A decent percentage of the emails I get are around shaky relationships. Sometimes it is about two people wanting to work it out, many a time, it is just one person trying to figure it out, a lot of the time, however, it is about a state of confusion.

They write to me saying they are confused, they do not know if the other person is actually in love or if he is just being caring. They ask me if there are any signs, any way to find out. Well, love has never been a mathematician’s charm, it is like the tangent that touches the circle but forever remains outside of it.

Goswami Tulasidasa, the great poet-saint, writes a beautiful line in Ramacaritamanasa: Priti pranaya binu mada te guni nasahi begi niti asa suni, love without respect, and the talented with arrogance perish quickly. So, while there may not be any rules set in stone, in black and white, the palace of love does stand on certain pillars. However, before I lay the foundation, let me tell you that men and women love differently, they desire it differently, and they express it differently. Irrespective of the differences though, let me share with you the four pillars of love, I call them the four Ms of love, and no, M does not mean myth in this case. Here they are:

1. Mutual Care and Respect

This is the first, foremost, and by far the most important sign, requirement, pillar, whatever you want to call it, of love. When we love someone, we want to see them well, we want to see them happy, and we even do things to give them that joy and pleasure.

In a relationship, any relationship where love is an important factor, care and respect are unmistakable signs that love exists between the two. Your partner may not express it the way you would prefer them to, however, if his gestures show respect and care, you are in a loving relationship. Such care and respect is not limited to the person alone but also to what they do. Just because you are unable to understand the details of what the other person does, work-wise, it does not mean you are dumb or he is stupid. Care and respect for the other person and their endeavors nurtures the emotion of love.

2. Mutual Dependability

If you can depend on your partner, his words, his promises, and he can do the same, that means love is alive and kicking. Of little use is love which may have all the smooth talk but no dependability. Reliability outlives charm ultimately. Being charming is not going to pay your bills, it is not going to put food on the table, someone, perhaps both partners, need to get out there and earn a living to support each other.

Dependability is comparable to the cogs of a machine, both need to be in sync to operate, if one gives up, it breaks down the whole operation. If you are not dependable but expect dependability from your partner, it means you are not being practical and it shows weakness of character, not morally, just emotionally. Why? It requires inner strength to be able to love, the greater such strength, the more the capacity to love. The weak ones only ever become attached, they mistake their attachment for love.
A creeper that drapes around the tree to sustain itself but denies the tree’s kindness only shows its own ignorance.

3. Mutual Trust

There can be care and respect, there may be plenty of dependability, however, if mutual trust is missing, all is not well. Trust means your relationship is strong enough that you can share anything and everything with the other person, that, you have faith in yourself, in your partner, and in your relationship. It shows your relationship can weather turbulence.

To err is human, it is only natural that life runs you through phases of vulnerability, weak moments, and confusion, if you are dependable, if your relationship is sound, if you are a strong person, emotionally and spiritually, you will emerge a winner.

You will be able to put your head down on your pillow with peace, you will be able to look in the mirror and smile, and you will be able to keep your head high, not fueled by ego, but supported by righteous conduct. A breach of trust signifies taking the other person’s love for granted. The repetition of such a breach means the relationship is now a bare bone skeleton of needs stitched together with the thread of requirements and a lack of options, as opposed to a warm body of love, fragrant and attractive.

4. Mutual Sacrifice

Love grows on mutual sacrifice, and if it is truly mutual, you actually derive joy and peace by doing things for the other person. However, if only one of the people feels that he is sacrificing things and the other is not doing their part, that is not mutual, it can be perilous, and it often falls apart.

The trouble is, quite often, both think they are making sacrifices and the other one is not doing enough. Well, well, sit down and work it out, be sensible, be realistic. Someone wrote to me once that her husband does not spend quality time with her, he does his duties but does not express his love, I asked her if she would rather have her husband quit his job and sit by her side. And I wrote to the husband asking if he preferred his job over his wife and family. They both worked it out. Wise ones.

Ever wonder why it is called ‘falling’ in love, as opposed to ‘rising’ or ‘standing’ in love?

The greater the common ground, the more room you have to play; it increases the quality of your relationship. Love allows you to take it easy, but it punishes you for taking it for granted. It comes on an as-is basis, love is about accepting the other person’s limitations and acknowledging your own, it is about working with each other, working for each other, and working towards each other.

Wonder what the four Ms of attachment are, of selfishness disguising as love? Me, my, myself, mine.


Editorial Note

It is possible to build a caring, strong relationship that lasts for a lifetime. When the chemistry between two people clicks, it is the right time to invest in the foundation of a healthy partnership.



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The questions below will help you gain further insight into nurturing, loving relationships. And it all begins with chemistry – the chemistry between two people.
What is chemistry between two people?

Hiraeth, a Welsh word, means longing for a home you never had. It could easily sum up the essence of human existence. We spend our life longing and yearning, imagining a home, a place that exists in our mind only.

Falling in love is nothing more than discovering where or to whom you belong. To make someone feel belonged is also the greatest service you can do for any human being. For the simple reason, that belonging makes them feel important, worthwhile, and loved. Great partnerships at all levels thrive on this very sense of belonging.

And this is the essence of chemistry between two people – belonging to each other. Read more here.

How can one make the chemistry between two people last?

When something becomes normal for us, we often stop valuing it. We start to feel that we no longer have to work on ourselves or on our relationships, that those good feelings will always remain. However, a functional relationship is about a lot of patience, mutual care and respect. And this is the best way to retain chemistry between two people. With such traits blossom the wildflower of love, spreading its fragrance all around, making life more beautiful and worthwhile. For, you always value what you truly love.

And the only way to keep love is to love back. Love begets love. Read more here.

Can a relationship be formed solely based on the chemistry between two people?

For most people, their lives revolve around relationships but an overwhelming majority are not happy with the state of their relationships. What is a relationship? Is it a transaction of convenience? Of needs? Of desires? Or is it a bond? A bond of love, of chemistry between two people. Does a relationship come about because there is a bond or because there is a need?

In other words, is it because of the bond that people share common needs and therefore a relationship, or is it because of the needs that they get into a relationship and form a bond? Is the chemistry between two people enough to form a relationship? Read more here.

Does chemistry between two people fade after marriage?

Marriage is about growing together, being together, exploring together, working together, loving together, and crying together. It is about togetherness. Marriage is not all about being right, it is not a competition, it is a lot about just being, being there for each other. This, more than anything, keeps the chemistry between two people intact. That should be the primary basis of your analysis, whether your partner is there for you when you need him and vice-versa.

The fading or retaining of the chemistry between two people is entirely in your hands. Well, yours and your partner’s. Read more here.

What are some powerful signs of chemistry between two people in a long-term relationship?

A newlywed couple asked their master, “What shall we do to make our love last?”
“Love other things together,” he replied.
This is a classic sign of chemistry between two people in a lasting relationship – doing other things together. This is the secret of successful relationships: love other things together and don’t lose sight of the good you have. When you are able to love not just the person you love but what they love, your relationship reaches a whole new level.

If what matters to them starts to mean something to you, living together becomes a great deal easier. Loving someone and living with that person are two totally different things. But when we are mindful and caring, not only does the chemistry between two people remain intact but also the love. Read more here.


There were four members in a household. Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. A bill was overdue. Everybody thought Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it but Nobody did it.
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