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Simon says, “Value, understand, support, and encourage your significant other.”

“A major part of my attraction to you is your valuing who I am, my interests, and my priorities. You understand my needs, goals, and what I want for me. Beyond this, you support and encourage those activities and involvements I value outside of our relationship.”

That Simon. He does have a way of putting complex ideas into compact packages. “Value who I am, my interests, and my priorities.” Is this a message worth sending to your significant other? Sure it is; and Simon’s suggestion is simple. “Value before asking to be valued.” There you go. It is another version of one of the PPS basics. “Concentrate more on being a better lover than on being loved better.” Your job is to value your significant other. Whether you are valued depends on how attractive you are. How well you do your job of valuing is, for what it is worth, an important dimension of your attractiveness.

Do you get it? Undoubtedly you do. You are only responsible for your side of your relationship. You are committed to PPS and relate the best you can, whenever you can. Just as you apply the principle to valuing, you also apply it to understanding, supporting, and encouraging; but there is an old myth that Simon needs to debunk here and now.

The notion of “unconditional love” is nonsense. It does not exist between parent and child, lover and beloved, nor between friends. Love certainly can survive a lot of abuse and even more neglect; but love has its limits. People may still go through the motions for duty or from habit. They may even continue to call it love; but love it is not. Whatever the emotion has become, it is but a figment of that which they first called love. Perhaps it is merely the memory of love passing itself off as the genuine article.

Simon’s point is simple. Valuing, understanding, supporting, and encouraging can survive less abuse and neglect than can love. They are among the first attachment behavior to go when your relationship is going down the tube. As with other things in your relationship, the ounce of prevention is much easier and much more certain than any amount or kind of cure. Value, understand, support, and encourage. Do it for your significant other; do it for you.

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