The scriptures talk about loving your neighbor as you love yourself. But we forget this. Many of us find it easier to love others than we do to love ourselves, or to ask for love. Brennan Manning, in his wonderful book, "The Ragamuffin Gospel," surmised that perhaps the scripture that talks about “in as much as you have done it unto the least of these” could really be talking about you and me. We are often the needy ones who block others from getting too close to us.

Here is an exercise I would like you to try with your mate.

  1. Tell your mate the qualities you would like to be lovingly recognized and appreciated for – .i.e. preparing meals for dinners together;
  2. State how you would like that love to be shown – i.e. words of affirmation,
  3. Tell them exactly what is your love language – i.e. to be hugged often in a loving way;
  4. Share with your mate how any childhood issues get in the way of receiving love – i.e. you fear rejection if you ask for what you desire; 
  5. Notice the feelings of shame or embarrassment you have in completing this exercise.

We all need love. And lots of it. Are you ready to talk about your need for it, and even share the specific ways you would like it? Are you actively healing from any difficulties in childhood that may sabotage your openness to love? If so, you may really be ready for love.

David Hawkins, PhD., has worked with couples and families to improve the quality of their lives by resolving personal issues for the last 30 years. 

He is the author of over 18 books, including
  "Love Lost: Living Beyond a Broken Marriage," "Saying It So He'll Listen," and  "When Pleasing Others Is Hurting You." His newest book, "When the Man in Your Life Can’t Commit," releases February 2006. Dr. Hawkins grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and lives on the South Puget Sound where he enjoys sailing, biking, and skiing. He has active practices in two Washington cities.