Looking at "Love" in romantic relationships
What we label as “love” often arises from a deep instinctual place, we talk about how it can trigger many feelings - energy, excitement fear, interest, surprise, curiosity and even sadness just to name a few. “Love” starts with the self and extends to the other. It is an action…
Our interpretation of “Love”, what it means to us and the shape it takes can and does change as a relationship grows and evolves over time. What “Love” means and looks like as a newly engaged couple, will look and feel one way; fast forward 5 years later into committed life, and perhaps a home and a family and the same Love will look very different, it may have deepened through a shared history, it may have expanded with children and pets and perhaps also be balancing alongside more stresses and struggles. This is life. This is the nature of relationships.
Love carries us through our life stages. And what is common through all the ebs and flows and relationship changes is that “Love” remains as an act of will. That we have the courage to "do Love”. The courage to look closely at who we are, to be open to who the other person is and to be vulnerable to that tender intimate space where a relationship can grow and evolve.
On St Valentine’s day alongside the corney cards and secretly sent red roses (which can be very fun!) I encourage couples to reflect on “Love” and how it lives and breathes in your own relationship. Perhaps there are changes you’d like to see in how you communicate with one another, or in how love translates into behavioural dynamics within your relationship and family. Awareness is the first hurdle, which gifts you the opportunity for change. And importantly take the time to celebrate the positive ways love are already expressed in your relationship and family unit - How do you “do” love for your partner? and how does he/she “do” love for you? Perhaps it's the hot cup of tea or coffee waiting for you each morning as you wake or that evening walk with the dog where you share your days events.
Overall “Love” embodies our commitment to grow and be a whole authentic self, and to support our partner to grow in whatever way they may need to grow too. Love can often challenge us to overcome our defences, for example, cultivating awareness and being mindful to engage rather than avoid, even in the face of strong emotions coming up. But with the courage to be open, and through practising effective communication we can learn to “do Love”.
I am always interested in peoples thoughts on “Love” ad how it is manifesting in your own life - we’d love to hear from you.