Love like a Loser

“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.”

~G.K. Chesterton

how to love your man betterIf you don’t know someone personally who experienced this, I’m sure you’ve heard tales of people who were given a medical prognosis suggesting they have only three months to live. Oddly enough, many of these tales include some element of surprising joy and appreciation of life.

None of us would wish such a prognosis on someone, yet many of us have learned a valuable lesson from the experiences described by those who have walked this path. They speak of joy that seems to emanate from a sudden increase in their appreciation of the simple things in life that we typically ignore because of our constant pursuit of what’s coming next.

Humans are driven by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. All of our motivation comes from those polarized drives. We want more pleasure, and we want to escape from pain.

Our efforts to get more pleasure and avoid pain drive our minds to dwell in the future. Oddly enough, the experiences of those with a short time to live suggest we are looking in the wrong place. Rather than looking to the future, their experiences suggest we can find the greatest joy by bringing our attention fully to what we have .

It is not easy to turn off the longing for other circumstances, or some moment in the future when we will finally be relieved of some gnawing emotional or physical pain. Being told you have only a short time to live makes it easier though. Near-death experiences also make it easier.

Sometimes the feeling that we have hit the bottom of the barrel can evoke a release, a change in perspective that allows us to stop the insane pursuit of some future moment and instead fully embrace life as we find it right now, unfolding around us with all of its mystery.

A woman who stands bleeding beside the car that was thrown into a ditch may not be focused on the inconvenience of having several lacerations and blood all over her favorite shirt. Instead, she may find herself marveling at the chance to live, the chance that was given to her to escape from death. Those who are faced with the possibility of losing everything are able to love life more deeply and richly because they are faced with that possibility.

Fully appreciating life means you see it more clearly. The foggy visions of the future and past generated in your mind’s eye are no longer the focus of your attention. Instead, you see and experience the joyful miracle of life unfolding. If you bring this kind of awareness, this special attention to the art of loving life, you will not regret it.

how to love your man betterIf you want to be a fantastic lover, love your man by fully appreciating each moment with him the way you would if he was going to be pulled away from you in a few short days. Love him the way your instincts would tell you to love him if there was no chance the relationship could become anything short of true-love in the moments you have left with him.

Living life tomorrow is not guaranteed, and highly valuing the present moment, brings a special quality to your presence. Others will sense it. You will seem less distracted, more alive. When others experience you as “full of life,” they will naturally be more attracted to you.

Am I being naive? I don’t think so. I understand the suffering and pain people face in this life, and I do not think we are turning a blind eye by embracing joy that can be found in the present moment. The more horrendous things are, the more we need to embrace the luminous beauty of joy that can be found shining in the hearts of those who choose to love without fear.

If you know what I’m talking about, leave a comment or a story below. Your story might “click” in someone’s mind in a way my article did not.


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80 thoughts on “Love like a Loser

  1. Faye said:

    My goodness! Where to begin? I fell “in love” when I was 16. I became pregnant and dumped. That was 34 years ago. Since, I have always looked for that “feeling”. I have been married 3 times and never found it until I walked away from my last marriage. They say hind sight is 20/20. Yes, when it was “too late” I realized I loved him. I have deeply grieved for 2 LONG years.. life stopped for me. I lost EVERYTHING.. relationally, materially, financially, mentally, and my health has suffered. I now realize, I have SO MUCH to be thankful for. I have learned an abundance of “life’s lessons” Instead of searching for that “feeling” in another,, I am nurturing that “feeling” within me to love the things that are most precious that money can’t buy nor a human can provide. I have buried yesterday, shook off the dust, pulled up my bootstraps and have picked up the fragments. I intend to enjoy all God has in store for me and appreciate the tiniest opportunities. I’ve said all that to say this… YES! by all means! Live life to the fullest one day at a time! Sometimes, one second at a time. YES! do NOT become victim of yesterday’s or tomorrow’s fog! and most definitely,, relax and appreciate people for who they are,, accepting them as a whole package.. good and bad combined. Focus on the positive. Believe me,, if you’re not happy within yourself first,, not a soul out there can EVER make you happy regardless who they are.. In closing,, I have met someone. I am going to use the wealth of advice offered on this site and be happy regardless.
    Thanks for allowing me to comment… 🙂

  2. amanda said:

    I agree with you, James. First time in my life I felt the fear of expressing my attraction/feelings for someone first… I always wait for the man to say something first and this time I just did it. With my heart pounding that fear of rejection.. turned to confidence quickly.. then just excitement and joy. Love is worth it. And I’m all smiles today. And so is he btw!

