Love Relationship
12 Ways To Cultivate Love As An Action
03May 2011

Above all else, love requires action. There is a reason some couples can sustain an active love affair over a period of decades, while for others the fire goes out very quickly. It has everything to do with learning HOW to love each other.

The real secret to an extraordinary love affair is that each person must be willing to DO WHAT IT TAKES to have a great relationship. True love is much more than just experiencing an emotion for a while. We must cultivate the ability to love as an action.

Read Jon and Missy Butcher’s “12 Ways To Cultivate Love As An Action:


You can make a conscious decision to create an incredible love that lasts for the rest of your life. Think deeply about what would be required to build that kind of a relationship. Define exactly what it would look like in every area – physically, spiritually, emotionally, sexually and intellectually. Agree on the values and attributes you want to build into your relationship, and most importantly, define the personality traits you need to cultivate in yourself in order to create and maintain such a relationship. Your Lifebook is the most powerful tool you could ever have to make this happen!


You can’t make anything good without good ingredients. You can’t make good wine without good grapes. You can’t have a great sports team without great athletes. And you can’t have a great relationship if you’re not a great person. The question is; who are you willing to become to get the kind of a relationship you want?

The most important thing you can do to have a great relationship is to be the best person you can possibly be – stay healthy and strong, live intelligently, create quality emotions, and consistently develop a good character. That’s more than half the battle. Extraordinary relationships require extraordinary people, so you need to be one.


Nathaniel Branden said, “Romantic love is a passionate spiritual-emotional-sexual attachment between two people that reflects a high regard for the value of each other’s person.”

Have a deep regard for one another. Adore each other. Demonstrate a great admiration and a deep respect for each other. The importance of admiration and respect in a love relationship can’t be overstressed. Because there will be storms – that is unavoidable. But if you respect and admire each other, you’ll be more likely to stay in the ring together and do whatever it takes to make it through. You’ll come out stronger. If you don’t respect and admire each other, any storm can kill the relationship.


Empathy in a love relationship is the experience of “oneness”, where your feelings ARE your partner’s feelings. Where what lights you up more than anything else is lighting up your lover. Where their needs ARE your needs – and your needs are their needs. In truly empathetic love there is virtually no distinction.


There are times in our relationships when we need to point out negatives to each other – disappointments or complaints. There are times when we have to make a criticism. We can’t have a good relationship without being honest. But we should always pay attention to the ratio of complaints vs. compliments.

People naturally take criticism differently if it comes in a context of love and support. Studies have been done that show that great relationships typically have a 5 to 1 compliment to criticism ration. So strive for 100 to 1. Know that if your compliment to criticism ratio is 100 to 1, your lover is going to listen to you. But if your lover is constantly assailed with criticism and gets very little positive feedback, you’re probably going to get tuned out. Be supportive. Be complimentary whenever possible, and set the context for honesty to be accepted by your lover with open arms.


Make a commitment to truth and honesty in your relationship. Don’t let there be anything false or fake about you or your partnership. Always be 100% real with each other and yourselves.


Be the kind of person your lover can count on. Do what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it. And always strive to be there for them when they need you.


The most important attribute a love relationship can have is the sense of being on the same side – always on the same team. If your relationship is solid, you can handle anything that comes along – anything life throws at you. You may be strong people separately, but together you can be unshakeable. Your relationship can become the foundation of your lives.


Your relationship should have a quality of dignity in the way that you communicate. How do you want to treat each other? How do you want to talk to each other? How do you want to handle disagreements? Discuss how you would like to talk to and treat one another, and dedicate yourself to getting good at it.

Talk openly about how you want to handle disagreements. Discuss the kind of sex life you want to have, the experiences and adventures you want to share and the goals you want to accomplish together. In essence, clearly define your vision, because that’s the first step in building it. Again, your Lifebook is a major advantage in this area!


Let your lover know how much you love, adore and appreciate them. Demonstrate and SHOW how much you love each other. Express your love for them through big and little things alike. It’s SO easy to do. A little note, some flowers for no reason, a sexy little email. Little special surprises like that can make your whole day. Don’t let a day go by without telling them how much you appreciate something about them. And as much as possible, let them know WHY.

