Love and Relationships

With February comes an emphasis on love and relationships, whether they be romantic, familial or of the friendship kind. Love can take on any number of forms, and oftentimes when we have experienced love for an extended period of time with one person, the love we feel can shift from being new and exciting to stable and comfortable. The way we even recognize love that one provides to us can change, along with the way that we then show that love in return. Love encompasses many moving pieces, central to which are respect and trust. It is easy for most to agree that without respect and trust, love has an almost impossible road ahead of it for developing into something healthy and lasting. Love also encompasses a critical pillar that most people cringe at the thought of: vulnerability. To love and be loved means that we are vulnerable to allowing ourselves to be hurt, and to being the person capable of inflicting pain on another. By embracing respect, trust, and the ability to be fully vulnerable among and array of other essential ingredients, we lay the foundation for healthy love to grow and flourish. Learning to check our pride can be a necessary step for compromise and compassion when it comes to communicating our agreements and disagreements with our partner. Let’s face it… we can all think back to a time when we knew we were wrong about something, but our pride kept us from owning and openly admitting it. There is a common yet ultimately true phrase that in its simplest form states ‘you can be right, or you can be in a relationship.’ Understanding what love really means to each of us can be a vital bridge for creating opportunities for connection and outward growth. While some might express love in more physical means through affection, others more openly express the same sentiment through words. Learning to recognize the type of love that your partner communicates through is an essential component to keeping the connection alive and blossoming for years to come. Love is complicated, but incredibly rewarding when we find and embrace it. Remember that to love another, means we must learn to also love ourselves.   Find your peace, and get back to being you.