Everybody needs somebody to love. Wait, everybody DESERVES somebody to love. We were not created to live on this planet in isolation, so what does love look like. I think for most of us when we think of love, we automatically think of romantic relationships. Romantic relationships are certainly full of love but there are other types of love we experience throughout our lives. Love of children, love of our pets, love of family members, love. It can translate differently for everyone as well. There was a book written about love languages which makes so much sense. How love is given or received depends on what a person defines as love. One may feel that receiving gifts is an act of love while someone else may feel that quality time is an act of love. The key is to recognize what love looks like to the person you are giving it to, not what you feel it should be for them.
Love on any level may be enriched by considering the following:
v Communication: This is a 2-way street that involves listening and confirmation on what was heard. True listening means not just waiting for your turn to respond but actually listening to what is being said and then relaying back to the other person what was heard to be sure you understand what was meant.
v Respect: This one is huge, especially towards men. I mean it definitely works both ways but showing respect toward someone can go a long way. It makes them feel good and it tells them that you value how they feel.
v Security: We need to feel that we are safe in the presence of a loved one. Safe not only physically but emotionally as well. Toxic relationships are damaging.
v Trust: This is huge! It can takea long time to build a relationship and seconds to destroy it when trust is betrayed. Trust should be valued and honored. It can certainly make or break a relationship, on any level.
v Intimacy: Intimacy is not just sexual; it can be shown is so many different ways. Spending time together, writing letters, sharing special moments. Intimacy is defined as mental, emotional, or physical intimacy. Nonphysical intimacy can perhaps be a deeper expression of feelings. In romantic relationships some have considered and emotional affair to be a betrayal of a marriage. When a person gets in your head, it’s more difficult to get passed that kind of relationship. The foundation of a relationship that begins mentally or emotionally, can create a strong bond.
Love looks different for all of us and is expressed differently for all of us. Before we can expect others to love us, we must know what it looks like and means to us as individuals. We all deserve love. Life is too short to live without it.