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Likewise, the best way to feel loving is to be loving ― and that means giving.

While most people believe love leads to giving, the truth (as Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler writes in his famous discourse on loving kindness) is exactly the opposite: Giving leads to love. When an enthusiastic handyman happily announces to his non- mechanically inclined wife, "Honey, wait till you see what I got you for your birthday ― a triple-decker toolbox! Neither is a father's forcing violin lessons on his son because he himself always dreamed of being a virtuoso.

You can care for, respond to, and respect another only as deeply as you know him or her.

The effect of genuine, other-oriented giving is profound.

And just as easily, it can spontaneously degenerate when the magic "just isn't there" anymore. Love is the attachment that results from deeply appreciating another's goodness. After all, most love stories don't feature a couple enraptured with each other's ethics. God created us to see ourselves as good (hence our need to either rationalize or regret our wrongdoings). Nice looks, an engaging personality, intelligence, and talent (all of which count for something) may attract you, but goodness is what moves you to love. Just focus on the good in another person (and everyone has some). I was once at an intimate concert in which the performer, a deeply spiritual person, gazed warmly at his audience and said, "I want you to know, I love you all." I smiled tolerantly and thought, "Sure." Looking back, though, I realize my cynicism was misplaced.

Erich Fromm, in his famous treatise "The Art of Loving," noted the sad consequence of this misconception: "There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love." (That was back in 1956 ― chances are he'd be even more pessimistic today.) So what is love ― real, lasting love? What we value most in ourselves, we value most in others.

Love is that feeling you get when you meet the right person." Every hand went up. Judaism actually idealizes this universal, unconditional love.

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The third is respect, "the ability to see a person as he [or she] is, to be aware of his [or her] unique individuality," and, consequently, wanting that person to "grow and unfold as he [or she] is." These three components all depend upon the fourth, knowledge.

(credit: Jaguar PS /" src=" width="333" height="500" srcset=" sizes="(max-width: 333px) 100vw, 333px" / Now, late to the party as I may be, I have to say that this does bring up the ever-popular topic of whether it’s possible to date someone who is “out of your league”.

After all, many of us know someone who punches above his or her weight class, dating people who they – by all rights – should have based on the flawed idea that the only thing that people value is looks.

True giving, as Erich Fromm points out, is other-oriented, and requires four elements.

The first is care, demonstrating active concern for the recipient's life and growth.

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