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How We Destroy Love


How We Destroy Love

By Sonika Tinker, MSW and Amazon Best selling author, Christian Pedersen

How do we unconsciously destroy love in our intimate relationships?
Here are a couple of ways:

We quit giving

Love gives. And this is no more obvious than at the beginning of relationship. 

When in love, we are generous with our giving. We bestow upon our beloved an abundance of touch and attention. We offer gifts and love notes and phone calls. We make love for hours. We listen to each other with great rapture and divulge all of our secrets. We make delicious meals for each other. We fix things that are broken. We can’t wait to show and express our love.

Unfortunately, as relationship proceeds, we give less and less. Not surprisingly, love diminishes.

We mistakenly believe it is the OTHER who makes us feel blissfully charged with love and generosity. We do not see that it is the act of loving and giving itself that produces our joy. 

In our confusion, we think the path to feeling love again is to get our partner to change and meet our expectations. We try to GET them to keep their agreements, to commit, to help around the house more, to make love with us for hours, to listen to us, to show their love to us like they use to. In other words, we try to GET our partner to give to us. 

Our partner is doing the same to us. Trying to GET us to give to him or her.  

Take Barb and Joe. They both want each other to be different and they are quick to tell each other so. She is trying to get him to quit watching TV and be more understanding, and he is trying to get her to be open and have sex. Both of them want deeper intimacy and connection, but their focus on trying to change the other keeps them both from feeling love.

With both of them trying to get from each other and no one giving, there is no flow of love. It’s like going to a potluck where no one brought food! 

We mistake wanting for having

We want. Unconditional Love. Intimacy. Sex. Passion. Aliveness. Harmony. Partnership. We spend the bulk of our time in relationship wanting.

There are a few problems with wanting. The main one being this: wanting and having cannot exist in the same space at the same time. While we want intimacy, we cannot feel intimacy. The wanting takes up all the space and squeezes out any possibility of actually HAVING intimacy.

Here’s an example: Suzanne decides to make the brave move to go upstairs and initiate sex and intimacy with her husband after months of no contact. She crawls into bed, and immediately, Brian launches in, “See! You never do this! You never come up here and initiate sex. I hate our marriage. You are so closed and unavailable….” Brian was so stuck in wanting sex that he missed out on the opportunity to have it when it was right in front of him. Fifteen minutes later, she stormed angrily back downstairs.

We assume we are the same

We don’t mean to, but we overlay our interpretations and values onto others. One way this shows up is in key gender differences. For instance, did you know that studies of men and women’s brains show that men under stress withdraw and women under stress reach out to connect and talk? Misunderstandings and fights abound when we assume our partner thinks, feel and acts like we do. How many women do you know who get mad at their men for withdrawing in the heat of an argument, and how many men get frustrated by a woman’s incessant desire to talk?

When we understand key differences, we can replace frustration with understanding, compassion, and even humor. 

Now, when Julie and Josh drive in the car together, they don’t fight like they used to. Josh supports Julie to feel connected by initiating conversation sometimes, and Julie joins Josh in the silence sometimes. They understand and appreciate their differing needs.


To make our relationship vision a reality, we must move from wanting to having, replace misunderstandings with wisdom, and step into giving.

Sonika Tinker, MSW and Christian Pedersen, Amazon best-selling author, relationship experts with over 35 years experience, are the founders of LoveWorks, a relationship training company offering leading edge relationship solutions. For more information on their free presentations, live workshops, online programs and products, visit