To celebrate VALENTINE’S DAY, I dressed up in red and wore a sweater… a costume… advertising myself as:

                                                                             LOVE DOCTOR TO THE OC

Then I conducted a random survey at a famous “OC” mall. What does “love” mean to you? I asked.

“Love’ gives me the shivers,” said a twenty-something girl, holding her boyfriend’s hand. “Sometimes, I just look at him walking towards me and it’s like he knocks my socks off. Her boyfriend blushed and I was on a roll.

“‘Love’ is feeling alive and wonderful in the presence of another,” said a serious-looking older gentleman who was standing alone while his wife window- shopped nearby.


Later, I checked out that same man checking out some pretty young girl.  He caught me catching him… I smiled… he winked and whispered that he’d “never be too old to look”.

“’Love’? It’s knowing that my husband cares about me enough to trust him with my secrets,” said a young woman, holding her child.  Then she looked guiltily at her baby.

“My baby … she’s ‘love’ too … ” she added as she kissed the curly head in her arms.

“’Love’ means respect,” said the female half of an attractive twosome.          “And it means ‘sex’,” added her husband. His wife looked annoyed. He shrugged

“You asked,” he said.

Other comments:

“‘Love’ means feeling ‘free’.”

“’Love’ means lack of freedom.”

“’Love?’  No more worry about STD’s,” said a man wheeling a stroller.

“’Love’ is scary,” said a kid with a nose ring.

“I don’t want nothin’ to do with ‘love.’ No ma’am, I want to do what I want to do, when I want to do it,” said his friend.

“’Love’ is what I feel for my girlfriend … please don’t tell my wife.”

“’Love’ is what I feel for my wife … I mean… I can trust her to take care of me.  Please don’t tell my girlfriend.”

Then, he added, “Only kidding … let me show you a photo of my beautiful wife.”

I am amazed about what some people will tell an absolute stranger in a mall!  An attractive guy, who was sort of hanging around and listening to what I was doing, could hardly wait his turn.

He said his name was “Gary” and that he was more confused about the concept of “love” than ever before in his life. Married for 16 years, he described his marriage as “sweet and companionable.”

He went on to explain that he has “developed these incredibly powerful and lusty feelings for a coworker,” which, he assured me, he had not yet acted on.

“I think I’m in love?”

Gary, I said, taking him aside, apparently more worried about his privacy than he was, “lust,” is much easier to come by than “love.”  If you like your co-worker, Gary, give her a break. She deserves her own man… her own person… who can build a life with her…  the kind that you apparently already have with your wife.

“I really do love my wife, Doctor.”

I believed him.

He asked me for my business card. My costume, apparently, hadn’t scared him off.

New lust is like a narcotic. The only way to replicate that feeling in the long run is to keep changing partners.

Most people do not choose to live like that. Really.


                                                                                                THINK ABOUT THIS


You wouldn’t think of criticizing an Olympic athlete for the hard work necessary to achieve his/her goals. Almost everyone cheers that kind of dedication.

With that in mind, I challenge you to consider the payoff of a “MARATHON LOVE.”

The Key? The more you give, the more you get. Not so true for lust. Lust is a more selfish emotion which has more to do with yourself than your relationship.






Thanks For Visiting,

Email Dr. Linda

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

MorrineFebruary 13, 2020 at 1:53 pm

You are great that was a very good read, hope you and Hy are doing OK.


Susan UpsonFebruary 13, 2020 at 5:38 pm

I learned that last line from you many years ago, if not as succinctly put. It is something I’ve never forgotten. Mark and I just celebrated year 42 of our marathon last month. Thanks, in part, to you. ❤️


Sheila CalderonFebruary 14, 2020 at 3:13 pm

You are ACES Linda —– great article for Valentines’s Day. HUGS TO YOU AND HY


Shirley KFebruary 15, 2020 at 2:34 pm

Very nice Linda! I enjoyed reading your “mall” experience!


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