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You’re a smart person. You really are. Most of the time. So why are you having such trouble making sense of your love life? Whether you’re single and wondering where your “one” could be hiding; head over heels in a new relationship and vowing that this time it’ll work; or finding that married life isn’t the thrilling adventure you’d once anticipated . . . you might be surprised to discover that the answer lies in your own ‘Cupidity’—stupid love. In this book, popular authors Hayley and Michael DiMarco identify 50...
You’re a smart person. You really are. Most of the time. So why are you having such trouble making sense of your love life? Whether you’re single and wondering where your “one” could be hiding; head over heels in a new relationship and vowing that this time it’ll work; or finding that married life isn’t the thrilling adventure you’d once anticipated . . . you might be surprised to discover that the answer lies in your own ‘Cupidity’—stupid love. In this book, popular authors Hayley and Michael DiMarco identify 50 of the most common acts of Cupidity, ways to avoid them and learn from them, and some surprising things God has to say about relationships. With the help of their inside information, smart, successful love can be just around the corner. Tyndale House Publishers Tyndale House Publishers
One of the biggest acts of Cupidity is to believe that love is a feeling and nothing more. While certainly it is true that love elicits some strong emotions, love itself isn't a feeling.
Let's say someone makes you feel amazing. You can't quit thinking about the person, and you are sure that it is love. So you confess your undying love to the object of your affection. Then a few days, a few months, or a few years down the road, that amazing feeling goes away. Does that mean you never loved the person or you stopped loving them? Or does it mean that feelings of love can't be an indicator of the existence of love? It has to be one or the other. Which one you choose says a lot about your core beliefs about love.
Early on in a relationship, it is easy for things other than love to mimic love and cause people to believe they have found their dream come true. There are so many other things that feel just like love. Take jumping out of an airplane, for example. The rush, the adrenaline, the fear, and even the pleasure of that specific moment can have the same emotional reaction and payoff as love's first expression. But obviously, jumping fromextreme heights is more about fear and adrenaline than eternal commitment. A guy can feel the same kinds of emotions for his car as he does for his girl. And a woman can feel the same kind of euphoric rush when she buys a pair of shoes as when her man brings her flowers. But that doesn't mean it's accurate to call those passions love.
Hayley: In two different relationships before I got married, I committed to making it work based on the feeling that this was the only "good guy" who would love me. Fear was my compelling emotion-I was afraid I couldn't do any better. I saw the warning signs in each relationship, but out of fear I chose to overlook them instead of doing a faithful inspection of the problems.
A lot of single people commit Cupidity when they get so wrapped up in the emotion of love that they neglect the truth about love. They ignore red flags, concerns of friends and family, and even warnings from the very object of their love. A well-known Christian counselor once said, "Don't marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can't live without." And while he is no doubt a smart man and that sounds like romantic and sound advice, have you ever considered how many people marry someone they "can't live without," and then four years later they divorce the same person they no longer can live with? Did things fall apart because their way of choosing, based on a feeling, was wrong? Or was it because their definition of love as needing to feel a certain way was faulty? We could answer that for you, but we're not going to. Let's just say that no matter what the answer is, judging the presence of love based on how you feel is a dangerous, er, proposal.
If you are honest with yourself, would you say that you feel your way through love? Did you (or would you) choose your mate based on how they make you feel? Have you rejected someone because your feelings changed? Do you consider feelings the best indicator of success or failure in a relationship? Though feelings should be noted, they can't be followed blindly, because when they are, they overshadow God's commands.
Many women can be heard to say things like, "He just doesn't love me anymore." And what they often mean is, "He doesn't make me feel the same way anymore." We've considered that idea a lot. Because we were head over heels in love when we were dating and got married, and since then there have been fewer and fewer of those emotional highs. In fact, we've gone weeks, even months, without them. And the questions that keep lurking are, Does he love me anymore? Did she ever love me? But then, being the practical souls we are, we thought about how hard life would be if we permanently felt the same emotional high that we felt in the beginning of the relationship. How would we get any sleep, living in the same house together? When would we remove our lips from each other long enough to eat? How would we concentrate at work when all we could do was imagine being with the other person? That initial feeling of love that is so fantastical is also distracting-nay, all consuming. It's your soul's occupation, and while a busy soul is a happy soul, it's also a pleasure-driven soul, finding little strength or focus for things other than true love. We aren't dissing the amazing sensation of "love's first kiss," as our three-year-old fairy tale-loving daughter puts it, but we are saying that it can be a bit of an obsession.
