The Act of Lovemaking

how to create love in your life

Let’s talk about how to create love out of thin air.

I chose this title (The Act of Lovemaking) to remind you of something important. Love is something we make. It’s not something we find.

It’s completely understandable that you want someone who will cherish you and love you for who you are. I am 100% on board with that mission.

However, I also want to offer this caution. Do not make the mistake of searching for love the way some people search for meaning. You can search for meaning your whole life, and never find it, unless you get your hands dirty trying to help someone.

When you stop searching for meaning, and instead sink your teeth into trying to make a difference in someone’s life, meaning reveals itself to you. It reveals itself in that moment because you created it. The meaning was created by your choice, the choice you made when you decided to care.

You can spend your whole life reading philosophical books about meaning, endlessly debating the true purpose of your life. Yet a feeling of meaning and connection can only be found in your decisions to care about something.

If you want a meaningful life, you have to stop looking for it and start creating it instead.

It’s the same way with love.

how to create love in your lifeErich Fromm said, “Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.” Just as the physical act of lovemaking is something you do, something creative, so the act of finding love is something you do. You choose to create it by choosing to love a person.

Having a crush on someone feels like something that happened to you, rather than something you created. That person suddenly seems very significant to you, and it feels as if love was created automatically.

But that’s just your biology helping you out. Your biology triggers a cascading fountain of psychological and biological desires, but it’s a short-lived spark that will soon die out. Unless you make the choice to love someone on purpose.

Most of you already know and understand what I am saying today. I am writing this as more than just a reminder though. I am writing to share a suggestion.

When you find a man you want to love, make sure he is on board with this concept of creating love on purpose.

Bring up conversations about relationships and love, and at some point, casually ask if he believes in the concept of creating love by choice. A man who rejects this idea is not a person I would recommend you pour your life into.

But if you see a sparkle in his eye when you ask the question, with interest and energy to pursue a conversation on this topic, I recommend you keep that man on your list of romantic interests.

James


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46 thoughts on “The Act of Lovemaking

  1. well said, James. And absolutely spot on as far as I’m concerned.

    • Heather said:

      Spot on… I AGREE!!
      James rocks!!

  2. Judith Lee said:

    James, you are so wonderful, kind, caring, and loving.

  3. Ava said:

    How would you recommend approaching a conversation with a guy who seems to get ‘cold feet’ when the topic of love is brought up? In my situation, with a guy I am not currently with, but have a history with, it seems he is deeply afraid himself of being hurt, rejected, and of loving someone again (he got himself out of a 5 year relationship almost two years ago, but still has obvious scars…), so bringing up that topic to see how he feels about love is the only time when things get awkward. Even when I bring it up casually, he appears sad, as if I’ve shifted the energy to something that is a rough issue for him and wants to go back to talking with me about something ‘pleasant’. I will always love this man… there is no going back… but to continue putting energy into knowing him, I feel the need to know his own personal beliefs about love. Suggestions?

    • James Bauer said:

      Interesting. This may or may not end up being helpful, but I wonder what would happen if you simply asked him directly, “Hey, I’ve noticed you close down and appear sad whenever I talk about relationships. I know it can be a painful topic, but sometimes it helps to talk out loud with a friend. Are you willing to let me in on your thoughts about that part of your life and emotions? It would make me feel like I knew you better…like I did not have to tip-toe around that subject…which would be nice given what a close friend you have been to me.”

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        I feel so sad for you, Ava. But when a person has been hurt, it is quite understandable that they will be afraid to go there again. I feel the same, and so does my partner, so we are both dancing around each other. We are now much closer, but unfortunately, my man also has a drink problem, as a result of past hurts, which makes things even harder. At least you do not have that to contend with. You need to be very, very patient, I think. Imagine he is a wild, cur dog or ferral cat that will bite or scratch you when approached. With a lot of love and patience, they can be tamed. I have done it many times with wild cats. It takes lots of patience, time and love, but they eventually end up in your bed. One my most special, loving cats was feral for 18 months. Try it!! There are many books on relationships which are well worth reading. Hopefully, he will gradually realise that you love him unconditionally and he can learn to trust again. In the end, I am convnced that love is the only really important thing in the world, which is also what Mother Theresa preached. Don’t give up just yet!! I wish you the very, very best for a peaceful, love filled life. LaLa

        • Dela said:

          I can relate to what your friend is going through, as I have been the same way myself. After two very abusive marriages, I now have an awesome relation with a very wonderful man. Every time he has beought up the fact he would like for me to move in, or he wants to buy a house for us, I do the same thing. I get terrified that it won’t work or he will leave me. It has been 19 months now, but I finally told him I would like nothing better then to be with him, I am just scared. We talked about it, and I am just now finding out I really want to do this. It takes a long time, I will never forget, but I can’t let it rule my life anymore. Give him a little more time, and be understanding. It has worked for me. I will be forever grateful for the man in my life now.

