Stan Dubin

true love

Is True Love For Real?

We’ve heard the term more times than we can count:

“True love.”

Some of us have a different way of saying it:

“Finding one’s soul mate.”

Is true love for real?

Does one really find their soul mate?

To answer these questions, let’s step back a bit.

Two people can get together and find themselves deeply in love. They share many intimate days, weeks, months and perhaps even years. Even with a considerable passage of time, their love for each other continues to be strong.

They both may feel they’ve found their soul mates.

They both may feel they got that elusive true love.

And then something happens. It may happen in a few weeks or a few months or it may be a year or two down the road where “something” happens.

That “something” could be a number of different things. But the result is one or both partners consider the true love to have vanished. And if not completely gone, then certainly reduced enough to where they question whether they had true love at all.

And this is important: It doesn’t have to be one big “something” that happened that brings about this drop or disappearance of true love. It could be a series of small things that gradually eroded the love.

Here’s what I think:

Two people can get together and have a tremendous amount of affinity for each other. A tremendous amount. If you like, let’s call that “true love.”

Now, that very large quantity of affinity is capable of seeing this couple through a fair amount of what life throws at them. But I’m afraid there is no guarantee that this affinity will stay at this very high level.

Things happen. We know this. Small things. Big things. These incidents — and certainly the accumulation of them — are capable of reducing affinity. In some cases, erasing the affinity.

So, is true love real?

Can one really find one’s soulmate?

I’m going to say yes.


But if the couple wants this true love to endure, then each is going to need to throw a bit of work into it. I’m reminded of a quote from our Marriage Quotes page:

“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.”

My recommendation would be this:

Instead of depending on true love seeing you through, do whatever it takes to maintain and grow that wonderful affinity you brought to the marriage.

We’re here to help you do just that.

Love In Challenging Times

Nurses - Married Couple

From ABC News, this is Mindy and Ben Cayer, both nurses. They were seen in their protective gear, holding each other between surgeries at Tampa General Hospital.

Two Young Actors Find Love

My local paper had a sweet article about two young actors, Gabi Guinta and Taylor Simmons, who grew up on opposite sides of the U.S., but managed to find each other...on stage!

I particularly liked the final few paragraphs:

"When you say you love someone, you're telling them that no matter what happens, you're always going to be there for them and you're always going to support them and encourage them to pursue their dreams," Gabi said.

"I trust her completely," said Taylor. "We always have each other's backs. We just need to look into each other's eyes and be like, 'We got this.' "

"Now we just have to figure out life," Gabi laughed. "But with him, it's going to be okay."

Good stuff!

Three Love Quotes To Melt Your Heart

This is a guest post from Sylvia Smith. Sylvia is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples in therapy. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage:

"The world may see marriage differently now as old traditions are being replaced by new ones. But one thing is for sure: no other relationship of any kind can bring as much joy, generate as much good, or produce as much personal refinement as a marriage.

"Marriage is truly awesome! I'd like to present three love quotes to inspire you in your marital journey..."

Marriage as a Verb

Friendship - The Spark of Marriage Love and Tomorrow

The Power of “Thank You”

Thank You

How often have you heard this advice?

"Take a few seconds in your marriage—or any relationship for that matter—and simply say 'Thank you.'"I imagine you've heard that suggestion a few times. So, let me ask you a fairly blunt question:

How many times in the past week did you say "Thank you" to your husband or wife?

For those of you who frequently—and sincerely—thank your spouse, here is a "high five!”

We seem to have so much to do these days and so many other things on our minds to also get done, we do not take the time to do some of the "little" but powerful things to improve our relationships.

Your spouse cooks a great dinner. You could give her (or him) a fast "thanks" at the end of the meal, or you could stand up and get right up in front of her (or him) and say, "Thank you, honey, for that wonderful dinner!"

When your spouse reaches over and hands you the salt or the newspaper or an item of clothing, you could take for granted that simple act OR you could say, "Thanks" and include a big smile! Did that take long? Did we lose any time in our hectic day when we said: "thank you"?

Of course not.

Do we want to demonstrate to our spouse that we appreciate them and appreciate what they do? Hopefully yes.

A very simple way to do this is with frequent use of the two words "Thank you" ... and feel free to throw in a big smile as a bonus.

There are many ways to say "Thank you." The husband brings her wife flowers and the wife wonders "what's the occasion?" The husband says, "just wanted to say thank you for all of the wonderful things you do."

