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"The downs can be really low ― and when you're in one, you have three choices: Leave, stay in a loveless marriage, or choose to love your spouse." Dr.

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.

" 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.

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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.

A few years ago, I spoke to a group of high-schoolers about the Jewish idea of love. By focusing on the good, you can love almost anyone.

" "We're choosing to love him," her mother explained, "because love is a choice." There's no better wisdom Susan's mother could have imparted to her before marriage.

"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.A woman I know once explained why she's been happily married for 25 years."A relationship has its ups and downs," she told me.The second is responsibility, responding to his or her expressed and unexpressed needs (particularly, in an adult relationship, emotional needs).The third is respect, "the ability to see a person as he [or she] is, to be aware of his [or her] unique individuality," and, consequently, wanting that person to "grow and unfold as he [or she] is." These three components all depend upon the fourth, knowledge.On another occasion I read something she'd written and offered feedback and praise. Because deep, intimate love emanates from knowledge and giving, it comes not overnight but over time ― which nearly always means after marriage.