          • Ava said:

            Thanks everyone, I really appreciate those insights!

  4. Dela said:

    James: Thanks for sharing this, I had never thought about love like this. But you are so very right.

  5. Maria said:

    Thank you for assisting all in the ways of love. Grateful that you share this knowledge with all. A much better way of approaching and creating what we truly want and need in love. Love is what we all are searching for in this beautiful life and you are guiding us in this journey.

    Please continue to give us the gift of your writings, you are very talented and appreciated.

  6. James,
    Thanks for sharing these insights!
    And yes, love is a verb too. Which means we don’t find it but create it actively and on purpose.
    I did asked my spouse the very questions that you suggested and thankfully he was on board and still is with those answers.
    He was one of the first person to tell me that love starts in the mind; as a choice, a conscious choice.

    Thanks James!
    Yvonne

  7. James, thanks for that wonderful article. Love is a choice, a leap of faith whether it’s loving another person or learning to love ourselves. Loved the quote by Eric Fromm.

  8. sharon said:

    The choice to let someone in your heart is always a scary thing. For me I don’t throw the word “LOVE” around…I have said it to 2 men in my life. Both turned out badly after awhile. I started dating some a few days more than 6 months ago, and to my disbelief I found myself actually feeling something I never had before , more than what I had thought in the past to be “LOVE” , it had desire in it , and I wanted and do please him , I felt I couldn’t possibly be good enough, pretty enough , and yes in shape enough. The fact his persona and looks are so good and he is an tennis player made me feel inadequate . The fact is he thinks I am very pretty , truly sexy and sexual and loves having me with him , and truly enjoys having sex with me and desires me..(WOW) I cant believe how close we are, he calls me every night , and texts me when he can just to say “HE HOPE IM HAVING A GOOD DAY” …..the truth is I am scared because I know I LOVE HIM…but that word will not come out in a moment of passion.. but when (probably in at least 6 more months) I may choose at that time to tell him…even though if he said it to me first I would I know start crying and tell him I have been IN LOVE with him for a long time..p.s.he gave me my own key to his apt. last month..:)

    • James Bauer said:

      I love this. Makes me happy. He is lucky to have you.

    • Lana said:

      Sharon,
      Thank you for sharing this story with us here. I can see your pain from the previous relationships that did not work out. I agree that saying “Love you” is a very powerful statement and you may wait till you are ready to say it out loud to him. But you always can express the love to him in your good actions, in your smile and appreciation of what He is doing towards you. From my own experience with the man I love, it works much better, and I feel much better, if He says it loud to me first, then I just repeat his words “love you too” as echo and it feels so appropriate to me and He feels good too, that he is Not the only one who is saying it out loud. I think the man can be spoiled, like a child, if you express too much love to him, and it never work for me in the past.
      Following you intuition and hearing your own feelings is very important, and we, women suppose to put ourself first in our life, no matter How is handsome or great in any other areas the man we are with now. He will appreciate your self-respect and your kindness to him in balance.
      I hope it was clear to understand, since English is my second language. 🙂

      Svetlana

  9. Thank you James,you suddenly opened my eyes and mind to this Big picture. It is indeed a wonderful article. At the moment am on the cross lines with a man whom I’ve known for 10 yrs and ansure of my decisions or the next step to take.

    • James Bauer said:

      Perhaps time will be your ally in discovering the best next steps.

  10. Sandy said:

    I have been married for 28 years to my sisters ex boyfriend ans still they try and sneak around behind my back but he says he loves me and don’t want to lose me so I don’t know why he does it anyone help me with this one ?

    • Me (May) said:

      Your sister and your husband try to sneak around together? For 28 years? Sounds like nobody loves anybody in this triangle and you are all thrill seeking. I

    • Sandy, you deserve better than this. Until you see your self-worth your husband won’t. I wouldn’t have hung around at all, but I know everyone is different. You can love him but still choose to leave him and search for someone who really does love you.

