Love Is A Simple Game if You Play
By The Rules

Rules of Play

Rules of Play (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is love really a simple game?  Then why do so many of us struggle, suffer and avoid letting ourselves feel the pain of love – again?  And why are we so quick to judge others who are long suffering in love?

Love is a gift, a decision and a simple game of life.  Appreciate the gift, make the decision to love – no matter what – and learn to play by the rules.

It Is Really That Simple.


Once upon a time couples would marry with the true intention to “love, honor and cherish” their partner “til death do us part.”  But that simple vow has mutated into a more convoluted and self-serving vow.  For many people in our society, at this time, the marriage vow could be written like this:  ” I promise to love, honor and cherish you as long as you remain youthful, attractive, attentive, wealthy, healthy and continue to fill my needs.  If not, I will have to seek and find a new love with someone else who will satisfy my changing needs and desires.”

The Gift of Love

When we are young and the world is new and every day is an adventure, love appears in our life and we feel the joy and appreciate the gift.  However, if we have dated many different people for a long time or if we have been partnered for a long time, we may become jaded and just expect that others are there to satisfy our needs and desires.  Yes, we may have some pleasant moments and we may hurt deeply if we lose the affections of someone close to us.  But that expectation of “receiving from” rather than “giving to” eventually leads to diminished passion and lack of appreciation.

Recently I had the privilege of listening to the loving words of a man, Duane Cummings, who knows and appreciates the gift of love.  His wife recently encountered a health issue and he declared, to a full audience of mostly women and a few men, “Taking care of her is a privilege, not a chore.”  That is the Gift of Love.

  • Have YOU made the decision to love everyone in your life – your business associates, friends, neighbors, clients, family, and of course, your most intimate partner?
  • Do you know and appreciate the gift of love in your relationships?
  • Have you discovered how to play the game of love, following the rules, so that everyone involved has the experience of winning?

In my next article, I will share what I believe are the rules to follow if you truly want to play the game of love to win.

Contact Me.  Let’s talk about how YOU can play the game of love to win.

Get The Gift of Love at now.

Here’s to playing the game of love to win!



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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

Latest posts by Dr. Erica Goodstone (see all)

33 thoughts on “Love Is A Simple Game if You Play
By The Rules

  1. Oh how sad the new so called modern day description of total commitment has become Dr.Erica!

    In fact, you spot on accurate description sounds like a punch line from an Ellen Degeneres joke! That’s really bad!

    And since none of us can turn back the hands of time, there’s probably going to continue to be a whole lot of seeking to satisfy certain peoples ever changing needs!
    Thanks for sharing such a well written article, on an extremely evergreen and vitally important topic!

    • Mark,

      Those people who keep seeking something new and what they think is better will eventually be quite disappointed with life.
      Trust and caring in relationships build over time and cannot be found by turning to a new person who appears to offer something better. The same happens with building a successful business. It requires consistent activity, and sometimes plain old hard work, to achieve the success we all desire.

      Dr. Erica

  2. Dr. Erica,
    so happy to have come to read this article today… in the last week, I have experienced something that I never did in my last 50 years of dating or marrying or just being friends with the opposite sex.

    What has developed is something that cannot be described here but I can only say.. wowowowoow what an enlightenment !!!! For me was an Enlightenment because it was in front of my eyes all the time and I never was able to see unless I happen to experience the Real Love that I always have been talking about BUT never really experienced till the last moth.

    I know you understand what I mean and I am happy about that.

    As you wrote, “Love is a gift, a decision and a simple game of life. Appreciate the gift, make the decision to love – no matter what – and learn to play by the rules.” …the “rule” the true INNER and DEEPER rules that are always there for me to be guided and always not paid attention till last month, that is what I have been missing all along..

    Thanks so much for doing what you do.. I know it is helping many people of all walks of life.

    happy New Year

    • Merle,

      Not everyone takes this type of vow. There are still many couples who believe in love, give and receive love, and are willing to work together to resolve problems that arise. But the world has changed and the opportunity is different than it was in the past. And – one person cannot do it all alone. One person can influence and affect the other, but each of us has to make the personal decision to love.


      Dr. Erica

  3. Interesting to read this comments ,because I just today have been talking and discussing about this with a friend . I seems it depends on where you grew up as well on how you define love and relationship .I am looking forward to see more of your articles .

    • Erika,

      There are many factors that affect the way we think about love, give and receive love, and what we expect and don’t expect in a love relationship. We think the other person is purposely not doing something we expect and want and need, when often the other person is just doing what he or she knows and believes is the way to be.


      Dr. Erica

  4. Hi Erica,

    I have to agree with Lesly, stop looking and love certainly finds you! Sadly I’m a perfectionist so I suffer greatly with anxiety because I have to be in total control of everything and it creates extreme anxiety, so then I create an impossible situation for myself.

    Enjoy the journey.


    • Mandy,
      Control can work really well in business, taking care of all the necessary details. Control is also valuable when you are working online. However, in relationships and intimacy and sexuality, control issues can destroy the sense of freedom and safety and being accepted that all of us crave.


      Dr. Erica

    • Mary,

      Taking care of and nurturing someone you love is a true gift of love. I am sure your mother felt your love and it eased her mind in many ways, one was knowing that she raised such a caring and responsible daughter. Just think of her and let her sense of being taken care of fill your heart with warmth.


      Dr. Erica

  5. I start to read your post and then I stop when you said (Appreciate the gift, make the decision to love – no matter what – and learn to play by the rules.)
    It is the (no matter what) I get stock on… because to be able to do that we need that gift of love But I thing we all have it. So now if we do have it why this is so hard to Keep that flame light …..?

