Real Love Principles

Real Love is when I care about your happiness without wanting anything in return.

When I feel unconditionally loved by the important people in my life, I have no need to use coping behaviors like lying, hiding my true self, attacking, clinging or acting like a victim.  But when I hide my true self, people will love the facade, and I will not feel loved.  Therefore, the key to feeling loved is telling my truth!

The Real Love principles have been collected and described in several books by Dr. Greg Baer, MD.  He combined age-old wisdom principles and current know-how into an architecture that is simple, yet profoundly useful – quick to apply and relevant for a whole lifetime.

A short overview of the Real Love principles is below.  More extensive information, including many examples and video and audio presentations can be found on the Real Love website.


Real Love: Unconditionally caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves. There is only one kind of love—Real Love. Anything we use for a substitute for Real Love is Imitation Love. Through no fault of our own, few of us have either received or given much Real Love, and without it we have a terrible void in our lives.

Telling the Truth:     Truth→Seen→Accepted→Loved
When we tell the truth about our Getting & Protecting Behaviors, we create the opportunity for someone to unconditionally love and accept us. Until we are seen with our flaws and mistakes we cannot feel loved. If we simultaneously exercise self-control over using Getting and Protecting Behaviors while we tell the truth about ourselves, we can generally accelerate our feeling of unconditional love.

Imitation Love: When we don’t have enough Real Love in our lives, the resulting emptiness is unbearable. We attempt to fill that emptiness with combinations of the following: Praise, Power, Pleasure, and Safety. Anything we use as a substitute for Real Love is Imitation Love. At best, Imitation Love provides temporary relief without fixing the problem. At worst, it allows us to “get by” and keeps us from looking for the Real Love that will eliminate our anger, confusion, and pain.

Law of Choice: People have the right to choose what they say and do. We do not get to control the choices of another person—even when we know our way is better—and they don’t control our choices. A relationship is the natural result of the independent choices we each make. If we are unhappy with a relationship, we have three options: 1) Live with it and like it, 2) Live with it and hate it, 3) Leave it. Controlling the other person violates their right to the Law of Choice.

Getting & Protecting (Coping) Behaviors: We use Getting Behaviors (Lying, Attacking, Acting Like a Victim and Clinging) to try to fill our emptiness with Imitation Love. We use Protecting Behaviors (Lying, Attacking, Acting Like a Victim and Running) to eliminate our fear of not being loved.

Lying: Any time we do anything to get other people to like us—by accentuating our positive physical, mental, social, or occupational qualities—we are lying (Getting). Any time we hide or diminish our mistakes, flaws, and fears, to avoid people withdrawing their approval—we are lying (Protecting).

Attacking: We’re attacking people when we attempt to modify their behavior with fear. We frighten or intimidate people with anger, authority, physical intimidation, guilt, and so on (Getting). Anger gives us a rush of power, and then we feel less helpless and afraid. When other people are trying to get something from us—Imitation Love—we can often get them to stop by attacking them (Protecting).

Acting like a victim: The victim mantra includes three key phrases: Look what you did to me, Look what you should have done for me, and It’s not my fault. We use guilt and obligation to persuade people that we deserve more than we are presently receiving (Getting). When people are attacking us, we can often get them to stop if we act sufficiently wounded and accuse them of hurting us (Protecting).

Clinging: Anytime we try to get more out of someone we are clinging—more time, money, praise, gifts, or love (Getting).

Running: One effective way to diminish our pain is simply to withdraw from it. We are running when we physically leave or avoid difficult situations or relationships, emotionally withdrawing from interactions or relationships, burying ourselves in our work or hobbies, and use alcohol or drugs to alter our moods (Protecting).

Anytime someone uses Getting & Protecting Behaviors they are saying two things: “I don’t love you” and “I need to be loved.” When we simply see using these Behaviors as drowning, we can be more accepting of others and ourselves.

Law of Expectation: We never have the right to expect that another person will do anything for us, will love us, or will make us happy. The one exception to this law is a very specific promise—I will call you tomorrow at 8:30 pm—not including lofty promises like “I’ll love you forever”. Expectations lead to disappointment, anger and unhappiness in relationships, so even when a very specific promise is made, proceed with caution. When we are angry we are wrong.

Loving Group: A place to be unconditionally loved and practice loving and teaching others. The sole purpose of a Loving Group is to provide a place where we can tell the truth about ourselves, be seen with all our mistakes and flaws, feel accepted, and be loved. When we feel full and loved, we naturally become more loving to others.

Call us at (925) 963-6439 or email us at if you have any questions about the Real Love principles or to schedule a coaching appointment.  New clients receive a free 30 minute coaching session.