In relationships-especially at the beginning-it is easy to take the incredible emotions another person brings you to as a sure sign that love is in the air ... when all it might be is the thrill of the chase or the excitement of a mystery waiting to be unraveled. So that brings us back to the original premise that love isn't a feeling but an action. How do we know? Because God commands it. All over Scripture God commands us to love. Love God, love our neighbors as ourselves, even love our enemies. But if love were a feeling, then God couldn't command it. No one can order you to feel something. Emotions don't work like that-you don't turn them on and off, on command. But actions can be commanded: "Share your toys." "Don't hit back!" "Don't touch that" (not to be confused with, "You can't touch this").
But maybe there's more to it than even that. Have you considered why God gave us the command to love in the first place? If love came naturally to all of us, if it were always our first response to all people, in all situations, then God wouldn't have had to make it the focus of his instructions to us (1 Corinthians 16:14). God sees the need to command us to love, because love isn't usually our first response, except when we are deep in it. In those situations, love is easy, natural-like second nature. Love is your "soul" focus: that person gets all the best of you. You are patient, kind, caring, and selfless, and you overlook faults. You are the perfect picture of love in human form. Wow! But God knows us better than that. He knows that love, in order to prove itself true, must be tested. It must stand in the face of opposition (Matthew 5:44); it must give of itself even when it gets nothing in return (Luke 6:35); it must be a conscious choice and not an emotional response (Matthew 5:46).
According to a poll taken in March 2008 by the Barna Research Group, the divorce rate for Christian couples is statistically identical to all other faith groups, as well as atheists and agnostics. Whether or not the Christians polled truly lived biblical lives is questionable-we have no way of knowing their hearts or their basis for calling themselves Christians. But as a random poll of people who consider themselves "saved," this seems to be confirmation that feelings, not faith, most profoundly affect the actions of those who consider themselves faithful.
When you feel your way through love, you are apt to ignore the warning signs that signal a future of difficulty, if not pain. They might even be signs from God that this person is not the person. So emotions can't be allowed to have the final say on who you choose.
For the married person, trials and emotionally difficult experiences are part of the pattern of love. These trials-these tests of faith and love-are what lead to sanctification, the purification of your faith. Every time a trial rears its evil head, your first question should be What does God want me to learn about my sin from this? not What is my spouse's sin in this? According to pastor and teacher James MacDonald, "God's goal is not to make you happy; it's to make you holy."
When love is based on a feeling, you have Cupidity: stupid, stupid actions taken to try to get more love. But when love is based on actions, you actually get amazing feelings after you give in fully to the kind of self-sacrificing love that Jesus taught us through his life. See, when love is patient, kind, humble, meek, and all the other things Jesus taught, it is at its best. And the most amazing thing is that it isn't based on what others do or fail to do. It isn't dependent on situations but on an immovable and perfect God. In short, it's heavenly. Harp music, please!
So we've established that love is an action, not a feeling. But what does that look like? Love is an action not in the sense of "start the film rolling" but in the sense of "it's not what you feel; it's what you do." When you look at it like that, suddenly love becomes less about how people make you feel or what they do to you, but what you do in response to them.
Wait a minute ... you mean love isn't about how a person makes me feel but about how I treat them? Yep, that's it in a nutshell-good job. So if love is lacking in your life, it isn't because of the other person; it's because of you. Ouch, that hurts even as it's coming out. Let's walk through this together-it's too scary alone. According to Scripture, you aren't going to be judged based on the love you feel but the love you give: "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance" (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Can't speak for you, but we speak for ourselves when we say that most of these things-like patience, humility, not insisting on getting our own way, never giving up, and enduring all things-ain't what we originally had in mind when we thought about what love should feel like.
