How to Make Her Love You: Passionate Love, and Old Love
As a follow-up to yesterday's article, "What It's Like with a Girl Who's Really In Love", I've put together today's piece on how to create those in-love feelings with the women in your life, where they come from, and how to sustain them.
We already have a great piece on this subject on this website - Ricardus's "How to Make a Girl Fall in Love with You", which I'd recommend you read first if you haven't already. It provides the perfect foundation for this article.
That in mind, I want to expand on the topic of making girls fall in love here, and talk about the two different kinds of love: what I call passionate love, and what I call old love.
The two are very different, and each are used for different things.
Passionate love was the kind of love I was talking about for the most part in yesterday's post on what it's like to be with a girl who's really in love with you. Passionate love is what people mean when they say "in love." You can love someone but not be in love with her; just like you love your friends, and you love your family, and you love your parakeet, but you're not in love with any of them.
In sociology, the two different kinds of love (passionate love, and what I call "old love", and sociologists refer to as "compassionate love") have some rather clear distinctions, as highlighted in this 1998 study from the journal Sociological Inquiry titled "Passionate and Companionate Love in Courting and Young Married Couples":
“Sociological and social psychological discourse on love posits the existence of two distinct love types: passionate and companionate love. Little research, however, has been conducted to document the presumed theoretical differences between these two varieties of love. The primary purpose of this study was to examine empirically the extent to which passionate and companionate love differ on three major dimensions. Passionate love, to a greater degree than companionate love, was hypothesized (1) to be sexualized, (2) to be associated with intense positive and negative emotional experiences, and (3) to decline with the passage of time. These hypotheses were tested with data collected from a sample of 197 couples representing different stages of the courtship process and transition to marriage. Support was found for the first and third hypotheses; however, little support was found for the second. The degree to which passionate and companionate love were related to satisfaction and commitment were also examined. Passionate and companionate love were associated with satisfaction and commitment, although companionate love was more highly associated than passionate love with satisfaction.”
So, here, the researchers found that passionate love:
- Was sexualized love
- Did not have much impact on swings of emotions
- Declines with the passage of time
- Is, along with compassionate love, equally associated to commitment
- Is somewhat less associated to satisfaction than compassionate love is
The only one surprising for me was the lack of support for the mood swing hypothesis, although thinking back, I've certainly had very passionately in-love girlfriends who nevertheless had very stable emotions, and I've also known people who constantly mood swung regardless of being in-love or not... assuming the research is accurate here, perhaps this is simply a case of people prone to mood-swings sticking out in our minds as characteristic of love because they seem so inflamed with passion, when in fact that's their normal operating behavior.
What is Passionate Love... and How Long's It Last?
Passionate love is that feeling you get when you're newly in love with someone amazing... everything feels wonderful and joyous and fresh and new, you give each other ridiculous nicknames that make your friends want to go toss their cookies but seem for all the world to you like the sweetest things ever spoken, and you're absolutely obsessed with one another and simply can't get enough of each other.
Passionate love is largely a function of uncertainty... it's when you feel not-so-in-control over the outcome.
And the less in-control you feel over:
- How you found this other person
- How you ended up together with her
- How long you can hold onto her for
... combined with the strength of your desire to be with her and to hold onto her, the more powerfully that in-love feeling seizes you.
Normally, in most relationships, you're going to have one person who's in control, and one person who isn't. There are various degrees of how in-control one person is and how not in-control the other is, but one person is almost always more so than the other.
Are there exceptions? What about the relationships where BOTH people are madly in love with one another?
In the article on what it's like when a girl is in love with you, M asked:
“But I WANT to find a girl whom I fall in love with. Not just with me being in control and feeling mildly stifled and her doting over me constantly. That sounds pretty dull and uninspiring.
This picture seems too black and white to me. Aren't there couples where both partners are in love with each other? How do you know that you're not just running your relationships in a certain way so that only one person can be in love at a time?”
... and I think that's a very common desire for many men: to find someone else you can just lose yourself into, and have her lose herself into you as well.
To be honest, I don't see this a whole lot; I see lots and LOTS of different people's relationships, and this is genuinely a rarity. In fact, I'm trying to come up with an example right now, and I can't think of any.
