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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.

Likewise, the best way to feel loving is to be loving ― and that means giving.

While most people believe love leads to giving, the truth (as Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler writes in his famous discourse on loving kindness) is exactly the opposite: Giving leads to love. When an enthusiastic handyman happily announces to his non- mechanically inclined wife, "Honey, wait till you see what I got you for your birthday ― a triple-decker toolbox! Neither is a father's forcing violin lessons on his son because he himself always dreamed of being a virtuoso.

" she cooed.) But in her study of real-life successful marriages Judith Wallerstein reports that "the value these couples placed on the partner's moral qualities was an unexpected finding." To the Jewish mind, it isn't unexpected at all.

Now that you're feeling so warmly toward the entire human race, how can you deepen your love for someone?

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.

Jill Murray (author of writes that if someone mistreats you while professing to love you, remember: "Love is a behavior." A relationship thrives when partners are committed to behaving lovingly through continual, unconditional giving ― not only saying, "I love you," but showing it. "Tell you what: I'll define it, and you raise your hands if you agree. When she called her parents to tell them the good news, they were elated. Obviously, there's a huge distance from here to the far more profound, personal love developed over the years, especially in marriage. Susan learned about this foundation of love after becoming engaged to David. "Mom," she said hesitantly, "I really appreciate your feelings, but, in all honesty, how can you say you love someone you've never met? At the end of the conversation, her mother said, "Darling, I want you to know we love you, and we love David." Susan was a bit dubious.

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