Love is more than a feeling. It is something we express or manifest through our words and actions. One way I like to picture it is as a flow of giving and receiving without any start or end. Like an infinity loop where there is no beginning and the giving and the receiving merge and love just flows.
When I tell my partner ‘I love you,’ it might mean ‘I feel some sensations or emotions right now that I’m labelling as love’. It's such a broad label used to convey a vast range of different feelings that it communicates nothing. 'I love you', could mean ‘I like you’ or ‘I am consumed with passion'?
Generally, I know my loved ones have positive intentions towards me. This means they usually do not go out of their way to make my life miserable. Usually. So why would they ever do it? I vhoose to believe my loved one is trying to say ‘LOVE ME’ just in a way that makes it unlikely I will hear that.
There are things I react to more strongly than others – my ‘hot buttons’. Don’t laugh, but examples that trigger my irritation are Mona putting the mugs in the wrong place in the cupboard or telling me where to park the car. Looking at these with distance, I admit they are possibly an over-reaction.
There is no universal model of a great relationship as we are all different. We all build our own marriages, families and lives and no two couples are the same. There is no single answer to this important question. Here is a compilation of some of their answers – and I added a few of my own thrown.
I know when I fell in love with my wife-to-be I found her highly desireable. I didn't need to look for ways in which she was attractive to me as they were so obvious and vibrant. In this period I also found myself attractive - it brought out qualities in me that I enjoy and value. I was at my best.
This week a poem. About Forgiveness. It is a poem that touches me deeply and captures exactly how I want to see forgiveness in the world. A way of forgiving that is beyond the beliefs of retribution, punishment and suffering we inflict on others. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves. No more.
There is a common belief that successful relationships require compromise which means both parties gain something and give up something. It's an exchange of individual gain and cost so that the outcome is fair and balanced. We don’t need to try too hard to solve the problem. I know we can do better.
Conflict represents a chance to learn more about each other and to combine two different perspectives to build a better answer. There is an IF though and it is big one. The advantages of conflict can only be experienced IF you have some skill to handle the conflict in a productive and connected way.
The last year of pandemic has represented a particular challenge for many of us to get couple time. Kids have been at home far more than usual and the normal support networks (such as school, after school activities, grandparents and playdates etc.) have been strained so they are not operating well.