Don’t Think You Have Substitutes For Love?

Everyone is not motivated in the same way but regardless of preference for attention, companionship and physical intimacy we all have love substitutes. If you have been married then you know that it takes work to balance your time with family and the rest of your obligations. However many may not consider the amount of time spent on pass times, hobbies, and even things that seem like necessities in place of spending quality time with people. As a single person you may be able to see your time spent more clearly.

Following are some general and some extreme examples of ways that people throw themselves into other activities. As a single person you are just living life, or so it seems. But when you are in a relationship and especially if you are married, these pass times become more obvious distractions and substitutions for real solutions. Fitness, sports, video games, social clubs, education, religion, pets, writing, work, television, music, hobbies, clubbing, shopping, grooming, auto repair/maintenance, social networking, work, travel, food, alcohol, drugs, and revenge.

We all fill our time in different ways, the key is to focus on personal development, growth and balance Physical, Spiritual, Educational, Mental and Social. Working out twice daily because your relationship is on the rocks is not healthy for your mind or body. Going to a social meeting 7 times a week because you are lonely or unhappy affects your income, schedule and quality that you bring to others in the organization, like skills or income. Even if you are a workaholic and spend all your time working, it’s so you can have more money because you think that will bring you happiness in your relationships. This is futile what if you die before you get the money…you wasted hours when you should have been loving. You will also significantly affect the type of relationships you attract and the quality of your relationships because you are using work as a means to love but it is actually a substitute.

A Chinese proverb talks about leaning into pain. When you become single or are lonely or discontent with your social connections it’s time to focus on self actualization by leaning in to receive the lesson. Let your substitute for companionship be learning to love better by loving yourself enough to become a better you. You can look all day at what your ex needs to change, and harbor anger or you can focus on growing and being prepared for what’s in store for you. For more about Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs consider researching and and learning how to pursue the higher needs of growth and self actualization. I wrote a previous blog on The Social Entrepreneur, sharing more about Maslow’s chart and how we can use it.