What is ‘Love,’ anyways?

Within the context of this page and site, Love refers to the aspect of life that involves relating to people—others or one’s own self.

What role does social relation play in our own psychological well-being?
As you’ll learn in the various sections composing the Love Cornerstone, relationships are possibly the single most important aspect to a life well-lived.

“Positive relationships are the single most reliable predictor of well-being, across life domains and life stages.” – Martin Seligman, Flourish

The Strongest of 4 Cornerstones of Meaning

If you haven’t already checked it out, you can find a breakdown of the models of well-being found on this site here.

There, you’ll see a recurring theme: meaning—not just happiness—is central to psychological well-being.
And there’s loads of science to prove it.

The Power of Meaning

*Click for the full infographic*

What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness
Teaser: it isn’t fame or money. Good relationships make us happier and healthier, for longer.

For most people, self and social relation is send-to-none as a source of meaning in life.

Love is the most important aspect of a life well-lived.

And, Love is a category of factors…

Love Contains Many Subjects

As illustrated in the Landscape of Meaning model, social relationships frame the human experience.

We are deeply social animals. Our sense of security, comfort, safety, motivation, and on and on…how we relate to ourselves and others ties into even the deepest parts of life.

It’s no wonder that ‘Love’ is such a bucket word. You can ‘love’ a friend, a family member, or a spouse. You can ‘love’ yourself, or share ‘love’ outwardly to the world.

David Brooks highlights the importance of positive relationships for a meaningful, joyful life.

So, this cornerstone of Love is an umbrella of many different subjects. And each subject is its own entire section of the site.

This page is a launchpad to each of those sections.

Every section under the Love umbrella is given a brief introduction below, with a link to its respective landing page.
And each section is like a small book. The landing page begins the journey, and reading from page to page will develop your understanding of that aspect of well-being, providing practice and resources along the way.

You’ll find the sections split into 2 categories:

Being Love

These are the factors of Love that start from a place of self-relation. They are skills we foster within ourselves to interface outwardly with more heart. Each section is a life-long practice that empowers us to handle ourselves, the world, and relationships with more grace and awareness.

Relational Love

These are the factors of Love to do with others and our relationships with them. Relationships are just about everything. If you’re successful with others, you can be successful and satisfied in life.
So, enjoy the content within each of these sections. You will find ample perspectives and resources to enliven, grow, and repair your relationships.

Love Taxonomies

If you’re curious about love in a broad sense, this section could be an excellent place to start. Many popular conceptions of love are actually a mix and match of the below sections. We use the word so loosely that it’s hard to know what we actually mean, even when communicating things with huge importance, like our feelings to a romantic partner.

This section will help you bring some sense of order to the funhouse that is “Love.”

Let’s dive in to Love!

Being Love

Listening could be one of the most underrated social skills you can practice.

In this section, you’ll learn the ins and outs—the art and science—of listening. You can assess your listening skills with a quiz, learn about different listening styles, and pinpoint the common challenges of listening (characterized as dinner guests!).

Check it out:

There is a state of consciousness characterized by heightened awareness and reflective consciousness of the present moment. It is accompanied by feelings of awe, connection, unity, vividness, love, and meaning.  This state is called Presence.

In this section, you’ll hone in what presence is, learn about its benefits and the barriers that stand in the way, and learn the pathways to cultivating it.

Check out Presence:

In the moment, we experience fear and a sense of weakness. But studies show that others see vulnerability as brave and endearing.

This section will break down vulnerability in detail and unlock how to harness it for a multitude of benefits.

Compassionate Communication, also know as Nonviolent Communication (NVC), is the art of communicating based on organic human needs and feelings.

Microsoft’s CEO gave one book on NVC to his managers, and it transformed the company’s culture. Now NVC is ulitized among communities, organizations, and families worldwide.
And this section may be the most comprehensive resource for it on the web.

“Forgiveness is not a gift that I give to someone else. It is a gift that gives itself to me.” – Nelson Mandela

The skill of forgiveness is as overlooked as it is misunderstood. This section offers a multitude of resources and techniques to flex this powerful form of love.

Self-Love is the rock you stand on to deal with the world outside…the thing of life.

To be a true friend to oneself gives us a well of love that we can share with other aspects of life, like friendships and partnered relationships.
This section breaks down the mind, body, and spirit of Self-Love, and exposes the barriers and bridges to overcome its challenges.

Relational Love

For some, friends are family. For some, friends are life.
In our friends we have people with whom to share the joy, the fun, the little and big things, and the play in life.

This section will cover the myths and benefits of friendship, how to foster connection, how to both make new friends and nurture existing friendships, and even how to build community.

Learn about Friendship:

This is dating like you’ve never seen it before.

We’ll dig into the psychology, the strategy, and every other nook and cranny of how to find the right partner for you.
You’ll learn about dating stages, do checkups on your commitment readiness and relationship health, and much MUCH more.

Up your game:

What about when you’re no longer dating and have a long-term partner?
The love in one’s relationship with a long-term partner or spouse might be the most critical thing to foster in life, when we have it.

Romance is an art.
And it can be practiced. This section offers aids for cultivating romance no matter the relationship.

Attachment Theory uncovers surprising patterns in yourself and others.
It’s about understanding how we relate to one another as a product of our unique upbringings.

In this section you can take a quiz to learn your attachment style, and learn how to deal with yourself and others, depending on their styles of attachment.

This section is like a helpful database of ways to create magic in a relationship.

These little rituals will grow your connection playfully, meaningfully, continually, and easily.