I like to think of love as an art. Like painting or music — you cannot expect to be talented in music without practice — love is no different. And that goes for both giving and receiving. With love-as-an-art you are both the giver and the receiver, the painter and the canvas; an experienced lover knows how to touch their canvas, and a good canvas in turn knows how to receive touch and illuminate something beautiful.
Love always starts with yourself, and with that most fundamental of questions, “who am I?”
Who are you to be loved?
Receiving love is kind of like hypnosis in that you can only hypnotize people who are willing (consciously and subconsciously) to be hypnotized! Even the most talented hypnotist cannot hypnotize someone too stubborn to be hypnotized. And in the same way, the worlds most talented lover cannot love a person who is unwilling to be loved. You cannot love a person who does not love themselves. In those moments such a person becomes an instrument that refuses to play; a canvas that does not hold paint.
Now of course, there is a form of hypnosis that works completely subconsciously without any will or consent, it’s a temporary, sort of deer-in-headlights form of hypnosis that illusionists use to distract a person to do something silly like steal their watch. It’s a con of sorts. And unfortunately, for many people, this is how they experience love — love appears to just happen — and it becomes a sort of game. Those who learn this con game are able to play successfully. It means temporarily blinding a target, and rather than stealing a watch, they steal a heart.
If you are not practicing being a talented lover, there is a good chance you are unconsciously playing this silly game, sometimes as the target, sometimes as the mark. Your basic needs met through what is essentially a con.
It is ironic that everyone who says, “I don’t want to play games”, is in that moment playing a game. If you really wanted to stop playing games, then I would recommend learning to love, become a talented lover, learn to give and receive, and be amazing and seductive to all the lovers in your life.
There are no rules to love, there is no score, because it’s not a game — like music and art — love can be practiced and enjoyed for it’s own sake.
Most importantly, love yourself, for it is the most significant relationship in your life.