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I’m often asked how I would define ‘love’; a word that gets tossed around lightly, in many different ways every day.
Because of the nature of my work, I generally focus on how love relates to a healthy relationship mindset. So how do I define love? Or perhaps more accurately, suggest that we think about love?
The first point to be made is that love is not something that we find, it’s something that we build.
This is really important to recognise, because people often go looking for love at first sight, yet the results are fleeting unless we’re willing to work towards it.
Moreover, *looking* for love can often send us looking for love in all the wrong places, leading us to confuse love for lust, a lot.
Particularly when we feel all those juicy feelings of chemistry, intoxication and infatuation (hello rose coloured glasses!) we might start to think to ourselves, ‘I love you.’ But I want to challenge this reflex by saying that true love is more than just a feeling.
It’s a commitment.
A commitment to bringing our best self to a relationship and an intention to bring out the best in one another.
Why is this such an important shift of perspective?
Because feelings come and go, and the way we feel on any given day isn’t always the best measuring stick of how good a relationship is.
As any mother knows, there will be times when you may not feel like you’re ‘in love’ but that doesn’t mean you’ve stopped loving. Particularly in long-term relationships, feelings go through phases that naturally ebb and flow with the rolling tides of a busy life. However, a total lack of nourishing feelings is often a call to action to work on a relationship (as long as both parties are still willing to commit).
So how can we ‘build’ more love into our lives?
It’s possible to commit to loving ourselves before we have even found a partner to love. Not to be confused with feeling love, I’m talking about committing to ourselves as an act of love. It just so happens that committing to ourselves in this way is also very attractive. In all likelihood, potential partners will see that self-love and commitment and want to get in on the action.
When you can honestly say that a potential partner is aligned with your commitment to yourself – then you might want to consider loving – AKA committing to this person. Like most things in life, showing up consistently is key. It’s the backbone of loving relationships, as well as part of a dating strategy to get the relationship you want.
Want to learn more about the nuances of love, dating and relating? Then check out our book, ‘How to Make the Biggest Decision of Your Life: Unlocking the secrets to a healthy, happy relationship.
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Co-author of 'How to Make the Biggest Decision of Your Life' and online dating, attraction & relationship coach committed to helping you attract a healthy, sustainable and passionate relationship.