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Love is an action, never simply a feeling.

— bell hooks (sic), contemporary author, professor, and activist

Quote from hooks's book All About Love. Her name is properly spelled in all lowercase.

Love is the essence of our most meaningful relationships. It is the glue that maintains a couple's connection. Love is nourishment of our soul, and love is the compassion we take with us as we live our lives on a daily basis.

Guiding Unitarian Universalist Principles

All Seven Principles

The transformative power of love underpins every Unitarian Universalist Principle. It is also the foundation for a healthy individual, a healthy couple, and a healthy community. Love can be seen as the source of meaning and as the expression of faith in human relationships. The Greeks identified three types of love: Eros, the passionate love between lovers; Philos, the love among close friends; and Agape, the love for the greater society or greater good. The manifestation of all three forms of love can help a healthy relationship grow. Remembering how to love, and acknowledging the need to give and to receive love, is the basis for all affirmative human relationships. Love can transform a hurting world.

Considerations for Adaptation

If you are leading this workshop as part of a retreat, or if your group appreciates hands-on crafts, consider making time for Alternate Activity 2, Personal Mini-Altars. This activity dovetails nicely with the couple altar-building option in Workshop 11.


This workshop will:

  • Affirm the importance of verbal and nonverbal expressions of love
  • Present a psychological model describing the components of love
  • Help participants recognize the role of vulnerability in love

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Identify ways to say "I love you" without words
  • Apply a psychological model of love to their own relationships
  • Propose ways to maintain or increase passion, intimacy, or commitment in their relationships
  • Identify personal vulnerabilities that the intimacy of a relationship can address

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