  3. Danielle said:

    I have some insight in a slightly different, but still applicable, context: I was out of work for nearly three years. When I got the job I have now, I was so happy that I was working, that my cheerfulness bubbled over. Even now, almost a year and a half later, my coworkers comment on the fact that I am always cheerful and positive. I wake up each day grateful for my job, and go to work truly enjoying it. Sure, I have down days, but when I think that I could lose this job, for whatever reason, my gratitude returns. It’s affected every part of me and became part of me. I now face life itself in a similar way, and I hope to apply it in my next relationship.

    • Marie said:

      Well, I had the exact same experience. In one years time, I have effectively become a more happy person, living in the present, finding joy in the little things instead of waiting for the big joys. I love my job and am grateful everyday. Only, my inner light attracted a dark soul who has kept me trapped by pulling on my heart strings and my compassionate nature. We work together. So even though I recognize how unhealthy this relationship is, I cannot walk away from a tortured soul.

  4. NN said:

    Most people are dead by 25, but they will only be buried after 75.

    People have asked me “how do you live with such a bright flame, are you not scared”. There is nothing to be feared than fear itself, and being paralyzed by fear is worse than death itself.

    I do wish to find a partner but..

    I do things most people don’t dare, since the actual death is not an issue to me – but I do dislike agony, hights etc.
    I live with a vivid realization that I can die (= sieze to exist) tomorrow. I don’t fear the death, as I see it as a gate into total nothingness, which takes away all sorrows and pain which life and joy brings. I just feel sorrow for those people who will miss me when I die. Like the song “Life is beautiful” by sixx AM. I realized the duality of life and death when I was around 13 or so some 30 years ago. As brightly as I live I also feel deep longing for death – therefore I live my life often as that day was the last. “We all have the same sentence, it is called “life”. it is only up to us, how we use it”

    I don’t really get scared when I have had accidents that could have killed me.. (Like I swayed to avoid a moose and drove to the ditch. I just got out of the car, and got a shovel from the back of my car and tried to get the car loose from the snow to get going again.)
    I only think that so far it wasn’t my time, still something important to do here I guess.
    Then I try to think what that important thing is, what I should do which is where I am still needed, why I wasn’t let go.

    I guess that is why I work mostly as an animal welfare veterinarian which makes me feel I am doing what I am here for.. but it also explains why I don’t have children, or why it is hard for me to believe that any of my infatuations would work to become a real working relationship – but I will go forward because if it fails… at least I lived and I didn’t allow fear to paralyze me.

  5. Yaros said:

    sometimes we spare words to say something good to our dear persons at the moment they need them most of all,” o.k. i’ll tell him later…. or never ”
    but these words would save him life ,help to understand smth., stop suffering…

  6. Ivonne said:

    Thank you for your article, I have been pondering the feeling of really falling in love again and this has just shed some light. That we should embrace the moment and appreciate what we receive even if it does not last. It is so easy to be negative but, we spend more energy doing that. It is a rewarding feeling to be wanted and loved.

    “We should all learn how to live life and enjoy instead of fighting it”.

    • James Bauer said:

      Exactly right. Thanks for your comment.

  7. k said:

    Life is given to us as a gift and we choose to accept it as that or ignore that short time of treasures. I lost my husband two years ago and took care of him for 15 years. Now it is my time to enjoy the rest of my life. I am now involved with a man whom was an electrician and almost lost his life. We both choose to see life as a new journey everyday. Life is truly what you make it. Life is yours to enjoy the simply things that make it so precious. Life is so fragile and can be taken for granted and then just swept before your eyes gone. I think God has joined my friend and I together for a reason. I am taken it because I have seen just how fragile life is. K

    • James Bauer said:

      Life is a gift. You are right that we must choose to accept it as such.

