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It's like what I learned in high school English that it's redundant to say "close proximity" because the very definition of proximity is to be close. When a baby is born, the parents don't look at that baby and say, "We'll only love her if she gets straight As (preferably A pluses), is beautiful, dresses well, is tidy and polite, excels at sports, and attends an Ivy League kindergarten." No, they love the baby because she exists, because she's a miracle, because she's here.
But the truth is that if it's conditional, it's not love, and, sadly, much of what we call "love" isn't love at all, but approval. Love isn't dependent on "good" behavior which, in our culture, is defined by sharing your toys, not making a mess, using an indoor voice when you're indoors, saying please and thank you and excuse me, not screaming in public, not crying too much or at all, not bothering your parents as you're trying to fall asleep or in the middle of the night.
That means listening and seeking to understand, and asking questions for clarification so you can increase understanding. It also leads to more effective problem-solving when conflict arises.
It requires the ability and willingness to find the common ground.
Most often, the issues revolve around ineffective communication, mistrust, the need for power and control, and the quest to be right.
In order to have a loving and thriving relationship, a couple needs to have a good energy flow and synergy.
Honoring your individual differences and working with your similarities helps build consensus.
What to watch out for: Consensus can become a struggle to achieve if the need to have power over someone or to the need to be right is dominant.
Then they spend the rest of their lives trying to win the love/approval of everyone around them, including teachers, friends, lovers, and bosses. Sometimes perfectionists have had a parent who is a perfectionist, someone who awarded approval on the basis of performance and achievement. Love is sometimes effortful, but it's not based on someone else's effort. To sign up for her free 78-page e Book, "Conscious Transitions: The 7 Most Common (and Traumatic) Life Changes," visit her website at