Love is a topic that needs to be explored in every season. It's a great time to reflect on what kind of love you have in your heart and in your life. This could be a major factor that could be hindering your happiness and growth.
See below 5 basics of love we all need in a relationship and within self.
#1 –UNCONDITIONAL LOVE WITH RESPECTED BOUNDARIES. We all have our imperfections even as we may strive to grow in improving our characters. In an intimate relationship, both partners make mistakes including ones that hurt the other. As partners recommit love to one another regularly with trying to make amends, both need to receive unconditional love. True love is refined through the good and the bad times. Setting emotional boundaries and keeping them is crucial for building a healthy relationship. If boundaries are continuously disrespected, then these violations would be a big red flag for possible emotional and/or physical abuse or continual commitment issues. It's best to strongly consider disconnecting from this latter kind of relationship before things get too serious.
#2 – ACCEPTANCE. In relation to the first, we all need to feel accepted by our partners. One feels truly loved when he/she is explicitly assured that they are treasured as precious despite defects and disappointments. When one senses that he/she has to perform at certain level in something or be someone they are not to be approved, then this person is not being loved.
#3 – HEALTHY COMMUNICATION. We all know that we need to communicate, but how many of us really do it effectively and regularly. This is more than just updating each other on issues, bills and kids’ schedule/grades. Showing real love for one another includes making daily efforts to have relationship talk and to resolve conflict quickly. Loving is being assertive in telling the truth about what’s on your mind & heart without being offensive. Many of us have to learn how to do this especially if this was not modeled for us. This includes setting healthy boundaries physically and emotionally.
#4 – SACRIFICE. We really feel loved when someone goes out of their way to encourage us or meet our needs. This includes not grumbling or complaining when inconveniences come up in relationships (which is very likely to happen at least sometimes). When someone shows that loving you is more important than their comfort level, you would really feel adored. To clarify, sacrificially loving someone does not mean lacking healthy boundaries for safety and moderation. So the one who feels sacrificially loved should not take advantage of his/her partner but reciprocate that same love.
#5 – SELF-LOVE FIRST. Lastly (but really first), establishing your own healthy identity is primary before trying to get needs met in a relationship. Learning to unconditionally value yourself as precious is a necessary foundation before expecting a healthy, loving relationship. It would be really difficult to love someone else with the above ingredients if you don’t have healthy esteem. You are not greater because of your strengths and you are not less than because of your weaknesses. You are precious just because you are a unique, beautiful creation. We all have imperfections because we are human, but we all individually have inherent worth that is not dependent on others or circumstances. So even if you are not in a significant relationship right now, it's okay. Your value or worth is not dependent on whether you are in a healthy, intimate relationship.
Reflect on the love you really want or need. Consider what kind of love you give to yourself and in your relationship.
Love is an action that is not always automatic.
Sometimes we have to learn to love.
Explore growth in giving and asking for real love.
Explore your growth & support others in their growth.
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