angry at them about.
This exercise is about checking to see whether you’re using them in a specific moment. Basically, when we look to our partner to make us happy, then we’re effectively using them to make us happy. Then, naturally, when we aren’t happy, we judge them for not being good enough (at making us happy).
For example, when we want intimacy from our partner, we want them to be intimate with us in a certain way so that we can be happy. We constantly are judging them because we’re not happy, and it doesn’t make us happy. But, in that moment, we’re not thinking about them. We’re not thinking about whether they are enjoying it. Are they comfortable with the situation? Maybe they don’t want to cuddle; maybe they don’t want to be intimate the way we want to be intimate. We’re purely thinking about how this affects me. We’re saying “I want you to change to be how I want you to be”, or more honestly, “I don’t care how you want to be or what you want to do, your job is to do what I want you to do”. That is not love at all.
For example, if you’re sitting watching a movie, and you want to cuddle, but they don’t want to cuddle. So you judge them because they don’t do what you want. But if he does cuddle, then he’s not doing what he wants, and he’ll judge you because you’re forcing it on him. So when you’re making demands of your partner, look to see whether you’re being selfish in that moment; when you’re not taking them into consideration.
Are they to blame for what they’re doing? Even if they wanted to do what we want, could they actually do it? Do they have full control over their actions? If you were raised in the same way as they were, with the same upbringing, is it possible that you would act in the same way?
You entered into a romantic relationship for one reason only: You wanted be happy, and you believed that a romantic partner can and should be able to make you happy. Now that you’re in a relationship, you are still not fulfilled and happy. So, naturally, you blame this on your partner. After all, their job is to make you happy. And they should be able to make you happy, right? Well, in order for them to make you happy, they have to eliminate the cause of your unhappiness. But, is that really possible?
What makes you unhappy? Well, you have thoughts that make you worry about others’ opinions, thoughts that make you feel anxiety about the future, thoughts that make you feel insecure about your look and personality, thoughts that make you feel ashamed about your life, thoughts that make you judge others, thoughts that make you feel anger or resentment towards others, thoughts that make you feel guilty, thoughts that make you feel sad about the past, and most importantly, thoughts that make you feel insufficient, unworthy, and unloveable.
Now, does a romantic partner have the ability to delete all of the thoughts that make you unhappy? Of course not. Therefore, they are not to blame for your unhappiness. So, you can stop resenting them for the fact that you aren’t fulfilled.
Thanks for reading this blog post about how to love someone
You can try the tactics I mentioned above for how to love someone, butd don’t limit yourself to just these questions that I offered you. The most important thing when you’re not feeling love for somebody is to discover why. To question what story is going on in this moment? Because when you don’t have that story, when you’re with your partner, when you’re with someone without any story about them; you’re fine with them. It doesn’t have to be some exaggerated love like, “I love them so much and this is so wonderful.” It can be just that when you’re with them; you’re connecting, just enjoying it.
But then as soon as you have a judgment about them, it’s gone. So when you’re not loving someone, look to see why, look to see what story is there. Once you find the story then the opportunity is there to question it: to see whether it’s true, to see whether it’s a fact, to see whether they know, to see if whether they can even control it.
Also, it’s important to note that loving someone and wanting to stay in a relationship with someone are two very different things. We can love someone while recognizing that we would prefer to not spend time with them.
Thank you for reading this blog post about how to love someone. If you have some questions about how to love someone or you’d like some help with this, please feel free to contact me. I’ll see you around. Bye.