I wish I had been given one. I wish we all had been handed a Love Manual in a class in high school, and taken levels two and three in college. For there are basic laws and practices we could have learned that would have made the path of intimate relationship so much easier had we only been given the proper roadmap.

I don’t believe that there’s one manual that would apply to every aspect of every relationship. That would be like saying there’s one parenting book that applies to all parent-child configurations and would resolve every child-raising difficulty. It sounds alluring, but when that promise is made I turn the other way, as relationships of all kinds are far too complicated to be simplified into a one-size-fits-all formula.

But what I have learned over many years of being in intimate relationships and guiding others through them is that there is a basic set of information and actions that can dramatically improve the daily tenor of the heart and the atmosphere in the home. There are love laws that are easy to learn and understand, but if you never see them in action growing up you won’t intuitively slide into their vocabulary. I’m always amazed and inspired by my clients who were raised in a home where they witnessed a healthy, loving marriage (yes, they do exist!) and how naturally they’re able to communicate with clarity and love to their partners. We learn best by osmosis, so for these fortunate clients it’s not anything their parents explicitly told them that allows them to live out the love laws through daily actions but it was simply by swimming in the language of love that they learned them.

For the rest of us, however, we need the manual. We need the love laws and loving actions spelled out for us so that we can learn, follow, and practice daily a language that will help us open our hearts and continually cultivate more love and attraction. This is how new, loving habits are formed. And the good news is that they can be formed! Even if you grew up without any positive role-modeling regarding love, you can still learn the actions that create loving relationships.

And even if you did breathe in the benefits of witnessing a healthy marriage growing up, there’s always more to learn. Fear has a sneaky way of undoing the healthy patterning, so that when your partner dips into the inner folds of your heart, fear will jut up its walls and cause a sort of amnesia about the ways of love. People often ask me, “But I grew up seeing a healthy marriage. Why am I so scared?” You’re scared because we don’t grow up in a bubble, so there are many other elements that influence your ability to give and receive love. You may have been bullied by peers. You have have been hurt by early partners. And without a doubt you absorbed false information about love, romance, attraction, and marriage through popular culture and other sources.

Mostly you’re scared because part of the human condition is to learn how to navigate fear and choose love, meaning that fear is simply part of being human. Some would say that that challenge is at the core of the spiritual path, and that intimate relationships are an accelerated course in learning about fear, resistance, and the walls that prevent us from loving fully. The more we can name the fear and learn the actions that break down its walls, the more we can open the chambers of the heart that let love in. And this is what needs to be included in the manual nobody received.

You can receive a brief, bullet-point version of the manual here.

But if you want to delve deep into the core principles and receive personal guidance and group support as you practice them daily, please join me for my fifth round of Open Your Heart: A 30 day program to feel more love and attraction for your partner, where I’ll be teaching you about the foundations of love, how to name fear and resistance, what it means to love yourself, and how to open your heart so that you can give and receive love in the fullest sense with your partner.

Registration is now open. If you’re ready to learn, take my hand and let’s begin.

Author's Bio: 

Sheryl Paul, M.A., has counseled thousands of people worldwide through her private practice, her bestselling books, her e-courses and her website. She has appeared several times on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, as well as on “Good Morning America” and other top media shows and publications around the globe. To sign up for her free 78-page eBook, “Conscious Transitions: The 7 Most Common (and Traumatic) Life Changes“, visit her website. If you’re suffering from relationship anxiety – whether single, dating, engaged, or married – sign up for her FREE Sampler on relationship anxiety.