    • Wanda said:

      I, too, have lost a husband and my friend lost his wife well over several years ago. It has been quite a while for both of us. He had a relationship with a lady after becoming a widower but had no one when we started going out.. I hadn’t gone out as I didn’t think I would ever have a chance at my age. I think enjoying the simple things in life is a good thing. I do hope we will remain friends long term as I enjoy being with him when he wants to get together. He loved his wife so much and I know I am only a friend. That’s ok for me as I am enjoying what time I get.

  8. Linda freelander said:

    I think choosing to love without fear is a difficult thing to overcome when you have been hurt, but you just have to have faith…..and faith in yourself.

    • James Bauer said:

      Right. You are brave. “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

      • Rosie said:

        if you have fully done your healing work, there won’t be fear left. I find it strange and sad how much people can’t bear being alone long enough to heal fully; how we spend money on all sorts of stuff we don’t need, but won’t see a professional to help us heal. If the fear is so big it comes between you and another, IMHO you are not ready for a relationship, and may make a poor choice. Heal yourself first.

      • Francey said:

        WOW! I really like that.

  9. Laura said:

    1 John 4:18
    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

    • James Bauer said:

      Love conquers all. Maybe not fast, maybe not when we want it to, but eventually it perseveres.

  10. Christina said:

    i am understanding what you have said, but i feel loving a man so much is sacrificing God’s love and time. i mean, in that time we may have done something to please God rather then trying to make other happy for the short time.
    but i appreciate your way of influencing people. keep going…

    • James Bauer said:

      As someone once asked the good teacher, “What is the greatest commandment?” In his response he included God and other people. Loving those God created is not a sacrifice God would lament.

  11. ally said:

    Thats a wise words. THough sometimes its just so hard to choose in the moment when pain and suffering is screaming at you. But then again, the power of choice is Gods given gift to us where we can truly shift our life from negative to positive perspective. In this case choosing the present and choosing to love regardless. Life is as we make it. We are like a fog thats here for a moment and gone forever. At this moment of my life im also facing a lot of painful challenges like death in my family whom i wont be able to see because im in other country, relationship and my studies. Juggling all of this would probably break me down, but i choose to fix my eyes on GOd and his love for me. And allow that love to strengthen me so that I have the strength to love others even they are unlovely. YOu see it is love that makes the world beautiful. Ive decided to be a woman who walks in love daily. YOu can do it as well 🙂

  12. I am dating a guy for 8 months now that I am in love with. He has been hurt badly in the past and says he never wants to hurt that way again. He treats me like he loves me, we just mesh in every way, he even admits it, but he’s afraid and says he’s just not where I am. I am the kind of person that lives every single day like its my last, just don’t know whether to move on or wait until he can love again. He really really wants to, he tells me. We are not young adults anymore.

    • Hurt leaves wounds Julia…and wounds heal at a different pace with us all. He sounds a lovely guy and you a great person.Sometimes it’s better to give an unsure person some space to find themselves..allow him to feel free about his love, go with the flow etc. That way he will know he’s safe to make good decisions.. and you will both know if you are right for each other Helenx

      • Donna said:

        I agree with Helen, Julia. Show him your sweet appreciation for his loving ACTIONS toward you; men love to SEE that they cause happiness and laughter in you. Be in love with and at peace with your own life, (VERY attractive) and give this fine man space, particularly after intimate moments when he would naturally be more quiet anyway. Where’s the fire? Take your foot off the pedal and let the nice man drive.

    • Deedra said:

      I am perhaps in a similar situation, but a little further along in the relationship. We are both nearly 40 and divorced, each raising kids on our own, and living sort of far apart. (So it’s complicated.) His ex was awful but he did have some counseling and read some books, and it ended 4 years ago. We started dating 20 months ago and have broken up and gotten back together twice. (Absolutely wonderful guy, but above all, he doesn’t want another big failure.) Now he really knows that he loves me and he is learning to love (and trust) again. And a ring is right around the corner.