You can get close to equal measures of in-love, at least at the outset of a pairing, but it quickly diverges as the relationship progresses. However, if you want to start out with equal measures of in-love, the ingredients you need are:
- Neither party having much control over the events that brought them together
- Neither party having much control over the other person's emotions
- Both parties desperate to hang onto the other and afraid of losing the other
You most commonly see this among very young people, when love is
exceedingly fresh and new for all parties involved. You also sometimes
see it, to lesser extent, with cross-cultural pairings where both
parties feel lucky to have stumbled onto each other; e.g., a white guy
who isn't very good with girls moves overseas to the
Philippines, and finds himself a beautiful Filipina,
whom he feels like is way out of his league based on his previous
experiences with women as attractive as her back home; but she also feels like he is way out of her league - his
exotic foreign looks make him very attractive to her.
Over time though, the relationship between the two people sorts itself out, and one person realizes that he or she is a lot more in control here and needs the other person less than the other person needs him or her. They don't show this to you in the movies, of course, because that ruins that magical feeling of wonder and awe so prevalent in the very early stages of a relationship... but if you truly want fresh, amazing, and equally in love emotions, above all else, you need to stick primarily to relationships lasting not much longer than 90 days.
Beyond that 90 days, it quickly becomes clear who's more in-control than whom in a relationship, and emotions follow suit - one party stays in love, while the other begins to fall gradually out of it.
That said, it
certainly is possible to have relationships where the partners are almost equivalently in love.
These are the relationships where one partner is only slightly more in
love than the other partner, and both partners are fully confident they
could get replacement partners if necessary - but they choose to be
with each other because they want to be. These are the couples you see
long into their marriages who seem very happy and healthy together -
neither partner feels "stuck" (at least not most of the time), and both
hover right around the middle in terms of their passion for each other
- you don't see the desperately in love person and the "what am I doing
in this relationship?" person like you see in less balanced
relationships, but rather two people with a calm, occasionally
passionate desire for one another.
In the February 1999 edition of the Personality and Social Psychology Review, Roy F. Baumeister (of "Is There Anything Good About Men?" fame) and Ellen Bratslavsky posit a hypothesis that passionate love being related to stability (or instability) of intimacy in a relationship - from "Passion, Intimacy, and Time: Passionate Love as a Function of Change in Intimacy":
“To build on existing theories about love, we propose that passion is a function of change in intimacy (i.e., the first derivative of intimacy overtime). Hence, passion will be low when intimacy is stable (either high or low), but rising intimacy will create a strong sense of passion. This view is able to account for a broad range of evidence, including frequency of sex in long-term relationships, intimate and sexual behavior of extraverts, gender differences in intimate behavior, gain and loss effects of communicated attraction, the biologically atypical human preference for face-to-face coitus, and patterns of distress in romantic breakups. Although this view may provide a good fit to available evidence, the totality of evidence is not yet adequate for a definitive conclusion, and suggestions for further research are offered.”
While it isn't proven, this hypothesis strikes me as intuitively correct, and gels with my experiences with passionate love as well. In my experience:
- Passionate love is at its peak in the first 90 days of a relationship
- It then levels out and declines as things remain stable
- New heights of intimacy (travel together; getting engaged; etc.) revitalize it
- Drama and emotional swings out of and back into intimacy spark it up again
- Returns to intimacy after time apart (e.g., breaking up and getting back together) lead to renewed heights of passionate love again for a time
If you've read "The 2 Year Drop", you know my theory that there is a point, usually around the 2-year mark (sometimes earlier, but never later, unless the woman logically suppresses her emotional needs), where a woman in a relationship that has stalled-out progress-wise rebels - and that this goes hand-in-hand with a definite drop in passion. Part of this seems to be due to a withdrawal of intimacy by the male partner in many relationships, which usually is not conscious but happens nevertheless.
Yet, passionate love doesn't dry up entirely after that 2-year mark; rather, it hangs around, merely in progressively smaller amounts as the years march by:
“Measures of passionate love and marital satisfaction were administered to 59 couples, two months before and eight months after one of three major transitions: (a) engaged to be married, (b) childlessness to parenthood, and (c) children living at home to empty nest. The sample was primarily white, college-educated professionals; the three groups had similar educational and occupational levels. Passionate love declined over the three transitions (p < .001) and from before to after each transition (p < .05). However, these differences were small in absolute terms and even the lowest mean indicated a moderate level of passionate love. The patterns of results remained even after controlling statistically for overall marital quality; however, a similar pattern of changes in marital quality did not remain after controlling for love.”
