I read. A lot.

Recently, I was checking out this book entitled, “Married to Distraction: Restoring Intimacy and Strengthening Your Marriage in an Age of Interruption” (Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.) and I found this part to be interesting:

“When a couple is in a good place, each partner feels secure and fulfilled. To feel secure and fulfilled in a relationship, both people need to feel:

that the other person thinks highly of them

that the other person cares deeply for them

that the other person thinks that they are proficient at something

Beyond that, for love to become what we all want it to become, a smile should cross your face when you think about your mate. You ought to think of him or her as someone you have fun with, someone you look forward to seeing, someone who for an undefinable reason makes life feel special. You want to feel like he or she casts a glow into your life that makes you feel good, no matter what else might be going on.

When all goes right, a natural sequence of five steps leads to such happiness in love. Each step should usher in the next, but, as we will later describe, modern life tends to snag each one. The steps are:

1) Attention

2) Time

3) Empathy

4) Connection

5) Play

Love begins in attention. Love begins when you notice another person. Love starts with the catching of your eye. Be it on some enchanted evening across a crowded room, or via an ad on Match.com, some signal—somehow—draws your attention to one person and not to another. No one has ever figured out exactly why and how this happens when and where it does—but it does, and has done so since the dawn of time.

In today’s world, distractions interrupt attention all the time. The basic prerequisite of love—attention—can seem impossible to give or get.

Once you have each other’s attention—no small feat—the next step toward love is to sustain that attention over time. Without sustained attention, love cannot grow. On the other hand, too much attention can snuff it out. While some people purport to know the right proportions in advance, each love is different, which is why there is no recipe and why ‘prescriptions for finding love’ offered by experts fail.

Giving and receiving attention becomes a kind of dance once love grows. Now you see me, now you don’t. Playing hard to get. Don’t be too easy. If you want me, you’ll have to pursue me. At this stage, attention is often focused on the other in abstentia. Resisting picking up the phone to make the call. Deliberately avoiding the other person while thinking about him or her day and night. Preoccupied by the other person, but keeping a certain distance. This is the dance of developing love.

Once again, our age of distraction can disrupt the dance. If you don’t have time to ponder and wonder, if you don’t have time to approach and avoid and put your heart into it, then love will falter here, not because you are a mismatch but because you have not created sufficient focus for love to grow.”—“The Anatomy of Modern Love” 

I think the line the resonated with me most was “Love begins in attention.” Being that this site deals with a lot of brokenness in relationships, I wonder how many of you agree with that statement; that perhaps, many people end up in cycles of addictive behavior because of the *lack of attention* in certain places.

Now, I’m not saying that porn addicts necessarily exist due to a lack of sex (because a sexual addiction tends of be *symptomatic* of deeper issues). But what I am saying is, I wonder ifm in relationships, the *right kind of attention* is given, mutually, to make a relationship work. If this is something that married people discuss regularly: “Am I giving you the attention that you need?”

Your thoughts?