  11. There is a saying, “what we are not changing, we are choosing”. In your case maybe you husband, and sister are sneaking aroung behind your back because they can.
    You must get past the fear of losing him, draw your boundary line, and tell him “no more” . Honestly it must be terribly painful to be married to him, but feel you must share him or else. He needs to feel that you have enough self-esteem to stand up to him in this way, and really mean it. You have been married for 28 years. He needs to grow up and understand that if he truly loves you, he must choose. It is either you or your sister. You also must do this with full awareness that he may choose her. If that is the case, do not waste anymore of your prescious life on him.
    Hopefully he will be wise enough to stay with you and respect you for your faithfulness all these years, and the fact that you are strong enough to take a stand, should make him respect you as well. If not you are better off without him.
    I know this to be true because I was married to a ‘man’ for 22 years, only to find out that he had been lying to me the whole time, and had a whole other life going on. When I finally worked up the courage to tell him he must choose what he wanted, it wasn’t me, and he moved out while I was out of town visiting my son. I truly tried my hardest to be the best wife possible for him, but it obviously was not what he wanted,or respected. We have been divorced for 5 yrs. and I am much happier. I learned I could be very happy on my own, and being independent, away from someone who would only cause me emotional pain. I truly loved him with all my heart, but then I realized I didn’t even really know the real him.
    I hope this has helped you to ‘see’ what is really going on here. Life is just too short.
    Jen

  12. Penaz said:

    Your recommendations is all the approval I need. I have confirmed in heart of my heart what I want out of life and I can’t be happier right at this moment for having the tenacity to want what I want. I am worth it!! I look forward reading your articles. Thank you so much!!

  13. Lja said:

    James, thank you! I totally get this, but the guy I like is a friend who lives in another city. Not so long ago we met for a catch up in his city where he told me he had started dating a girl, who was funny, smart, good looking etc. she ticked all the boxes I guess, but then he told me that even with all these things he just didn’t love her. Selfishly or because I was not willing to discuss it with him due to my own secret feelings for him I just changed the subject, I didn’t ask about him choosing to love her, but he did say he kept thinking and hoping it would happen… For example he said “I keep thinking, maybe at the weekend I’ll fall in love, maybe tomorrow it will happen, but it just does not” since this meeting as I found out he has a gf I have distanced myself from him (this was before Christmas) and recently I’ve started emailing him again which he has been quickly replying to, I’m nervous to bring up the gf so have ignored asking. Do I just forget him or do I discuss the idea of choosing to love his gf and in doing so obviously say goodbye to my own feelings for him? Thanks James, lot more to this as I’m sure you can gather!

    • James Bauer said:

      That is a very noble thing for you to consider encouraging him to find happiness by learning to choose love rather than stumbling upon it. I also think it can be a noble choice to let someone know they have options (e.g. making your affection less secret). There are ways of respecting the friendship while sharing this information that can work well. He might have that in mind himself.

      • Lja said:

        Wow James, thanks so much! How would I go about telling in a way that respects friendship… I’m such a fearful scaredy cat gal when it comes to telling guys I really like how I feel, as never really want to lose the friendship if it all goes pear shaped! Thanks so much for your help.

        • James Bauer said:

          Each man has a slightly different preference, but many men respond well to open-ended invitations in the form of a statement that implies you would say yes if he ever wanted to “spend a little more time together.” Because men feel so respected when a woman keeps her distance while simultaneously showing a green light, there is a lot of room for error in the way you choose the say it.

      • Me (May) said:

        James has a booklet about ways to approach a friend and suggest you could have a different relationship. I don’t remember the name right now but maybe someone else does.

  14. pankti said:

    Hello James,
    I am Pankti from India. This article reminds me of the concept of arranged marriage thats prevalent here where prospective partners are screened by the families and then the people choose to love each other.my parents married the same way and they are happy since 27 years…

    • James Bauer said:

      Pankti,
      We Americans are often surprised to learn that research studies have shown arranged marriages lead to higher marriage satisfaction on average than non-arranged marriages. It surprises us Americans because we value our freedom so much. I know I was surprised to learn of that research. I’m glad you’re parents have experienced 27 years of happiness together!

  15. Katrien Verkercke said:

    James,

    This a very interesting article and on this moment I’m a little bit in a sticky situation. I met a guy, a nice guy very sweet and all you want I a person. I like him a lot but I’m not in love with him. I saw him 4 times. My last relationships where al the ones with love on first sight. And now I’m just afraid to hurt him…. Because what if my love never grows for him, I have to hurt him. Because he’s totally into me. Any advice?

    • James Bauer said:

      That old kindergarten saying comes to mind “Do unto others…” If you were in his shoes, would you rather have the chance to see what could happen, or would you rather be left now to reduce the pain later? Or might you want a mixture, where you tell him you want to fall for him, but you haven’t yet and you will give it another four weeks to see how the relationship might grow or change?

    • Katrien, the reply you received from James Bauer is excellent, and I agree with his approach. Give this new man some time, and let him know how you feel. Love isn’t always about “falling” at first sight; sometimes it is about choosing to love someone. (Even people in arranged marriages found themselves in love over the years.)

