Love Is Not The Same


Love Is Not The Same
Lion Goodman muses on the changeable nature of true love, from day to day, and from woman to woman.

Love is Not the Same

I woke up in bed, opened my eyes, and turned to look at my partner, Carista. She was still sleeping, one arm over her eyes, breathing softly.  I felt my love for her. It was deep and profound, like the ocean.


My former partner came to mind, and I felt my love for her.  It was still there, where it had always been, in spite of the fact that we had separated many years ago.  I recognized that these two loves were not the same.  They each had a unique shape and quality.  Both were real, both were beautiful.  But different.

Extending this gentle inquiry, I thought of the many women I had loved throughout my lifetime.  My wife.  My daughter.  My first girlfriend at the tender age of 13.  The love I felt for each one matched each woman’s uniqueness, and her particular qualities of beauty, intelligence, form, and fire.

Love is not the same.  It is not a thing we have or don’t have, like a light switch that turns on or off.   It isn’t a universal solvent that gets applied evenly like a varnish, or a fog that covers everything in the same moist cloud.   Love appears more like human beings do – each one unique in a never-has-been-before form.  Like art, where there are similarities, but no two ever alike. 

Love is a function of the attention we place on the other person. When we attend to another, we stretch toward them.  We get an experience of them.  We feel what they feel like.  We “get” who they are.  We come to know a person by repeated stretchings and interactions. 

Since the feminine is constantly changing, like the ocean, or the weather, each time we place our attention on a woman we get a different experience.  We love this person, but she is different in every moment.  She is alive, and shifting, acting in ways that sometimes attract us like crazy, and sometimes drive us crazy. 

How could love be the same from moment to moment, let alone from woman to woman?

You may have noticed that when she says, “I love you,” she often expects you to say, “I love you,” back. You may hesitate at times, and ask yourself, “Do I really love her at this moment?  She just drove me crazy and made me mad!  How can I love her? Of course I love her, but just not right now. I’m not feeling it, but I need to say it, or she’ll get upset.  Okay, I’ll say it.”   ‘I love you, honey.’  Ahhh… That worked.”

This kind of exchange occurs on the surface of love.  It’s like being in a small boat in the middle of rough seas.  It would be lovely to sit back and appreciate the beauty of the water, but all of your attention is focused on avoiding death by drowning.  It’s hard to love her when you’re upset with her, or focused on important matters of survival. (Continues on Page 2)

Article contributed by

Carista Luminare, Ph.D. & Lion Goodman

Marriage/Couples Counselor

Carista and Lion


Carista Luminare, Ph.D.   &   Lion Goodman



Location: San Rafael, CA
Credentials: PhD
Other Articles/News by Carista Luminare, Ph.D. & Lion Goodman:

Stop Having The Same Arguments Over And Over (And Over) Again


After decades of being relationship experts who help guide others through their challenges, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a workshop for couples, created by the Gottman Institute. We figured that everyone could use a "relationship tune-up" from time to time — even those of us who are seasoned relationship healers. The ... Read more

6 Secrets For Harnessing The Power Of Love


We all need love. And no one ever complains about having too much of it. If you want more love and if you want to enjoy extraordinary relationships in your life, don't sit around hoping for a miracle. Take positive actions to make it happen. It's possible to turn ordinary, dissatisfying relationships into deep and positive experiences for both you ... Read more

Why Your Child Rebels: How To Nurture Your Child’s Healthy Will


Have you ever been dominated and controlled by another person? How did it make you feel? Did you want to push away from them or run away to escape their control?  This is a common feeling that many children have every day — because their parents are insensitive to their needs for independent self-expression. Children are complete human ... Read more

See More

Latest Expert Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular