Well last weekend was Valentines Day (14th), the day of love, how was it for you? In our last episode Ed and I were talking about mood boosts and love, feeing loved, being loved and sharing love are right at the top of positive mood, self esteem, raised energy and wellbeing. The magic is in ‘feeling’ loved. Someone may love you desperately but unless they love you in a way that works for you then you simply will not feel it.
In eastern approaches to personality, psychology and the person the various and individual drives of both giving and receiving are seen to describe personality types that I described in the last blog as chakra types. When we share love or use the word love we all mean different things. What do we actually mean when you say love? To use the word ‘love’ in say, “I love you” or “I’d love a cream bun” have very different meanings.
How do you know that you are loved?
What do you want your partner, or lover to mean when they say “I love you”?
Is love for you a simple one stranded thing or is it multi-faceted?
How many strands does it have?
What are they?
It is so strange that someone can love you truly, madly, deeply but unless it is expressed in just the right way so that you are able to receive it then you will simply not feel it, you will not feel loved.
I sit down with many couples in relationship therapy and commonly at some point in their past they both shared their love for each other. The problem that only came to light later was that they did not understand what each other meant when they used the word love. They both felt that their partner meant the same as they did. Later they discovered that they were wrong.
Love, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
It is not being loved that is important
It is feeling loved that counts
Example: A common problem
Woman: “I feel unloved and hurt when you fail to put a X on the end of a text”
Man: “That just feels like you a trying to control my emotions. I only put an ‘X’ there when I am really feeling it. It is meaningless if I always put it there because in the end it just means nothing.”
Therapist: “How about if it is important to your partner to see an ‘X’ and if you do love her and care about her would the act of simply adding an ‘X’ be something that you know would make her feel happy and good. Is it therefore not worth doing?”
Sometimes showing your partner that they are loved isn’t geocentrically based around your need to be honest it is about ensuring that the person that you love feels it. To go out of your way, to put yourself out, to get something or do something that you know will make your partner happy is an expression of love.
If your response to the above is something like, “Well, my needs are as important as theirs and if I need not to put a ‘X’ at the end of a text and they love me then they will respect that”, then you are either emotionally immature or need to be in another relationship.
Once you get into relationships it often happens that love becomes a demand and not an act of giving. Success in relationships come from both people giving it is then that both people will receive. If both people expect love without giving then neither of their needs will be met.
Who is right?
If it becomes a battle it ceases to be love and becomes acts of possession. Think about your relationship and how you both share your love.
Do you need to be told that you are loved?
Do you tell your partner?
Do you feel that by saying it too often that you will wear it out and that it becomes meaningless?
Do you feel that by saying it you are re-affirming your connection and positive feeling?
Do you do things that may seem silly or meaningless to you, because you know that it will make your partner happy?
Do you feel that you should only act in love when you feel the love?
In relationships we sometimes need to fake it to make it. Maybe your partner has really cheesed you off for some reason but still arrange their birthday party and rise above the difficulties. If your partner loves you in the same way they will do the same for you. It is to do with whether or not your love is conditional and demanding or unconditional and giving. In a world where there really is no right or wrong, where there is only a consequence to your action, you need to take responsibility for who you are, for what you do and how you show your love.
I guess I should add that to pour your love, time and energy into someone who does not love you back is like standing in an ice cold shower tearing up twenty pound notes. Not to be recommended.
How about you ask your partner “How do you know that I love you?” Or you could get more direct and ask them if there are things that they would like you to do so that they would feel more loved.
There are two sides of this coin. You might also share with them that when they do certain things they make you feel loved, unless you tell them already.
Think about this for a while. How do you express your love? Not just for your partner but to the other people close to you. Do your parents, brothers, sisters children, friends, community, country, humanity feel your love?
Love is the magic glue that holds the whole world together. It may be expressed as the law of attraction, as gravity, in the relationship between particles and atoms, it might be in the caring for the sick and needy or it might simply be in a bunch of flowers.
However you share you love, I hope that Valentines Day confirmed the love that others have for you. And if it didn’t there are plenty more days in the year, love isn’t just for Valentines Day.