      You say the last relationships were all “love at first sight”… but what happened to those relationships? Did they last? Be patient with yourself, be patient with him. Give love a chance to grow and blossom.

    • Jules said:

      Love doesn’t usually happen in 4 dates. Love doesn’t always happen in 4 months. Do you like him? Does he accept you? Does he initiate dates with you? Can you be yourself around him? Does he make you laugh? Do you have shared values? Is he supportive? You don’t typically find out all of those things in 4 dates, and yet those seem to be the big indicators of long-term successful marriages; not, wow, it was love at first sight! Give it time, and see if it grows. At some point you’ll know if you’re truly not feeling it. Then you can move on. If there is zero attraction after 4 dates, of course, no amount of compatibility can compensate. But if there is some level of chemistry and attraction, I’d suggest definitely give it a few more dates to see if your feelings grow a bit.

  16. Clare said:

    Hi James,

    This is great… Love reading through this and seeing what others are going through, and how you help.

    I guess I’ve got the confidence to ask you a quick question as well….
    I was briefly introduced to a guy about 4 months ago, and promptly forgot about it. 2 months ago we bumped in to each other and then met up out later that evening. Story rolls along, we get along brilliantly, laugh, have fun, have chemistry… are able to sit in quiet etc. We are not ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ but are exclusive and seeing how things go. We finally had the ‘talk’ and he said he feels as though he should have that crazy spark (which we all know about, and have had, but for me it’s never led to a successful relationship), and he should be wanting to call me his gf and wanting to spend all his spare time with me – but he doesn’t… So we ended it. But he has messaged me, made me dinner, checked up on me and continued to be the lovely, sweet, caring guy he was before. My wondering leads me to ‘what else do we need for an amazing relationship?’ The fun, attraction, chemistry, laughing, quiet times, social stuff is all there…. I’m not sure if it’s because we still don’t know each other for a long amount of time and haven’t grown that yet? All other relationships I’ve had have been intense from the get go, and to finally meet someone who I can take it slow with has been incredible – but now it’s gone…
    What would be your advice???

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Clare. My answer depends on how much you can stand. I’m talking about returning the same kind of loving kindness he shows toward you (but without any promise or progress regarding a romantic or exclusive relationship).

      I am an advocate for respecting someone’s decision when they clearly end a relationship after thinking about it carefully. However, if you can tolerate having him in your life, propinquity is on your side the longer you maintain interaction with him. (Remember propinquity is just the term that means opportunities for interaction, which tend to correlate with opportunities to fall in love when you are least expecting it). If you don’t feel you could stand to see him gradually fall into the arms of another woman, I suggest you thank him for being such a kind friend but tell him your desires for a deeper kind of relationship make it hard to continue interacting with him in this pseudo-relationship way. If you think it is worth taking the chance (that he might eventually realize you are perfect for him) then keep encouraging the frequent interaction.

      James

  17. Jun Yang said:

    James, thank you!

    This is one of the most wise articles I have come across. It is very helpful and applicable for any human relationships.

    Jun

    • James Bauer said:

      Thanks, Jun. 🙂

  18. Diana said:

    Thank you James for this words! I was married for 20 years to a man I choosed to love, because he was the most gentle, caring, committed, responsible and supporting man I ever met and I also choosed him to be the father of my kids. He loved me like nobody else loved me before and probably nobody will. But, after few years I started to miss the passion, the crazy body chemistry, hot and wild attraction between a man and woman. With him I’v got emotional and material security, peace and the precious feeling of being loved and cherished, but deep inside of me I was yearning for the passion and erotic ecstasy he couldn’t offer to me. I tried to convinced myself that love and emotional security is much more important as the physical fulfilness. But during the years I felt more and more unhappy, I started to dream about other men ( but I never cheated on him, I took the marriage vows seriously) and I knew I can’t live like this till the end of my life, despite the love.
    I’v ended deeply frustrated and depressed, living with my best buddy and trying to be grateful for the love and all the good things he gave me and even feeling bad because of my secret demands.
    Long story- now I’m divorced and since one year I’m dating a charming and very sensual guy who can’t give me the emotional security, who is a complicated, egocentric and difficult personality and is having problems with commitment, BUT- he is giving me all the passion and ecstasy I never experienced in my marriage, but was so desperately craving for. Actually I feel like the Sleeping beauty, awoken with his kiss and feeling like an erotic goddess for the first time in my life, I feel ( and look) like twenty years younger and I’m having those sparkles in my eyes.
    So I’m asking myself what really is love at the end, what is really important and if it’s possible to get the whole package in one single person?? When I was loved by a man who was actually Mr. right I felt unhappy and unsatisfied.
    Now I’m desired by a man who is making me feel high and like intoxicated with his passion and who said he is in love with me and I’m a very special woman in his life, but he can’t commit to me. And actually I also know that he isn’t the right man to share my life with him, so I’m again not really happy. I do love him, but I’m not sure if I should invest so much in our relastionship like I do. Confused, I know…

