True giving, as Erich Fromm points out, is other-oriented, and requires four elements.The first is care, demonstrating active concern for the recipient's life and growth.

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You can care for, respond to, and respect another only as deeply as you know him or her.

The effect of genuine, other-oriented giving is profound.

A woman I know once explained why she's been happily married for 25 years.

"A relationship has its ups and downs," she told me.

The second is responsibility, responding to his or her expressed and unexpressed needs (particularly, in an adult relationship, emotional needs).

The third is respect, "the ability to see a person as he [or she] is, to be aware of his [or her] unique individuality," and, consequently, wanting that person to "grow and unfold as he [or she] is." These three components all depend upon the fourth, knowledge.

On another occasion I read something she'd written and offered feedback and praise. Because deep, intimate love emanates from knowledge and giving, it comes not overnight but over time ― which nearly always means after marriage.

The intensity many couples feel before marrying is usually great affection boosted by commonality, chemistry, and anticipation.

A few years ago, I spoke to a group of high-schoolers about the Jewish idea of love. By focusing on the good, you can love almost anyone.