Today is Valentine’s Day, and I’m here to teach you how to be a better lover. But probably not in the way that you’re thinking.
I read a fascinating article in the NY Times the other day about love. The article covers a lot of different topics, and I’d highly recommend it. But one point jumped out at me as particularly interesting. I’m skipping over some of the fine points to get to the key takeaway for you.
A research study was conducted to gauge a person’s ability to love. The group of people in the study were asked to meditate for one hour a week, with the focus of their meditation to “cultivate feelings of tenderness, warmth, and compassion for another person.” It was a selfless meditation, opposed to meditation or prayer where the focus is on what you want.
The participants’ ability to love (I won’t go into the details on how they measured this, but it’s scientifically grounded) significantly increased after practicing this type of meditation for a few months.
Now, meditation may or may not be for you. But the point is that you can be a better lover by focusing more on other people than yourself. And not just a better lover, but a better friend, leader, teacher, business person, etc. I’ve written about this concept in a leadership post called Make It About Them. You will be more successful at everything–with love at the top of that list–if you are selfless instead of selfish.
Consider this theory as you go about your Valentine’s Day. If you’re married or dating someone, how can you make the day about your partner instead of you? If you’re single (especially if you don’t want to be single), how can stop thinking about your singledom and focus on other people–perhaps the other single people who are struggling with the same thing?
Simply by shifting your mindset away from yourself, you will expand your capacity to love and feel more fulfilled by doing so. At least, that’s what the NY Times says.