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The Two Ingredients of a Real Love Potion

If your mind cringes or your belly flip-flops while you read this, you’re not alone.

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Illustration Credit: Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Lisa Eisenbrey

Terry holds his head in his hands, visibly shaken after his confession: He’s been with his partner for eight years, engaged for two, and isn’t sure he loves her enough to marry her. I ask him if he’s shared this with his fiancée and his angst increases. “Telling her would mean it’s over. We have a decent relationship, we don’t really fight; we’ve just grown apart.”This is my cue. “Let’s talk about love, then—perhaps it will help to see it from another perspective.”These days, I map out interpersonal love with clients like Terry this way: At the top of the chart I write the word LOVE. Most people claim to want to experience this sublime state in their intimate relationships. In taking time to ponder what creates this ultimate state, I’ve noticed that it includes an atmosphere of nonjudgmental presence. This might be experienced as spaciousness, deep ease, sweetness, or acceptance. When clients enjoy a mutual exchange of this quality of presence with another, they often describe “feeling deeply seen or heard.”So feeling seen and heard in a nonjudgmental atmosphere supports the field of love. These are wha …

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Love AdviceAcceptanceTrustVulnerability

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