Hayley: Finding Fabio Unshaven in a White T-Shirt
Let me just jump in here. One day I was bemoaning the fact that the romance was gone from our marriage. Because romance is how a woman knows for sure that a man loves her-crazy, I know, but blame it on Disney. Anyway, that day I took to heart God's command to love regardless of what I was getting. I took the time to notice that God is love (1 John 4:16), and my thoughts and actions of love given to my "undeserving" husband transported God's very presence into my life. It was as if my act of obedience produced love and romance, right then and there (1 Thessalonians 3:12; 1 John 4:11-12). And suddenly I thought that Michael was the dreamiest man on the planet. His unshaven face, while T-shirts, and holey socks were all just as they should be. Poor guy-he had no idea what I was going through or why I was so difficult to live with. It was my own misguided ideas of how things should be that made me crazy and caused me to consider him "undeserving" of my love. But when I saw things from God's perspective, all the smoke cleared and I could see true love. It wasn't what I was feeling about Michael but what I believed about God and who he commands me to be that counted. (BTW, Michael is currently editing this unshaven in a white T-shirt.)
If you base your love on how you feel about the other person, then stop the Cupidity now and absorb this truth into your pores. Steam over it. And let the truth set you free. Love, when given God's way, is better and more lasting than any visceral reaction to your dream girl or guy.
Of course, it would be a potential act of Cupidity for a single person to determine that there need be no sensation of love that comes out of interacting with the future Mr. or Mrs. Perfect, whether physically, mentally, or spiritually. There needs to be some kind of chemistry in order to seal the deal and proceed around the proverbial bases, but once you've slid into home (and by that we mean walked down the aisle), how you feel can't determine how much love you give your spouse. But until you marry, you are free to say, "I'm not in love with you, so I'm walking away." You just can't do that once you say, "I do."
So let's just say, enjoy the feeling of love when it comes, but know that love doesn't have to feel good in order to exist. Consider Christ on the cross. Certainly this perfect act of love didn't give him the amazing feeling that we associate with true love. In Christ's life, love hurt, to put it mildly. But thank God he knew the hurt that had to be endured in order for love to become available to all of us.
Love demands a lot of us. It demands an end to asking, "What about me?" and requires a search for the answer to "What about the other person? What do they need that I can give?" Anything that doesn't agree with the way God's Word defines love needs to be deleted from your memory. Then you'll be able to start over with a fresh motherboard of love. When you learn to love God's way, you learn to love without Cupidity, and that's a pretty amazing thing.
The Way to a Man's Heart Is through His Left Ear
When it comes to helping your beloved know how much you love them, make sure you speak into their left ear. According to research in the Times (April 25, 2008), we remember emotional messages best when we hear them through the left ear. On the other hand (or the other side of the head), the right ear is the one you want if you are teaching, giving directions, or sharing nonemotional information. It all has to do with the different functions of the right and left hemispheres of the brain-the left side controls the right side of the body, while the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body.
When you consider that the left part of the brain is the logical side and the right side is more imaginative, it all starts to make sense. Want to capture someone's imagination or emotions? Then whisper into their left ear.
In fact, further research suggests that the best cheek for kissing is the left one, and women tend to favor the left side for holding babies. (No research yet if conservative candidates kiss babies on the right cheek while liberals smooch on the left!)
Excerpted from Cupidity by HAYLEY DiMARCO MICHAEL DiMARCO Copyright © 2010 by Hungry Planet, LLC.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What Is Cupidity? ix
Section 1 Emotional Acts of Cupidity 1
1 Believing Love Is a Feeling 7
2 Believing Romance Equals Love 17
3 Standing on Your Rights 23
4 Misunderstanding Forgiveness (or Refusing to Get Over It) 27
5 Letting the Other Person's Emotions Control You 35
Section 2 Mental (Gender-Specific) Acts of Cupidity 39
6 Thinking That Telling Him Everything is a Good Idea 45
7 Trying to Fix Things 51
8 Taking Charge 53
9 Failing to Provide 61
10 Fearing the Silence 67
11 Refusing to Grow Up 77
12 Failing to Notice Him 73
13 Neglecting Romance 77
14 Loving Who You Want Him to Become instead of Who He Is 83
15 Loving Who She Was instead of Who She Is 87
16 Not Accepting His "Kills" 91
17 Walking on Eggshells 95
18 Refusing to Receive Protection or Correction 99
Section 3 Physical Acts of Cupidity 105
19 Using Sex to Get Love 107
20 Using Romance to Get Sex 111
21 Believing Sex Will Keep Them 115
