2Love There are many kinds of loving relationships. This chapter will help you to clarify your views and values about love
3Discuss“Love is essential for both physical and psychological wellbeing.” Do you agree or disagree with this quote? Why?
4LoveThere is evidence that people who do not have love in their lives are at a higher risk for a range of illnesses.
5ExerciseAlthough we treat the issues of love, sexuality, and intimacy in three different chapters, these topics cannot be completely separated.You will make connections between these 3 topics, and, hopefully, apply them to yourself.This personal inventory should help get you started.Answer these questions as they actually apply to you now.
6ExerciseTake this same inventory again, and give the responses that indicate how you’d like to be.
7DiscussHow are love, sex, and intimacy related, in your view?
8Group ExerciseIn a group, make a list of all the conscious reasons you have, or have had in the past, for not allowing yourself to love others or receive love from them
9Group ExerciseWhat do you imagine it would be like to have a loving relationship with YOU?Share your fantasy of the good things you could do for the other person, the risks of the relationship for the other person, and how he or she might feel about loving you.
10Group ExerciseWhat are some ways you could change so that you would be more lovable?
11Group Exercise Where did you learn how to love? What standards do you have for how to love? What model have you followed?
12Group ExerciseWhat stages or patterns do you see in your significant relationships?What initial assumptions do you make as you enter a relationship?
13DiscussWhat are the meanings love has for you? Discuss in specific terms what it means to love another person.
14ExerciseIt has been said that we cannot love others if we cannot love ourselves. However, sometimes loving ourselves can be difficult.Make a list of what you like about yourself.Imagine that your best friend was here. How would they describe you? What would they say are your best qualities?
15Discuss Read your list to someone else. How comfortable/uncomfortable is it to read this list?
16The Art of Loving, by Fromm “Self-love [is] respect for our own integrity and uniqueness and It cannot be separated from love and understanding of others.”
17Ingredients of a Long-Term Love Relationship Self-acceptanceAcceptance by one’s partnerAppreciation of one anotherEffective communicationCommitmentRealistic expectationsCommon interestsCollaborative decision makingAbility to deal with conflict effectively
18Meanings of Authentic Love – A Personal Perspective LOVE MEANSKnowing the personCaring about the person & demonstrating caring for themHaving a responsibility toward the person (not for them)Having respect and dignity for the personAccepting imperfectionGrowth for both people in the relationshipHaving trust for them and yourselfBeing vulnerableAllowing for imperfections
19Characteristics of Inauthentic Love Pseudo-love may look like authentic love, but it stifles growthOne whose love is inauthenticAttaches strings to loving and loves conditionallyIs possessiveDepends on the other person to fill a void in lifeNeeds to be in charge and make decisions for the other personLacks commitmentPuts little trust in the relationshipHas rigid, unrealistic expectations
20DiscussThe question is raised in this chapter—Is it worth it to love? What are your reactions to this question?
21ExerciseThink of someone that you love. What specifically do you love about them?What are some of the ways that you fail to demonstrate love for that person?What specific steps can you take to demonstrate your love for others more?
22Barriers to Loving and Being Loved MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT LOVELove is eternalLove implies constant closeness (the Prophet)We fall in and out of loveLove is exclusiveTrue love is selflessLove and anger are incompatible
23Fears of Loving and Being Loved What are common fears associated with loving others and being loved?Fear of isolationFear of being discoveredUncertainty of loveThere are NO guarantees
24DiscussIn what ways do you think you can nurture the love and caring you have for the significant people in your life? What can you do to express to these people the degree of your caring?
25DiscussDiscuss the issue of how lovable you see yourself as being. Why would another person want to love you? What do you have to offer? What characteristics do you have that are attractive? How could you become more lovable?
26HomeworkPlease answer the “Time to Reflect” questions on pages 187 – 188 for your homework assignment.