What determines whether you feel loved or rejected?
If your partner comes up to you and says “you’re needy,” do you laugh or cry?
Even though we speak the same language with our partner, each of us swims in a sea of private meanings. Growing up in different families with unique life experiences has given each of us separate dictionaries on love.
Our dictionary sets the standard that governs not only how we feel, but how we behave, what we do, and how we act in our lives.
The meaning we give the experiences in our relationship is the judge and jury of our love life. These are what I call Love Laws.
If someone asks you, “are you a good lover?”
Your response is dependent on the laws of what a great lover means to you.
Is it based on the fact that you’ve made love to your partner, even if it lasted 7 seconds?
Is it the fact that you feel good about yourself? Or are you only a good lover when your partner can have an orgasm?
Too often, partners follow the love your partner how you want to be loved rule. When they do this, they’re leaving their partner in the cold rain of not feeling love the way they want it to be felt.
When our partners do not feel love the way they want, they feel like they are walking on eggshells. It erodes trust and pushes us towards betrayal or death of the relationship.
How Love Laws Work
Love Laws are the things that must happen to you for you to feel loved. They tend to follow a simple If-Then framework.
Love Laws work like this: If X happens, then I feel Y.
Love Law Examples:
If Kyle comes over tonight, it means our relationship is important to him.
If Lacey writes me a love note, then I know she loves me.
If Jimmy texts me back, then he desires me.
Broken Love Law Examples:
If Kelly is late to our dinner, she doesn’t respect or care for me.
If Tom doesn’t kiss me goodbye, that means he is cheating on me.
If Alex doesn’t sleep with me tonight, then she must be thinking of divorce.
Love Laws exist to shortcut the meaning of our lives. Our love laws come from the love and rejection we feel while we are growing up. When we do certain things that our parents didn’t like, we got punished. We received pain. We got ignored.
If we did things they liked, we got acknowledged, and we got feedback that made us feel good. Maybe it was physical feedback (a hug), verbal feedback (“I’m proud of you!”), or emotional feedback. Whatever it was, it made us feel good about ourselves.
These experiences allowed us to link up a cause-and-effect thought process.
If I do this, I avoid the painful feeling of rejection. If I do this, I get attention (even negative) and feel loved. This is how we create laws. If I have this law, then I will always feel loved. If I have this law, then I will avoid rejection.