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The way God created us, actions affect our feelings most.

For example, if you want to become more compassionate, thinking compassionate thoughts may be a start, but giving tzedaka (charity) will get you there.

True giving, as Erich Fromm points out, is other-oriented, and requires four elements.

The first is care, demonstrating active concern for the recipient's life and growth.

It allows you into another person's world and opens you up to perceiving his or her goodness.

At the same time, it means investing part of yourself in the other, enabling you to love this person as you love yourself.

These may be the seeds of love, but they have yet to sprout.

On the wedding day, emotions run high, but true love should be at its lowest, because it will hopefully always be growing, as husband and wife give more and more to each other.Many years ago, I met a woman whom I found very unpleasant.So I decided to try out the "giving leads to love" theory. A few days later I offered to help her with a personal problem. This is why your parents (who've given you more than you'll ever know) undoubtedly love you more than you love them, and you, in turn, will love your own children more than they'll love you.On another occasion I read something she'd written and offered feedback and praise. Because deep, intimate love emanates from knowledge and giving, it comes not overnight but over time ― which nearly always means after marriage.The intensity many couples feel before marrying is usually great affection boosted by commonality, chemistry, and anticipation.Reprinted with permission from "HEAD TO HEART" by Gila Manolson.

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