      …there is a chance in a case like this, but you must understand it is up to him to put in the effort to heal and make the decision to take a chance to be hurt again. And you need to be willing to get hurt too. People don’t magically instantly heal from wounds, so there is a road ahead, and you probably need to decide if he’s worth it. In my opinion, if he is, then do whatever you can to show him how you are different and better than the other women he has had before. Let him see this very clearly. Then let him go. (As in really let him go, in your own heart. Let him choose.) And you can tell him you love him and give him a big thank you, too, for all that he has done and all you learned from him. Tell him with kindness and respect that you are giving him space to choose, and then be willing to walk away. Then when you walk away, don’t be afraid to go out and start dating other guys for the heck of it. If there’s “something there,” he’ll eventually look around and not like his other prospects as much, and get jealous and worried and try to take you out of the dating pool. He’ll learn from experience that he wants you.

      They say “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back to you they are yours. If not, it was never meant to be.”

      This may be super hard to do (it was for me), but if whatever you’re doing now is not helping, then sometimes this is the best way for [both of you] to grow.

      • James Bauer said:

        Thanks for reaching out to help others through your comment, Deedra.

      • Elizabeth said:

        Giving a man space in a loving way, seeing the whole situation through loving, gentle eyes, AND I like to call it ‘fluttering’ away rather than walking away (don’t know why I like it but what the heck!!!) is THE strongest, most feminine thing you can do. Plus, would you want a man to stay around without it coming from him, completely from his heart instead of half hearted? Of course you wouldn’t.

        Walking (fluttering) away if he needs space to decide is our only option as women when we’re faced with a man who can’t decide what he wants. Tell him you think he’s totally dreamy, that you’re looking for true love and true romance and that you’ll blow him kisses from afar. Then, lean back and go about your own business. It can be hard to do that but find a way to control your urges to get back in touch with him.

        I’ve found a way to do it. If your interested, I’ll post another reply.

      • James Bauer said:

        Elizabeth. I really like the way you described this. Very helpful. The word “fluttering” is perfect.

      • my said:

        I’d love to get to know more about how you do this! 🙂

      • JJ said:

        I too want to know how you do it.

      • Paula said:

        Love to hear more!! Need someone to talk to, you can email me paulad2463@live.com Subject line write Fluttering. Thank You!!

      • Monica E Yantha said:

        You are so right Deedra. I had been in an online friend relationship, with what I know and his peers to be a wonderful guy.
        He and I had so much in common, the way we were brought up, old school, etc. etc. many similar interests, very open, sharing much, but no sensual things as only a friend.
        He is younger by 8 yrs. and told me at first he was looking for someone younger, so I couldn’t argue with that, but fell in love with him. He brought me through a very difficult time after losing my husband of 43 yrs just being nice. We communicated 5 mths. and did not communicate for 8 mths. and then he spotted me still on line and I communicated back and said I had a busy life and let him go. He got back immediately, and gave me his email to keep in contact. We kept in contact, as friends, lots of lovely compliments to me again with same interests, etc. So, going nowhere, never met, in Dec. I complimented and thanked him for learning many things from him and let him go on Dec. 28th. No contact since. Still love him.
        Live very rural – few single men, not available ones, anyway.
        Shall I just let go and get on?

    • CAROLYN PERRY said:

      I AM A LOVELY WONMAN. I AM LOOK FOR A GOOD MAN 59 OR 60. PUT THERE PEOPLE ON THERE THINK I DONT NEED ONE I SURE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A LOVELY MAN TO BE WISH.AND I LOVEHIM THE WAYS HE LOVE ME. I LOVE TO LAUGHTER AND TALK AND GO OUT TO EAT. JUST ENJOY HIM. WHAT SURE I DO. MY MAN HAD PASS AWAYS HE BE GONE 4YEAR. I THINK IT TIME TO HAVE FUN. AND BE HAPPY.

  13. Joi said:

    This Article is so timely, I TRY to live this way in every relationship in my life…ah but how quickly we can return to our old patterns. We do need these consistent reminders. I am sure our fellow Americans in Oklahoma who have dealt with recent loss and unimaginable tragedy can so relate to this Article. My hearts and prayers continue to go out to them.

  14. Princess said:

    how others perceive as wanting,needing, being loved can be vastly different from how we want to love that person. sometimes, giving space is the best way to love someone. if i feel that i am not loved or appreciated by somebody, i’ll not reciprocate at all. that is my best method to save myself from being hurt further and also i am doing a big favor to all those who love/ want to love/ be near me when i give myself/ time to enjoy the BIG love from those who are eveready to love me. so taht makes love easy peasy; no heartaches, no wondering if he loves me/ loves me not, just a warm smile and the wonder of it all!

