10 Characteristics of Healthy Love
Leave it to Abraham Maslow to be generations ahead of the curve! In his groundbreaking work, Toward a Psychology of Being, he perfectly articulates the difference between co-dependent love (what he refers to as “deficit love”) and interdependent love (what he calls “B-love”). The latter, is what I believe we are evolving toward as a species and which I have been working to support in myself, my clients and students through Authentic Freedom Academy. Co-dependent love seeks after the other to fill an emptiness one feels within. Interdependent love arises out of two healthy and already whole individuals and by its very nature supports the fullest development of both. As Maslow asks, “It is a real question whether the full development of the human being is possible without it” (Maslow, 1968, p. 43).
This is how you can know if you are operating out of interdependent and healthy love:
1) Love is non-possessive: Your attitude in your love relationship is admiring rather than needy.
2) Your love grows greater over time: Love is the end rather than the means and is enjoyable by its nature.
3) Possessing qualities of a peak experience: The love you engage in is uplifting, ecstatic, unitive, pleasurable….and this is not just about sex.
4) Possessing therapeutic (healing) effects: Healthy love heals – producing hormones which stimulates physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing.
5) More valuable, enriching, expansive than most other love relationships you witness.
6) Not directed toward gratification: Not being a need-based love, healthy love does not seek after gratification.
7) Absence of anxiety and/or hostility: While anxiety for the other may be present, there is a marked absence of anxiety (looking for needs to be met) or hostility (resentment over not getting needs met) within the relationship.
8) Interdependence: In Maslow’s exact words,
“Lovers are more independent of each other, more autonomous, less jealous or threatened, less needful, more individual, more disinterested, but also simultaneously more eager to help the other toward self-actualization, more proud of his triumphs, more altruistic, generous and fostering.” (Maslow, 1968, Toward a Psychology of Being, p. 43, New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company)
10) Allows the other to be created: This kind of love relationship supports each partner in becoming their truest, most authentic, most fully developed self. It supports our positive and healthy development.
If this is the kind of love that you seek and do not yet possess, call Lauri Ann Lumby to schedule a private session to begin working on developing the traits within yourself to support this kind of love. (920) 230-1313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.