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"Mom," she said hesitantly, "I really appreciate your feelings, but, in all honesty, how can you say you love someone you've never met?

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.

It allows you into another person's world and opens you up to perceiving his or her goodness.

At the same time, it means investing part of yourself in the other, enabling you to love this person as you love yourself.

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.

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.

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.