By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

A few days ago we ran across a marvelous quote by Jonathan Carroll, author of Outside the Dog Museum. It goes like this:

“You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip.”

We think this is wonderful advice for those “falling in love.” Too often, two people feel the early signs of a loving relationship only to move too fast and scare away the one they are falling in love with. Or worse yet, they become so enamored with “being in love” that they become blinded to the warning signs. They so desperately want to be in love and be loved that they miss important clues to the real feelings of the one they love.

In our thousands of interviews over the past 30 years with individuals who have had a successful and long-term relationships, we have repeatedly heard this advice – go slow in the beginning.

You’ve heard the old expression, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” One thing for certain – neither was love. It develops over time. It requires patience. It requires self-examination. And it most certainly requires you to run slowly across fields until you find the proper footing, lest you fall down!

Building confidence in any budding love relationship takes time and commitment. It requires a level of objectivity about what is going on at a level you may have never reached before. People falling in love do not lie to each other, but they often lie to themselves about what is happening to them. They let feelings and emotions get the best of them before they are truly ready to share their heart with another – before they are ready to make the honest and caring commitment required to make love last.

Recently, someone sent us a copy of a beautiful essay entitled “Letters To My Son"
by Kent Nerburn. Our favorite passage is excerpted below:

Here “is where many lovers go wrong. Having been so long
without love, they understand love only as a need. The first blush of new love is filled to overflowing, but as
their love cools, they revert to seeing their love as a need.
They cease to be someone who generates love and instead
become someone who seeks love. They forget that the
secret of love is that it is a gift, and that it can be made to
grow only by giving it away.”

The message here should be clear – love is a gift you give to someone, and if you are lucky, they give it back in return. But the real lesson here is that you need to step back and make sure that you feel good about giving your love away as a gift. And to do this takes time. It takes reflection. It requires being honest with yourself about what you are feeling and what you are giving away to another human being. Rushing to judgment about matters of such profound importance is never a wise thing to do. Giving love away takes time. Accepting true love takes courage. And trust. And time.

Recently, we wrote an article called How Will I Know I Am In Love? that captured the attention of many people around the world. We got many comments about it. Bloggers picked it up. People talked about it.

Our essential message in that article is that there are clear and telltale signs for love. When you recognize those seven categories for knowing you are in love, honestly reflect upon them, and cherishing them as the gift of love that they are, you are in love. But don’t confuse your feelings of love for another, your gift of love to another, without also truthfully asking yourself, “Have I also received the gift of love from the one I love?”

When you feel good about giving your love as a gift and that feeling is reciprocated by the one you love, then you both are in love with each other. As Nerburn tells us, the “secret of love is that it is a gift, and that it can be made to grow only by giving it away.”

True and lasting love takes time because true and lasting love is all about the reciprocal gift of love between two human beings. To be in love is to dash across the field of lilies on a beautiful spring morning unafraid to fall down as you leap into the arms of the one you love and who loves you. Go, be in love if you are ready to give the gift of love.

In love and marriage the simple things matter. Love well!

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

For hundreds of tips to enhance your relationship and essential marriage advice get the Doctor’s best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts (Jossey-Bass/Wiley) Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
Nautilus Book Awards Winner for Relationships

Author's Bio: 

As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With over 30 years of research on love and successful marriage across six continents of the world and their own 46-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.

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