That's from "Passionate Love and Marital Satisfaction at Key Transition Points in the Family Life Cycle", published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
In other words, passionate love is still there, even many years later (after 18+ years of marriage, when children leave home), and remains present to a moderate degree... it simply declines gradually as life goes on and various relationship transition points are passed (I'd probably argue that it declines regardless of whether any major transitions occur or not)... except of course in the case where there simply isn't any love present, that is.
Creating and Building Passionate Love
I won't go much into falling in love yourself here, because that's straightforward enough - just find a girl who:
- You feel like is out of your league
- You can't replicate how you ended up together with
- You believe you can never find a superior option to
- You aren't in control of the relationship with
... find her, and you will be head over heels in love with her.
For women, these same factors apply, along with several more. So, if you want women to be in love with you, you must be the things for them you'd need them to be for you for you to be in love.
That is to say:
- A girl must feel like you're out of her league
- That she can't replicate how she ended up with you
- That she can't ever find a superior option to you
- That she isn't in control of her relationship with you
One other absolutely crucial element to this is sex; it's not an issue for men, because sex is more or less ALWAYS good for a man, but for women, this one's huge. Being able to give her incredible sex communicates to a woman that:
- You care enough about her to give her an amazing experience
- You're sexually experienced enough to be able to do so (massive preselection)
How do you accomplish these five things - being out of her league, meeting her in an un-replicatable way, feeling like an irreplaceable mate, firmly holding the reins of the relationship, and giving her an incredible time sexually?
Well, the answers are scattered all over this site already - but let's break them down point-by-point:
Out of her league: this one's down to a combination of your fundamentals (how attractive you are to women) and your relationship management skills - see Ricardus's relationship series, starting with "How to Not Fall in Love (Too Soon)", and my article on operant conditioning. When you're just starting out, it might seem like it's impossible to become "out of her league" for the sexiest, most beautiful, most confident women... but trust me, it's possible. For every top shelf woman, there are men out there who can make her feel like a school girl again, and it mostly comes down to how attractive you make yourself, and how good you get yourself with women and with relationships.
A once-in-a-lifetime path to togetherness: when you're doing cold approach, this is pretty standard; unless she's a party girl who regularly meets men in nightclubs, there's a very good chance you'll be the only man she's ever met off the street, or in a café, or out grocery shopping - every other man she's ever been with she met through some form of social circle. Meeting you on the street will feel like a pure, once-in-a-lifetime chance encounter - which, for her, it may very well be. If you're meeting women socially, this is still possible, if you put some extraordinary series of romantic events together for the two of you to become an item... though it's a lot harder to pull off, and a lot less common.
Irreplaceable: this one's down to fundamentals, and also down to the things that make you unique: what aspects of yourself have you carefully cultivated that make you clearly stand out from the pack? What things have you mastered that few other people have? And, most especially, what ways do you benefit her life that other men will struggle to match? The more sexual and romantic unique skills you have here, the better it is for passionate love - so if you can do things to her sexually that no one else has ever done before (see: "Sexual Awakening: How to Have Her Doing Almost Anything in Bed"), you have a legitimate shot at being passionately irreplaceable.
Holding the reins of the relationship: this one's all about how in-control of things you are vs. she is. The more the control of the relationship lies on your side of the bed, the more in-love with you she's going to be. For this one, see Ricardus's relationship series, and the article on operant conditioning - both referenced in bullet #1 of this list.
Incredible sex: for this one, see these articles:
- How to Be a
Good Lover (and Give a Girl Orgasms)
- Make Her Orgasm Hard from Sex in 8 Minutes
- 3 Steps to Help Her to Orgasm from Sex
You'll never be able to sustain the degree of passionate love a girl will normally experience for you in the first three (3) months of the relationship - but you shouldn't try. Give her regular, healthy doses of all the above points, and you'll be able to sustain some degree of passion over a fairly long term.