Doing this will not only have a positive effect on your partner, but it will have a profound effect on you as well. Staying in touch with these things takes your love to a new level. Make it a point to DO things to show love and to make your partner feel loved and appreciated. It doesn’t take any time really. It doesn’t need to cost anything. But it makes all the difference in the world.


You can make a commitment to take time together – time away from your kids, time away from work – time to just be together and cultivate your relationship and enjoy one another. Plan it and protect and cherish your time alone together.


This is the purpose of a love affair; to meet each other’s needs at a deep level so growth and expansion can occur for BOTH people. Love isn’t just two people gazing into each other’s eyes all the time. It’s about two people holding hands, facing life in the same direction. Looking outward together, experiencing life with and through each other. Experiencing life with two brains, two sets of eyes, two bodies, two sets of intuition, two senses of smell, touch and taste. Sharing everything you are with a person you love. Sharing all the energy, enthusiasm and excitement of life together. It is living on a completely different level. That is one of the greatest things you can experience as a human being.

6 comments “12 Ways To Cultivate Love As An Action”

  • Tom Gargiula
    June 1, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Jon & Missy,

    Thank you for sharing this. It is beautiful and so true. Remembering that Love is a verb and communicating with your spouse are the keys to a stronger and deeper relationship. Lifebook has taken it all to a much deeper level with greater impact.

  • Missy B
    June 3, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Thanks for your kind comment Tom.

    I love that you touched on love as a verb and communication because these 2 are such cornerstones to a remarkable love affair.

    Jon and I were just discussing the other evening how concentrated time together and communication are tied so tightly together… meaning, the more time we share together, the more we communicate… the more quality and intimate our time together is the deeper the communication becomes. They build upon one another and make our love grow deeper and stronger.

    I think this is one of the reasons some legendary love affairs can last a lifetime…
    Here’s to yours!
    :) ~M~

  • Dear Jon & Missy,

    Your love relationship can be written in a book just by itself alone, I believe. Given all the other categories of Lifebook, it is important that ALL of them tie in together to make the family unit work together in harmony.

    For Nancy and I simple things like sitting on the sofa together and just touching shoulder to shoulder sets the stage for complete bonding in other actions of love. When we swim in the pool together, work in our garden together or go boating for the day together – this sets the stage for how our whole day goes. Talking and sharing then become so much easier.

    Reading your experiences and hearing from you is such a blessing. Thank you so much!

  • Missy B
    June 6, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Hi Dr. Bruce,

    Thank you so much for your kind words…

    Love the idea of “setting the stage”… SO important for the underlying emotional base of your home and family to be like you describe it here.. solid and true… just beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing.

    I hope you and Nancy have a wonderful month filled with lovely romantic days!
    :) ~M~

  • Angelique Levine
    October 27, 2011
    12:10 pm

    Dear Jon and Missy,

    It is my pleasure to know that you are both still together, and continuing life’s journey in tandem.
    We have met, (some ten years ago.)
    You are both visionaries and I am writing you in hopes that you and Jon will see a path that I did not.
    I will be hosting trickshot prodigy, Florian “Venom” Kohler of Kingersheim, FR. in Dec. from the 12th-18th.
    He’s scheduled to appear on ABC’s 11am segment with Linda Yu.
    While he is in Chicago, he has asked me to book him some exhibitions.
    Because of his uniqueness, I am having terrible difficulty, aside from creating an event myself (I am contemplating The Metropoltian Club, Willis Tower.)
    He seems a better fit for a private party.
    I’m including a link to his YouTube posts in case you’re unfamiliar.
    I’d be grateful for any advice…

    I remember we both have a penchant for Veuve Cliquot Rose,
    I’ve asked Florian to bring that and a bottle of Jacquart with him. :)
    I look forward to hearing your thoughts,
    Thank you both,

  • Heath McKinley
    June 21, 2017
    12:10 pm

    great post…loved the read and love lifebook :) Thanks!

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