Opposite Action to Love: When is it effective?


Opposite Action to Love

There are various definitions and aspects of love, the type of love we have for our family vs. friends is different than the type of love we have for our significant others. For the context of this blog we’ll focus on the purpose of love within intimate partner relationships.

 The Biological Purpose of Love:

We are born hard-wired for love and connection and to bond with one another. Love is a primary emotion no different than sadness or fear. Within the context of behavioral therapy, the purpose of love is for survival and surviving effectively long term. Love drives us towards connection with other’s and then interferes with our ability to detach when things become complicated or difficult. Love’s purpose is to keep us attached, connected and surviving in relationships. If something happens to us, individually, those relationships will be there to support, comfort and provide healing, along with increasing chances of survival long term.

When is love justified?

From the perspective of behavioral therapy, combined with neuropsychology and attachment, love is justified when:

  1. Loving a valued, admired person, animal, or object enhances the quality of life for you or those you care about.
  2. When loving the person, animal or object increases your chances of attaining your own personal goals.

When is love not justified?

Love is an automatic, human reaction and emotion. Feeling love for someone sometimes becomes confusing, unsafe and complicated. We value the people we love and often times may justify their behaviors because we do love and care about them.

Acting opposite of our love for someone does not come easy, it goes against our human nature for connection. Going against our natural biological experience is DIFFICULT.

Choosing to love someone and act on the emotion of love, is an individual decision and each individual makes the choice on their own. It’s important to note that there isn’t a black and white answer to loving or not.

Identifying when to act opposite to love

From the perspective of behavioral therapy, combined with neuropsychology and attachment, love is justified when:

  1. If a relationship is threatening your integrity or physical well-being is destructive.
  2. If you are in love with someone who does not love you back.
  3. If a relationship is threatening to your physical body, safety, your self-esteem or sense of integrity, your happiness or peace of mind, or your caring for the other person.
  4. If the relationship has become interfering for example, if it has started to make things difficult for you to pursue your goals that are important to you, your ability to enjoy life and do things you like doing, your relationships with other people, or the welfare of other’s that you love.

Safety first!

If you are considering leaving an abusive or life-threatening relationship, call a local domestic violence center hotline or the toll-free National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) for help with safety planning and a referral to a qualified professional. See also the International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies (www.hotpeachpages.net)

This is where therapy can be helpful. Specifically, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. DBT helps to teach skills to process emotions and logical in order to make cohesive informed decisions, at the same time acknowledging and processing the painful, difficult and confusing emotions that arise when making a decision to act opposite to love.  

If you or someone you know find the above relatable and would like to learn more. Asking your therapist about attachments, opposite action and DBT and how it may be helpful your experience can assist with getting support. Our therapist at The Center of Life Counseling, in Orlando and Longwood, Florida focus on anxiety, attachment and relationship traumas.

Email info@thecenteroflifecounsleing.com or call us to learn more or to schedule an appointment 407-476-1432

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