Passionate love is important, even in decades-long relationships - as discussed in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships's "Marital Satisfaction and Passionate Love":
“One hundred married individuals completed questionnaires measuring marital satisfaction, passionate love, social desirability and six relationship-relevant variables - global happiness, relationship excitement, relationship boredom, sex-minus-arguments frequency, amount of shared activities and kissing frequency. Consistent with previous research, marital satisfaction had moderate to large correlations with the six relationship-relevant variables; for most variables, these correlations remained after partialing out passionate love and social desirability. For women, passionate love was moderately correlated with marital satisfaction and with the six relationship-relevant variables; for most variables, these correlations remained after controlling for marital satisfaction and social desirability. However, for men there were no significant correlations with passionate love.”
Thus, while years down the line, passion won't much matter to you as a man when it comes to deciding how satisfied you are with a relationship, for your woman, it'll still have an impact.
You'll be satisfied enough whether you're the one controlling the
relationship or not; but for her, her satisfaction is only going to be
at it's highest when you are
the one in control, and when she can
simply lean back and feel out of control... and passionate.
The flip side of passionate love is compassionate love - what I like to call "old love", or, sometimes, "old people love" (especially when talking to girls - nothing makes a girl who's in love with you more nuts - and more in love with you - than telling her you have "old people love" for her when she asks you if you love her).
Compassionate love is the kind of love you have for friends, family members, and anyone else you care for but aren't passionately, sexually attached to. You can have BOTH passionate and compassionate love in relationships - you can care about someone deeply (old love), and also want to penetrate her with reckless abandon (passionate love).
But it's also possible to have one without the other - to have just old love, without passionate love, and to have just passionate love, without old love.
Neither of these, however, is especially desirable.
Compassionate Love Sans Passion: Welcome to the Friend Zone
When a woman cares about you deeply, but feels zero passionate romantic attachment to you, you inhabit her friend zone.
There are other guys in the friend zone too: guys she doesn't care about at all, and keeps around purely for the value they provide to her life.
But when you're just friends with her and she has "old people love" for you, she really does care about you... she just doesn't want to have sex with you, is all.
Men who aren't so good at maintaining passionate love run into this in their long-term relationships and their marriages as well: a woman chooses a man because he is a "practical choice" rather than one who really gets her raring to go, and once the few small slivers of vaguely passionate interest she had in him at the outset fade away, sex becomes an infrequent occurrence... even an annoyance.
She puts out for him every so often because she presumes that's her duty as a wife, and it's probably more or less necessary to keep him from blowing his top and going out and looking for a mistress to release all that tension with.
But beyond that... no thanks. Sex with him just isn't something she finds all that exciting.
Compassionate love acts as a curb on infidelity, just as passionate love does, but it works in a different way:
Passionate love makes a woman not want to sleep with other men
Compassionate love makes a woman feel guilty about sleeping with (or wanting to sleep with) other men
Desire is stronger than guilt, of course, so if you want to prevent cheating in your long-term relationships, I always, always recommend making women want to be with you, rather than hoping that them liking you enough that they'll feel guilty about straying is enough... because if a girl goes on wanting to do something long enough, no amount of guilt in the world is going to stop her from doing it in the end.
Passionate Love Sans Compassion: Get Ready for Fireworks
When a woman loves you passionately, but doesn't care about you compassionately, you can experience some real fireworks in the relationship.
This is when emotional association wears off, and dissociation begins; if she begins to hate your guts, and resent you, and dislike you, she'll often still passionately want and enjoy sex with you, but will feel no compunction about seeing someone else if she wants to.
And that's very important to understand: while passionate love will make women not want other men so much, without compassionate love, there's no emergency brake.
Women who love passionately but not compassionately will also tend to do other more hurtful things during moments of negative passion, like key your car or toss things you own or take your toothbrush to the toilet. Because they don't have that old people love for you, they don't CARE if your feelings get hurt - all they want is your BODY, and if they can't have that the way that they want it... screw you.
So long as times are good and a woman is happy, you won't have to worry about too many negative effects. If she has a high sex drive, you'll stand a good chance of sharing her with other lovers of hers, but you may or may not care about this, depending on what you're looking for with her and with women in general.
But if times get bad, they'll get really bad - she doesn't have any reason to hold back, without that close, friendly, familial love.
Creating Compassionate Love
Compassionate love is the product of someone feeling closely attached to you. When she feels like there is a strong bond between the two of you, she can trust you, and she "gets" you, she will feel this kind of love.
A big part of this is being relatable and being able to build an emotional connection with women... something that not all men are, or know how to do. The essence of compassionate love is maintaining strong emotional association between you and her.