The wife cooks a completely off the charts dinner one night and the husband here wants to know what the occasion is. The wife simply lets him know how much she appreciates him and everything he does!

My apologies to any readers who feel I've stereotyped men and women here by these last two examples—but I give these solely as examples of expressing appreciation.

Don't underestimate these two words. Make an effort to thank your husband...your wife...your mom...your daughter...sister, friend, neighbor!

Do it often.

Of course, it helps if you're genuinely thankful when you tell someone "thank you," but even if you are not, go ahead and say those two magical words anyway.

Yes, I'm suggesting you fake it a bit. Why? Well, because in your heart of hearts, you really are thankful that someone did something that made your life a little bit easier, better, more enjoyable. You may not feel it right then and there, you may have your attention on some upset, but take a real pro-active step to improve your relationship and say:

Thank you.

The more often you and your spouse find sincere ways to communicate your "thanks" to each other, the brighter your marriage will be.

Can Watching Movies Help Your Marriage?


Here is an excerpt of an article I just read:

A new study finds that watching and discussing movies about relationships is as effective in lowering divorce rates as other, more intensive early marriage counseling programs.

Discussing five movies about relationships over a month could cut the three-year divorce rate for newlyweds in half, researchers report. The study, involving 174 couples, is the first long-term investigation to compare different types of early marriage intervention programs.

The findings show that an inexpensive, fun, and relatively simple movie-and-talk approach can be just as effective as other more intensive therapist-led methods — reducing the divorce or separation rate from 24 to 11 percent after three years.

My view of this is very simple.

Anything that gets you and your spouse (or significant other) communicating about your relationship is valid "therapy." Obviously communicating involves letting your partner communicate fully, listening to them and acknowledging them.

The Failures of “Traditional” Marriage Counseling

Here is an excerpt from an article I saw over at

Bill Doherty, a professor in the family social science department at the University of Minnesota, said, "Around 30 percent of the couples coming into marriage counseling are mixed agenda couples," he says. "Divorce is on the table for one of the parties. Traditional marriage counseling has no way to deal with those people. It's been an area of frustration for a lot of marriage counselors."

Let me give you those last two sentences again:

"Traditional marriage counseling has no way to deal with those people. It's been an area of frustration for a lot of marriage counselors."

Let's say you take your computer to a guy who says he's an expert at fixing computers. You spent a lot of money on this computer, and you'd really like to keep using it. The repair guy looks over your computer and says, "you'd really be better off throwing this one away and getting a new one."

You ask him if he CAN fix it. "Well, I think I can, but what's wrong with your computer is a real challenge to fix."

So what do you do? You thought you were bringing your computer to a pro, someone who advertised himself as an expert in computer repair.

The same is true with marriage counselors.

If you're thinking of seeing a marriage counselor who is "frustrated" by the use of the "divorce" word by one or even both partners, then may I suggest you look elsewhere.

If divorce is being considered, then the factors in this post have NOT been addressed.

You must get to the source of the problem. If you do, things get better. MUCH better.

You must get to the reason for the bad feelings, for the lack of love or romance, for the distance that's occurring between the two of you.

If you get to THE reason, things get better.

MUCH better.

Love Quotes — Something for Everyone

I went scouring throughout the web to find some interesting "love quotes." I found all kinds: romantic, funny, deeply meaningful and even some clever ones!

Here are a few examples:

“Love is the greatest refreshment in life.” — Pablo Picasso

“Love: the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” – Mark Twain

“If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?” — Lily Tomlin

Check out the others at the Love Quotes page!

A New Type of Marriage?

I was at a web site today that mentioned an interesting bill being considered in the Alabama state legislature. The bill "would require couples entering into a covenant marriage to enter counseling before they're married, and they attend counseling if they want to get a divorce. It also limits the reasons for which married couples can divorce."

(covenant: a formal agreement or promise)

It's an interesting idea and I'm wondering, if the bill is enacted, how many couples would take part in this. If you're currently married, do you feel you would've benefited from a legally binding agreement that wouldn't let your marriage end in divorce unless certain requirements were met?

If you're not married, do you like this idea? Remember, this law would not you let enter into the marriage without first going through counseling with your future spouse.

I wonder what kind of counseling is being required here. I'd object strongly to counseling that caused two very capable people not to marry when they should have.

All in all, if a married couple has the tools to keep a marriage alive, supportive, and yes, even exciting, then I would think that would suffice. If you haven't downloaded a copy of my book on marriages (which has many tools to help a marriage succeed), I'm making it available for awhile at no cost. Here's the link to get the book.

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