    • lacanadienne said:

      Dear Diana,
      First, bravo for thinking so hard about living life well and being good to those around. 20 years and children are a wonderful testimony of love and commitment. Your story is highly interesting to me because I completely understand the two types of relationships you describe. I would love your, or anyone else’s, advice or thoughts on this.

      My story is in reverse order to yours: the complicated, unstable, egocentrical and sensual man in my life is my ex. We broke 3 years ago, after an intense 5-year relationship, when I discovered that he’d been cheating on me. Subsequently we both (alternately) tried again. I decided I simply must force myself to turn the page, for both his sake and mine, after he went through a bout of serious mental illness and blamed it on me.

      1.5 years ago I met a wonderful, calm, gentle, caring, committed, responsible and supportive man who thinks the world of me. Trying to put the past behind me, and build something more healthy, I gave dating this new guy a try. We get along great, and I trust him profoundly, we quickly became exclusive, and have had a solid, enjoyable and healthy relationship since.

      But I am feeling like what you describe, Diana- Its so nice to be with a dependable fellow. But I want to feel like desirable woman when with him; I don’t feel lovely or desired physically in his presence, and I miss the passion and emotional intensity of my ex-relationship. It is difficult, knowing what I’m missing: the sensual, emotional part of me craves something more profound, even though I KNOW that the new guy is good and safe for me.

      I’ve been so convinced all my life that choosing to love the right person is what matters, but after such a sincere effort, I’m starting to doubt- am I just incapable of being happy with anyone?

      So, James, or other readers: in light of this article, any thoughts?

      (ps- yes, I’ve talked with the new boy about these feelings; he’s been trying hard to ‘make me happy’, but I hate seeing such a sweet guy having to ‘try’ to show that he’s attracted to me… y’know??)

  19. Cheryl said:

    I agree. I have fallen in love with men I don’t know very well only to find out later they would be terribly wrong for me or it would have never worked. I have found it is better to get to know someone and choose to love them for the kind of person they are and all their wonderful qualities instead of waiting for that head over heels feeling.

  20. Dear James, I would like to say thank you for all your wonderful messages they always speak to me from deep within and always seem to arrive at a time where I am facing a dilemma. I’ve recently got back in contact with an ex of 5 years. We’ve been on the discussion of giving our relationship another shot and have also expressed our fears in doing so like history repeating itself leaving us more broken than before. He is currently living in another country albeit just a couple of hours of plane ride away so this gives us more room to think about what we really want. Fast forward I’ve also met another man who is 2 years younger than me and has been giving me very strong signals that he’s attracted to me. What really surprised me was that I find myself attracted to him too even though he is not my type (physical and fitness wise) at all. After getting to know him, I believe it’s because of certain qualities and life values he has that allowed me to look past his physical “flaws”. I used to be the kind of girl that’s attracted to the noncommittal bad boy type. And only now I’ve learned that it was an inner problem I had that caused me to make some self-damaging decisions. So, I found that it’s true that once you work on yourself, you’ll attract the right people in your life. Amazing would be an understatement and I wish more people would realize this and experience the wonderful effects of positive change at some point of their lives.

    So this is the dilemma I’m currently facing. Should I give the relationship I had with my ex another chance? I am still wondering that even though we’ve both been apart and working on ourselves this entire year, what are the chances of us actually having a better relationship? Can people truly change? As the saying goes, ‘the leopard never changes its spots.’ Can people accept certain quirks of others that they once find annoying? Or should I give this new guy a chance, somehow having this positive feeling about it in my gut. But I’m not sure if it’s because he is someone new and refreshing and that’s why I’m more attracted to the idea of a relationship with him.

    I think ultimately, what I’m afraid of is the choice I make.

    • James Bauer said:

      Vel, you are in learning mode right now. You need time to “learn” what it feels like to be in the presence of each of these men. Because of that, you might consider not committing to either one, but rather telling them both you want to learn more about what it feels to spend time in their presence. A more exclusive relationship with one of them can wait until the decision one way or another feels right and more certain.

  21. sondergade25 said:

    When in doubt, flip a coin and you will know which way you want it to land.

  22. I really enjoyed this article. I am really seeking someone that wants to work at creating love.

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