The Basics of Love in a Relationship
Love means many different things for many different people. In my counseling practice in Sarasota, Florida I frequently encounter clients who struggle to describe how they know they are loved and there is love in the relationship. When a client says to me they feel love towards another I am prompted to ask, “what is love, what does love look like to you?” This is a question that can easily leave one confounded because when you have to break down love and describe its significance in your life, it is at that time that the words seem to quickly escape.
Love is not just one thing but the result of a culmination of things present in one’s relationship. To simply say that we love someone is putting a descriptive to a situation without any definitive meaning behind it. Love is a process of growth which begins with simply put…the basics.
The basics of love in a relationship are easy to describe, not difficult to incorporate, nor do they have to be in any particular order, but once present in the relationship the potential of your love can be immeasurable.
Seems pretty basic, but many couples do struggle. Often times we bring in the “skeletons from our past relationships closet” and place them conveniently in our current relationship. Bringing insecurities, fears and worries in from a previous relationship not only skews the level of trust in your current relationship but could effectively change the look, feel, and growth of it. Each relationship deserves a fresh start. Why hold your partner accountable to the issues of a past relationship? Each person in a relationship needs to take responsibility for their behavior and in doing so they are allowing their partner to believe that they are doing in their part in the growth of the relationship. As the saying goes, “the past is in the past.”
This also falls under the heading of honesty. If you want love to grow in your relationship their needs to be the understanding that you can believe what the other person is saying and that they want to be open with you so you can be part of their life. If you withhold information or only provide selective information you are giving the message that you don’t trust your partner enough to handle the information as well as promoting the belief that there might be deception in the relationship. When you feel confident that your partner will share with you, despite how uncomfortable the information may be, you then have no reason to cast doubt on the relationship or scrutinize your partner’s words or actions.
Champion your relationship and your partner. Supporting each other and promoting each other is one of the most empowering things you can do for your relationship. Seeing your partner happy and successful will in turn reflect back on you as you 2 are mirroring each other.
COMPASSION & UNDERSTANDING
Compassion and understanding are what results when you are validating your partner in the relationship. One is demonstrating the skills necessary in effective communication, speaking, as well as listening. Compassion and understanding elevates the relationship in terms of intimacy because when feelings are validated your partnered understands that you hear what they are saying free of judgement and criticism. That environment is conducive to promoting a “safe container” for your relationship, one where you know that your thoughts and feelings will always be protected and valued. Confident in the safety of one’s relationship, the potential for emotional growth can be limitless as you will always be inclined to bring your best self to the relationship.
So can love just be love, plain and simple? Perhaps, but to describe what love is in your relationship is to describe the culmination of characteristics present in the relationship. When you experience these things in the relationship we develop the understanding that we are loved.