Last week, I heard an ad on the radio for a marriage retreat, “How to Fix Your Spouse.” I was really taken aback! I didn’t know spouses could be broken let alone fixed! It is an interesting idea.

Knowing about my interest in studying relationships, a friend recently sent me an article, “How to Get the Man of Your Dreams to Love You.” This article coupled with the idea of fixing spouses got me thinking – so I Googled, “How to get someone to love you.” I got 63,700,000 hits…really!? Google offers links to that many sources about exerting my individual power over other people to manipulate them to love me!? Wow!!! That is a lot of potential manipulating. Here are some of my favorite book and article titles from the first three pages of the Google search results. (I didn’t go through all 63,700,000 of them!)

  • “How to Make a Man Fall in Love with You”
  • “How to Encourage a Woman to Fall in Love with you”
  • “How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You”
  • “How to Make Her Want You”
  • “Make a Girl Become Obsessed With You”
  • “How to Become a Man Magnet”
  • “47 Ways to Make Her Love You”
  • “How to Get Hot Women into Bed”
  • “How to Get the Love You Want in 48 Hours”
  • “How to Get and Keep a Good Man”

And then I found my favorite book title, “Get Over Yourself!: How to Get Real, Get Serious, and Get Ready to Find True Love.” (I haven’t read the book, but it does sound like it might be worth reading.) Why did this one draw my attention? Because it is one of the few that seems to focus on what really brings love into life – YOU! If you want love in your life then you have to start looking at how you need to be in relationships. Although catchy, the other titles are centered on learning the “tricks of the trade.” Once you have them mastered, you can control and manipulate your way to love. That just does not work!

Get over the idea that love is a gift to which you are entitled or an award you will win if you play the “love game” well. Love isn’t a contest. It isn’t a trophy or honor. It isn’t about manipulating and strategizing encounters and relationships so that you can win a prize. Love is not a prize – Love is a way to live. If you want love in your life then you need to start focusing on what is genuinely important for experiencing love – you learning to live a life of love?

Love is an action word. It is a state of being rather than an emotion. Emotions come and go. Love (when it defines your life) becomes a way of living. When you allow love to define you, it will last forever!

In all of the study and research I have done in the area of love and relationships, the best definition of love I’ve found is in the Bible. The “Love Chapter” (I Corinthians 13:4-13) really lays out the most excellent road map for how to live a life of love. The Bible is loaded with many examples of such guidance and excels at teaching that love’s definition is not that of an emotion, but rather it is a way for each of us to live…

Romans 12:10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

Galatians 5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…

Whether you are a Christian or not the Bible will serve you well in your quest of learning about real love. The next time you are interested in bringing more love into your life, begin by examining the thing that will matter most in the dance of love – yourself. Ask yourself…Are you living love? Are you being love? Are you doing love? For only when you start living love will you be ready to recognize real love in others and enjoy the benefits of a relationship based on love.