As you've probably found in your own life, being "in love"
doesn't necessarily mean you've found true, long-lasting
love. Ideally, falling in love leads to long-lasting love,
but most often that doesn't happen. Let's look at what's
involved with being "in love" first, and then I'll come back
to "True Love" below.
Falling In Love
Recent studies on love have come up with a revealing insight
into the "in love" feeling. The studies found that:
This discovery explains some of the most ancient and
perplexing riddles of romantic relationships, such as why
"playing hard to get" works, why "absence makes the heart
grow fonder," and why being in love is different than long-
- In order to be in love, a person has to have their
love returned somewhat, but not altogether, while having
reason to hope that their love will be returned totally
at some time in the future.
It explains why men and women who treat the opposite sex
with indifference are so popular. Why the person you don't
really care that much about is the one who's mad for you,
and the one you're dying for is not.
If you're indifferent to someone, you give them little dribs
and drabs of attention out of boredom or pity, right? Now
we know that's precisely the formula for keeping someone in
love with you. Of course, acting indifferent is easy when
you don't care. The hard part is acting indifferent when
you do care a lot.
The new research findings help explain another key element
of the "in love" feeling. We've known for a long time that
fantasy is one of the most important ingredients of love. A
person in love has what pyschologists call "aggrandizing"
fantasies about the one they love.
Ask anyone who's in love to tell you about their beloved,
and you'll hear about someone too wonderful to be true. You
smile, reminded of the old expression, "love is blind." The
old expression is true because everyone in love has a
fantasized image of the person they love.
Lovers since love began have been portrayed as pining away
somewhere plucking the petals from flowers and daydreaming
about their love object. That classic portrayal meshes
perfectly with the new research findings: if you want to be
the love object, you have to give your lover time to think
about you, to fantasize about you -- without you being
there. If you're in their face constantly, they have no
opportunity to develop an "aggrandized" image of you.
Some of my best relationships with desirable, sought-after
men bloomed when I had to go away for a while or the man had
to go somewhere soon after we met. The reason, of course,
was that the separation gave us time to fantasize about each
Two months after I started dating my husband regularly, I
went to Romania as a guest of the Romanian government to
research youth treatments. He was left to worry about what
I was doing gallivanting behind the Iron Curtain. Actually,
my trip was sexless, but he imagined me cavorting with some
Romanian Lothario the whole time I was gone.
He had plenty of time to miss me and fantasize about me. He
even got a chance to overdose on other ladies. Since I
wasn't around, I always came out more favorably than the
competition. He had only the fantasy me to compare with the
real them. Being unavailable actually helped make me seem
more interesting and desirable.
Separation almost always makes the heart grow fonder, and
this works later on in your relationship as well as in the
beginning. Always plan some time apart. It's good to give
your loved one a chance to miss you once in awhile.
If you've read "Are You Giving Too
Much Too Soon?" and wondered why I made such a big point
of not over-giving,
perhaps some lightbulbs will be coming on right about now.
I'll say it again: Giving Too Much Too Soon is the biggest
mistake made by both men and women in the early stages of
their relationships. And learning to pace your giving --
your availability, the "I love you's," the gifts -- is the
hardest thing to learn.
Perhaps now, though, knowing why indifference works and
"absence makes the heart grow fonder," you'll be more
motivated to follow my advice about not giving too much too
soon. If you're at the beginning of a relationship and
haven't read the "Giving" articles, please do so; and in the
meantime, promise me that:
Keep reminding yourself of the old adage, "Play hard to
get." Only instead of playing hard to get,
be hard to get!
- You won't call him or her on the phone every single
night just to chat. Skip a night or two. Call
Don't send her every cute card you find.
Don't bake his favorite oatmeal raisin cookies for him on
The next time he asks you out, tell him you'd love to see
him but you already have plans. If you've been asking her
out three nights a week, cut it back to just one night for a
week or so. That's exactly what you'd be doing if you were
popular and busy. And that's just what he or she wants --
not someone easy to get that no one else wants.
Or, if someone is acting indifferent toward you, curb your
natural inclination to try harder to please them. You know
now that the way to make them stop acting indifferent is to
act even more indifferent than they are.
If making someone fall in love with you isn't enough reason
to "play hard to get," there are other reasons you shouldn't
fall in love too quickly. One is because you need time to
get to know someone before you fall in love. Falling in
lust is understandable, but don't let your love be so blind
that you ignore the checklists in
"Qualifying Someone". Another reason to pace yourself
is to let a little true love develop along with the lust and
the "in love" feelings.
True, long-lasting love is built on trust, communication,
and shared experiences. People who are deeply in love seem
to somehow identify with the inner core of their mate --
they're "on the same wavelength." Even if it's been 50
years since they had the first "in love" feelings, they
still look and act in tune. They sit alike, talk alike,
finish each other's sentences.
It's like they're linked with a special, deep form of
communication. If you've ever been deeply and mutually in
love with someone, you've probably experienced this. It's a
magical feeling, and it's wonderful when it happens as if by
magic. But you don't have to wait passively, hoping that
the magic happens. If you have someone who meets your
Criteria and passes the checklists in
"Qualifying Someone", you can do more than you might
think to create this magic in your relationship.
Read "The Amazing Power of
Mirroring", where you'll find the
secrets of creating rapport with someone and building their
trust in you. Then go on to "Inner
Languages", where you'll
find how you can deepen your relationship with him or her
and start to develop the special, deep form of communication
that's the basis of True Love. And don't miss "Love-Building Strategies", which
describes techniques for strengthening the bond of your
Related Keywords: Love Strategies, Attracting, Making Love Grow, Giving Too Much
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