Some men never create much emotional association. Other men do at the beginning, but gradually, through neglect or indifference, allow it to unravel.
The more emotionally associated to you a woman is, the more receptive she is to your thoughts and ideas, and the more she will "think for" you - that is to say, she will take actions designed to make your life better or make you feel happy or, alternately, to help protect you from harm, because she feels the two of you are very closely connected... her fate is tied, to some degree, to yours.
The example I usually use when describing this kind of love is the kind between an old married couple still happy together after many years of being together. The children have long since left home to start their own families, and the flames of passion have died out or only flicker now and again, but the two care very deeply for one another, and want each other to be happy. This is "old" love - and it's a very different kind of love than passionate love.
It's based on wanting what's best for the other person; meanwhile, passionate love is based on wanting the other person... period.
Compassionate love comes from:
Building connections: things like getting to know a girl well and finding out what she values most set you well on the path to building a strong emotional connection with her, where she feels you know her inside and out - and are one of the few people in the world who know her this well.
Doing things for her: while her investing in you determines her levels of attraction (passionate love), and can lead to her feeling like you "owe" her (often, that you owe her sex and good feelings), you investing in her leads to her having a soft spot in her heart for you over time (compassionate love). It's important that you do not invest in her in a needy, supplicating way, because this kind of investment is burdensome, and she knows there is an agenda behind it; you want investment that is affection-based and thoughtful. Nice things you do simply because you like doing them - for example, cheering her up when she's feeling down, or giving her massages when her shoulders are sore.
Spending time with her: spending time together is one of the most surefire ways to build compassionate love... it's very difficult to be with someone day-in and day-out and not grow fond of the person. There is an exception, and that is with people who resent you and/or think they're better than you - which can be the case with women who are emotionally dissociated from you, or women who are with you for some reason other than romantic attachment (e.g., a woman who marries you for money or security, or decides to logically be with you rather than emotionally wanting to be with you); when people are not emotionally associated with you, spending more time together can actually push them farther away from you, as the spending of time leads only to the building of resentment. So, don't throw time at women to try to fix relationship ills, because it never works (and usually backfires); but, if the relationship is already strong, more time together can foster more compassionate love.
Not being desperate or needy: something rather tragic you will see with many "crazy" or somewhat broken people - the ones with worse off personality disorders - is a kind of desperate or needy behavior pattern around attachment; it can be an intense need to attach oneself to another as much as possible, or also an intense need to avoid attachment as much as possible. In either case, because the individual's needs and concerns are never fully allayed, she's unable to ever really develop the kind of old love necessary to put others' needs ahead of her own. People like this aren't super common, but it's probably somewhere around 5 to 10% of the population - people who are lacking in or devoid altogether of the ability to ever really develop compassionate love for other human beings (although some of them will have the most passionate love you will ever encounter - again, that's a product of uncertainty and feeling out of control, which they feel in spades, and which is also why they're unable to relax enough to feel old love). So it is something to keep an eye out for.
Having higher degrees of empathy: the higher someone's empathy is, generally, the more inclined she is to feeling deeply for others, especially those close to her. The shallower her empathy, the shallower her concern for others - even close others. This one's related to the bullet above to a degree; empathy problems typically go hand-in-hand with personality disorders.
If you can nurture compassionate love in combination with passionate love, you can create a very powerful mix of emotions with any woman you're with.
Most people seem to stumble through life with a vague idea about what it is they're looking for, knowing that they "want" to find this thing "love", but not knowing exactly what it is, or what causes it, or what role they have to play in it.
So what you end up with are a bunch of clueless women and a bunch of clueless men, all fumbling their way through the darkness, trying to find someone roughly compatible, and then trying to fumble their ways to emotional satisfaction once they've got a partner who clicks enough to work with.
And this works okay - it works well enough to keep the species going, to keep unions happening, and to keep the next generation being born, and growing up to embark on its own unguided quest for love.
But you don't have to strike out clueless and hopeful into the wide blue yonder, wishing to be lucky and stumble on someone who pushes all the right buttons for you. You can decide that you will be the one who creates love, with the woman (or women) of your choosing - simply by making yourself attractive, hard to get, and hard to place, and also relatable, warm, and thoughtful.
With those qualities, you become eminently "lovable" - and will have a much easier time attracting the kinds of women that you could fall in love with - if you so choose to - as well.
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