A major key to loving someone else well is loving yourself first. When you love yourself enough to be confident in who you are as a person, then you can be open and honest. When you are, then you can admit your vulnerability to yourself and to your partner, and that is when you achieve true intimacy.
Social scientists and therapists have learned more about the mystery of love. Here’s some insights they have found:
- You were born to love. Your brain is wired to have close relationships with a few others. You need a bond with someone else who is special to you. You need to feel safe and close to someone else. You need an emotional connection. Your brain is wired that way.
- Two heads are better than one. While it’s good to be self-sufficient, it’s even better to be in a relationship that enhances your well-being. When you are strong enough and confident enough in yourself, you can reach out to someone else to make your life even better. A good love relationship provides a safe haven and a good foundation for a long and happy life.
- Fear of rejection threatens love. Even the best relationships are strained from time to time. When your love is injured by fights and disagreements, you suffer emotional hurt that feels like physical pain. That hurt is a combination of sadness, anger and fear of abandonment. Fear of rejection and abandonment is one of the strongest reactions there is. To maintain a good relationship you must find a way to mitigate that fear and mend your relationship. Ignoring the problem only prolongs the fear.
- Men are from Mars; women are from Venus. Yes, you’re two different individuals. And in fact, you can be wildly different and still have a good relationship. What is important is that you maintain a connection, because emotional distance is the kiss of death for a relationship. That’s why giving the silent treatment is so injurious. So keep the communications flowing.
- Emotional starvation is to be avoided. If you feel like you aren’t important to your partner, then your relationship will flounder. In fact, feeling like you don’t matter makes you feel hopeless and depressed. Often fights are more about this fear of emotional disconnection than about money, or chores, or sex or the usual litany of conflicts.
- Perfection is the enemy of love. If you don’t have much life experience, you might think you can have a perfect relationship. After all, that’s what you see in the movies. But the reality is, there is no such thing as a perfect person or a perfect relationship. We all have our flaws and to expect a relationship not to have flaws isn’t realistic. So we must find a way to accept and deal with imperfection, even to embrace it. What our partner needs is emotional presence, not perfection.
- Lasting love can mean long life. The two can and do go together. Sure, infatuation calms down after a bit. But emotional and physical passion can remain for a lifetime. A solid loving relationship goes hand and hand with a long life. Physical closeness is a sure stress reducer. Being in a secure relationship is physically good for you.
Long live love. Make it your motto.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact