You know what they say: Love at first sight is possible, but it pays to take a second look. We all give and receive affection differently. Do you agree? Some people are more capable of sustaining certain types of love than others. We may all agree that unconditional and spiritual love may be the highest form of loyalty and love there is.

How selfless are you in your relationships? Sometimes the surest way to find your self is to lose yourself in the service of others. Kind people are my kinda people. Remember that love is a decision, not just an emotion. Love people the way they need to be loved.

Do you value yourself, or do you view self-love as selfish or narcissistic? Is it possible to give what you do not even have? If you wish to show others thoughtfulness, you must be gentle and compassionate with yourself, as well.

You don’t need keys to drive me crazy. Aww. “Crazy” runs in my family, which is weird because my folks weren’t really athletic. Heck, in my family, “crazy” doesn’t skip a generation. But truly, you cannot be comfortable with anyone without your own approval.

So how does love weather storms and endure? The type of love that stays the course and stands fast requires a great deal of effort and energy. But, what is better than loving and being loved in return? Perhaps you have a friend whom you feel big time affection for. No doubt you stand behind and stick up for each other through good times and bad.

Are you able to love him unconditionally? Can you accept her, flaws and all? Little acts of kindness go a long way, sweet friends. How good are you at considering situations from his side of things? Do you feel safe enough to share your innermost thoughts and feelings with her?

I’ll bet that no one has ever taught you how to love somebody. Sure, you had reading, writing and ‘rithmetic, but what about a course on love and life? Then again, math gives us hope that every problem has a solution. If I had one hour left to live, I’d spend it in math class. It never ends: I failed math so many times at school, I can’t even count.

But truly, there is no tried and true recipe for love or successful relationships. But while you are on that obstacle-ridden path, please do not take each other for granted. Show the same appreciation and admiration you did when you first met. Go ahead and offer that well-thought-out gift.  Oh, and I hope you love the present you exchange my gift for. Remember that gifts have ribbons, not strings.

Do you know what inspires you to stay or leave a friendship or relationship? We may convince ourselves that no matter how difficult or disturbing his behavior may be, it will change in time. Not so, my friends. You may have ignored some red flags or glossed over some problems when spending time with her. She had more “red flags” than Soviet Russia? Trust me: Those red flags are not signs of a carnival. When you look at him through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags. Be cautious.

How do you prefer showing your affection to your loved ones? If you wish to keep that friendship or relationship alive, please find ways to express appreciation – even adoration. Close your eyes and visualize what it takes to make you feel satisfied and serene in a relationship. What makes your best friendship or relationship with her so memorable and magical? I’ll bet you feel respected and even celebrated by him.

Being able to be honest about yourself and with each other is literally the most indispensable part of healthy communication. Commit yourselves to never-ending betterment. Look at it this way: It’s like your fitness routine.  A one-hour workout is only four percent of your day. Don’t you wish you could drop your body off at the gym and pick it up when it’s ready? What’s the best way to build upper arm strength? Take a lot of selfies. Nah. The same voice that tells you to give up can be trained to say: “Keep going.”

Do you wish to grow emotionally and spiritually? Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, my friends. It’s been noted: A bad day for your ego is usually a good day for your soul. Reframe your challenges, please.  Instead of saying: “I can’t do that,” say: “I’m still struggling with that…”

Check in with yourself as much as you check your Instagram, and you’ll be golden. Just how many miles have you scrolled with your thumb? What’s that? Reaching under the couch for something is the closest you’ll ever get to yoga? I hear you. But just remember that meditation is the ultimate mobile device.  You can use it anywhere, anytime.

Be kind, compassionate and accepting of yourself, please. You can always rewrite your story. Show up for others – but show up for yourself, as well. Your energy flows where your attention goes. What are you paying attention to?

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at