The best option – the existence of relationships without the need for each other. But how can you love another for the sake of another, and not for what the other gives the beloved? How can we love without using, without the quid pro quo, * without load infatuation, lust, admiration or self-serving?

* One in place of another (Lat.).

I will describe the characteristics of a mature, free from want relations.

1. Take care of other means to treat selflessly – to abandon the conscious attention to itself; be in a relationship with another without the control of thoughts: “What does he think of me?” or “What’s in it for me?” Do not look for praise, admiration, sexual gratification, power, money. At the moment only be in a relationship with another man: there should be a third-party, real or imagined, watching for the meeting. In other words, to live in a relationship with his whole being: if we are partly somewhere – for example, by examining the impact that relationships have on some third person – that is to that extent we have failed in the relationship.

2. Take care of other means from all possible completeness to know each other and to empathize with him. If a person is disinterested in the relationship, he has the freedom, allowing to perceive all aspects of the other, and not only that aspect which serves some utilitarian purpose. A man extends itself to the other, recognizing another sentient being, which also builds the world around them.

3. Take care of other means to take care of nature and the growth of the other. With full knowledge gathered from real hearing, a person making an effort to help others to become fully alive in the moment of encounter.

Happy Senior Couple 2003
Happy Senior Couple 2003

4. Care is active. Mature love is love and not loved. We lovingly commend, not “drawn by” the other.

5. Caring – a way to be human in the world; this is not exclusive, unfathomable magic touch with one particular person.

6. Mature concern stems from human wealth, and not from its poverty – of growth, rather than out of necessity. Man loves not because it needs the other, not to exist, to be complete, to escape from the overwhelming loneliness. Anyone who loves ripe, meets these needs at other times, in other ways, one of which was a mother’s love, poured out on a person in the early stages of his life. Therefore, past love – the source of power, the current love – the result of force.

7. Caring is reciprocal. Because people really “turned to another”, it changes. Since man leads another to life, it is also becoming more fully alive.

8. Mature concern is not without its rewards. The man changed, the person is rich, the man carried out, the existential loneliness of man softened. Through the care a person receives care. But the award stems from a genuine concern, she incites concern. We borrow successful pun Fromm – the reward should be, but it is impossible to pursue.

Irvin Yalom “Existential psychotherapy”. “Class”, 2014. The material was originally published on the website yalom.ru