22 Withholding Sex to Get Romance 117
23 Becoming Too Comfortable with Each Other 121
24 Shacking Up 127
25 Enabling Abuse 131
26 Having Friends with Benefits 735
27 Blending Finances before Marriage 139
28 Giving Up Food to Get Love 143
29 Loving Her for Her Body Only 147
30 Dressing to Get Attention 149
31 Looking at Porn 153
Section 4 Social Acts of Cupidity 157
32 Having Friends of the Opposite Sex 159
33 Giving Too Much Information 163
34 Refusing to Move Forward Emotionally 169
35 Letting Technology Define Your Relationship 171
36 Pleasing the Other Person at All Costs 175
37 Disrespecting Your Significant Other in Public 179
38 Refusing to Apologize 183
39 Not Knowing How to Break Up 187
40Making a Big Deal out of Everything 193
41 Having Unrealistic Expectations 197
42 Wishing Your Significant Other Were Your Gender 201
Section 5 Spiritual Acts of Cupidity 205
43 Loving Someone with a Different Faith 209
44 Expecting Another Person to Bring You Hope, Joy, or Peace 213
45 Playing God 217
46 Obsessing over Yourself 221
47 Obsessing over Them 225
48 Rehearsing the Other Person's Faults in Your Mind 229
49 Sharing Sins 231
50 Not Knowing What True Love Is 235
The End of Cupidity 243
About the Authors 245
Posted February 14, 2010
Ok, Cupidity=Stupid Love. I can't tell you how many times I've done something stupid because I've loved someone. This book is great because it is actually written by a married couple. In Leiu of Valentine's Day, I think this is a great book to read! Hayley and Michael did a wonderful job writting this exspecially how they added humor to this book.
I give it an A+++Must Read :)
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book to do this review. This review is my honest opinion.
Posted February 13, 2010
Have you ever done something stupid for love? I am more than happy to count myself in that category. If only I had the wisdom of Michael and Hayley DiMarco before I fell into the grasp of stupid cupid!
Cupidity: 50 Stupid Things People Do for Love is the latest book by this husband and wife writing team. As the title implies, Cupidity contains fifty chapters of the most common mistakes people make in relationships, broken down into five categories. The chapters include such topics as being too comfortable with one another, having friends with benefits, playing God, shacking up, and using romance to get sex. Each chapter is short and concise and often contains a fun box with random facts.
Not only is Cupidity humorous, but it is packed full of Scriptural truth. The entire book is laden with good things. On a less important note, the entire book is printed in easy to read red ink. I found that touch to be charming. I read Cupidity in two afternoons and looked forward to the next time I could read it. It is an engaging and easy read, but that does not lessen its practical value.
Cupidity is one of the best books on relationships that I have ever read. It is not just geared for singles either; whether you are unattached, dating, engaged, or married, I have no doubt that you will benefit from Cupidity. Priced at $14.99, Cupidity is worth your money. Read it and save yourself from cupidity!
This book was provided for my review by Tyndale House Publishers.
Posted January 20, 2010
The book is about learning what constitutes "Cupidity" in a relationship. According to the authors there are emotional, mental,physical,social and spiritual cupidity. From the first chapter "..acts of Cupidity aren't disastrous, and they are most often reversible.They're what some like to call opportunities to "fail forward." Every failure at love is just a chance for you to learn more about what not to do. And that's not just the case in dating; the first year of marriage is often full of close-quarters Cupidity." Cupidity is about the differences between a man and a woman and how each gender handles certain things like women wanting romance and a man wanting a soulmate.
Each chapter gives advice as to how to avoid these Cupidity challenges, aka stupid love, and to have the relationship with your significant other that you want . Along with the relationship advice on how to deal with the cupidity there is spiritual advice as well. A lot of quotes from the bible to help you on your way to changing your lives.
I found, for the most part, this book to be interesting. Did I disagree with some of it? Yes I did, I have been married to my husband for 27 years and together for 30. We raised four children together from the cradle and assisted them in flying from the nest. A marriage is a partnership and both genders are equal in my mind. The book states,as in the Bible,that a woman should honor and obey a man. I think that the man and woman should honor and obey each other. Again, my opinion.
This book was easy to read and uplifting in a way, but not a book that I would use in my life. Would I recommend it to others? Yes I would. There was some humor in it and like I said a lot of reference and quotes from the bible that that in itself helped me to understand the message that the authors were trying to tell the reader. Oh yes, I liked cover and the font is a maroon color instead of the usual black print....This book would make a great gift for the upcoming Valentine's Day!!!