    • Helene,

      My response is a bit delayed. Keeping love alive is probably the most essential and the most difficult task we have in this lifetime. We get so easily distracted by the world and the grass appears greener everywhere else at times. To keep loving, no matter what, requires trust and faith and a belief in something beyond our own self.


      Dr. Erica

  6. Hi Dr Erica! You have hit on some very good points I did take that oath and did think it was until death do us part but it does take two to tango so to say.

    I did work at it for a long time but when you are trying to grow, set goals and raise a family and you have to do it all alone, well then it is time to make the decision and to do it alone.

    One cannot stay in an unhealthy relationship simply because of an oath. I did make the right decision the one that was right for myself and my family at the time.

    I have won with love the second time around.. Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

    • Chery,

      Your comment reminds me of the old Poker gambling song – to “know when to quit.” Relationships are simple to understand but can be quite complex. Our first choice in marriage is often someone who helps us to work out our unmet childhood needs, teaching us what we don’t want. And then we may be freed up to choose a loving relationship in which both parties are fully engaged. Seems as if you hit the jackpot by leaving what didn’t work well and choosing love.


      Dr. Erica

  7. I try to teach my teenage children that love does not have to be complicated or full of conflict. I think it all comes down to selfLESS acts towards loved ones and not letting our egos get in the way. I love the book “The Love Dare” – a great way to shift your focus to nurturing your relationships instead of tearing them down! There is a new Love Dare book out for families/children which I have not read yet but I am sure it is just as good/helpful as the original one!

    • Donna,

      What a gift for your teenage children who have a mother who “dares” to love. Loving is really simple and it can be the most difficult task in our lives. We have to give up that know-it-all sense that we have to have control, and then we can let ourselves listen and be vulnerable to others.


      Dr. Erica

  8. Ah love, love, love …
    I don’t think I have played the game of love, I rather not think of it that way … but I have learned that love is just one of life’s mysteries.. and that you’re better off not looking for it. When it comes your way first it seems to be a healthier love…

    • Lesly,

      The key seems to be to become love, become loving and stop expecting others to meet your demands. Love comes in due time without our having to struggle and search for it. Friendship develops that way and so does love.


      Dr. Erica

  9. My husband and I had that kind of love, although we met late in life and didn’t have much time together before his passing, we didn’t seem to have to work very hard at making it work.

    He and I both had bad relationships before and were scared to take another chance but I am so glad that we did. I miss him dearly and urge everyone to not take love and marriage so lightly.

    • Mona,

      I am sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. Relationships are complex. Often we have to first get involved with someone to work out our childhood unmet needs – and that type of relationship can be quite difficult. Then we can finally be ready to create a loving and happy relationship, either with the same person or with someone else.


      Dr. Erica

  10. People try to make up the rules of the game and over complicate it. It really isn’t that difficult, well, to me it isn’t. I sometimes feel like Spock n Star Trek and want to say when someone is complicating the relationship with changing the rules by saying “That is not logical.” lol

    • Nile,

      You are so right. When we truly understand relationships, what makes them work and what causes problems, we really can say “Is it logical what you are doing and expecting?” I like the image of Spock.


      Dr. Erica

  11. Dr Erica, I really do believe that so many people in relationships today don’t want to put the effort into making the relationships work. Instead they are always looking outside of the relationship when problems or conflicts occur. If you truly love your partner you have to realize that sometimes you will experience periods during the course of the relationship where things may not be great. However if you realize what a gift having love is, you will be willing to make the effort to work things out. I look forward to seeing your next article on how to play by the rules and win in love! Thanks for your insights!

  12. Sadly your description of the modern view on commitment sounds all too familiar Dr. Erica. Though as someone who grew up in a home where the parents stayed together “for the sake of the kids” I’m not so sure that is much better. Like so many things in life I think mindset has a lot to do with playing the game of love the right way – the real trick is getting both partners to play the game the right way at the same time and with an equal measure of commitment. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Marty,

      You said it so clearly. One person can play full out but if the partner chooses not to be fully committed, all that effort may not lead to the desired results. However, when both people are fully committed to sharing, caring and growing together the bond created is beautiful.


      Dr. Erica

  13. Dr. Erica , been married for 18 years and took my vows still do, seriously. I have been one person who only have eyes for one woman at a time since when I dated.

    I love, live and dream of creating daily adventures that will challenge us to lean on each other and it always never happens. We are all unique and are responsible for our own choices. The end results will tell the time of whether you both have the bond once believed.

    The Game! I think of it as a lifetime journey which I accepted and hold my self responsible and accountable. We value difference within ourselves and agreed to speak our peace at all times knowing hey, we may not agree on lots of choices yet come to feel we want the same end results.

    Love this article and now Nov 5th will be 19 years and still growing to know each other.

    • William,

      Congratulations in advance – 19 years and going strong. How wonderful. I was just thinking today how comfortable it is to be with someone who knows, loves and trusts you, and accepts and allows you to be yourself. The world out there can be challenging at times and having a partner with whom you can share openly and grow together is priceless.


      Dr. Erica

  14. Hi Dr Erica, your new vow wouldn’t work very well would it LOL! Although, I guess there’s no reason why a person can’t remain youthful and attractive, even as they’re growing old! We can be youthful in spirit.

    However, I believe you meant it in a different way. Most of us expect our partner to keep changing as our needs change, and that rarely happens. It’s not for us to look to someone else to fulfill our changing needs and desires, we should find that from within ourselves!

    • Julieanne,

      You are so right. We do need to find our own fulfillment and not seek to get all of our needs met from others and external circumstances. However, there is a limit to being so self-sufficient. Relationships do involve a give and take and a mirror for our actions and attitudes. But making that commitment and sticking with another person through good times and not such good times, can build a deep and beautiful intimacy.


      Dr. Erica

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