We generally model relationships that are dysfunctional in some way since we grow up in situations where conflict and relational instability are common. That’s where we start, but we can take relationship—with whoever it is that we have love for—deep into the heart of love. There is something archetypal, that we all resonate with, about the relationship between love and longing. The mood of love that is produced in separation from a beloved is the theme of epic stories in many traditions and cultures. The tales of Romeo and Juliet, Layla and Majnun, Krishna and the gopis, and the poetry of Rumi that poured out of him evoke our own experience of deep love and longing that we have had at some point in our lives. One of the elements of conscious love (as distinct from chemical love or emotional love) is putting the other’s needs first. In the traditions, the Beloved is not an individual but is reflected in a person who can be the doorway to the state of love. If love finds us, it is free-standing, not dependent on another. In longing, the only way out is through, to love more. Life is a training ground for love even though we don’t look at it that way most of the time. VJ is author of Shadow on the Path and Father and Son.