    • Mary said:

      Wow, you really hit the spot for me, thanks I really needed that 😀

    • Rosie said:

      That sounds very healthy to me.

    • Monica E Yantha said:

      Just love that – easy peasy.
      M

  15. Pearl said:

    When you love someone deeply and you know that person only have a few month to live ,you appreciate life every day more and more

  16. yeah u’re right life is too short. we only waste time thinking about the future :p .

  17. Anne said:

    Sounds good – but when your partner is treating you with disrespect and idolising the idea of the ‘other person’ he’s been having an affair with as being a ‘perfect being it takes a major toll on your self esteem

    • James Bauer said:

      Sorry Anne. That is painful.

    • Mollie said:

      Anne- You need a NEW PARTNER- someone worthy, who respects you and the woman you are!

    • Rosie said:

      Anne people cannot respect us more than we respect ourselves. I don’t know your situation exactly, and would never tell you to leave…..sometimes a relationship can survive this. You will be much more powerful in your life if you learn how to stoke your self esteem yourself. It is a learnable thing. Then whether or not you choose to let this partner go, you are in charge of how you feel.
      It’s the only way to care for yourself fully , and btw it will attract a more loving man.

    • JJ said:

      Sorry Anne,

      I went through a similar situation. I also felt angry, disrespected, and verbally abused. It took years, a lot of reading and soul searching. But it wasn’t until I was able to express to my husband, that I was truly, in my heart, willing to let him go.

      Basically, I allowed him to chose what he thought was best for him, rather what was right or wrong. I believe it wasn’t until I had reached this point, that he finally realized that I loved him enough to be willing to let him go. That I was on his side, not just serving my own needs. This feeling can’t be faked. It must be felt from deep inside you, to have the power and meaning that can change lives…both yours and your partner.

      I agree with Bauer, “The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.”

      Today, I realize that love can be fragile thing, and needs to be nourished to grow, just like a flower

      • Debbie said:

        So true, l did exactly that and loved my ex husband so much l thought he was my soulmate for life, gave him all my heart and love but he took me for granted had an affair twice in our marriage, continually ruined my self esteem, couldn’t handled the disrespect and hard work l put in to save our future together so l told him l loved him so much that l would let him go and wish him all the happiness for the future, the hardest thing l have ever done in my life and question myself about giving myself so much ever again cos it’s taken for granted physically, mentally and emotionally and in the end lm heartbroken.

  18. This reminds me of a Biblical Scripture In Philippians. Chapter 4, verse 8:” Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”. This attitude and practice can renew our minds to be able to forgive more easily and think more positively about a tough situation. If only one in the relationship does this, healing can begin, at least for the one who practices this. It may not restore the relationship, but it can set you free from emotional pain.

    • Ginny said:

      Amen. I am a brain aneurysm surgery survivor. I am a miracle on two feet. Having a second chance at life by Jesus my Lord made me appreciate life all the more! Praise be to the Lord!

  19. Michelle Cavanagh said:

    I agree but it’s still hard to do when you are feeling low and negative

    • sarah said:

      make a list of ten things that you appreciate in your life right now. It does get much easier. It is a habit of practice, but well worth it.

      • M.C. said:

        I agree to write things down. I was feeling depressed one day and I started reading online blogs as usual but this one time, I was tired of reading and actually “answered” the questions on paper and what a difference! When I feel my pity party coming on, I look at the list of the 6 things that make new happy and I feel blessed and my negative feelings subside. Try it!

    • Jeannetta Barber said:

      I understand this completely. But it also has caused the guys I date to run. I have a tendency to want to love someone like there’s no tomorrow. To rush and do and spend as much time as I can with them. I feel like if I don’t do it today, I may never get the chance. So therefore I come off as wanting to rush into it. They want to take things slow, while I’m wanting to spend what time I have left with them. Although I’ve been in remission for 18 yrs. I still can’t help but feel like I don’t have much time, so I want to make the most of it.

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