Yesterday was LOVE day 2010. Love is a feel-good emotion. Yet it can be confusing. At times I think I’ve tried to control the way my spouse, friends and family show their love for me. Over the years in my coaching and mentoring work, I’ve noticed others do this, too. To fulfill our personal dreams, we sometimes push our “loving” ideas on others. Yet this type of love can be limiting. It inhibits intimacy and contentment. True love resists imposing our perfectionistic concepts of love on one another.
CHARACTERISTICS OF HEALTHY LOVE
Healthy love relationships include these characteristics:
1. Allowing for individuality. Differing talents or temperaments do not threaten true love. Feelings and thoughts can be expressed without fear.
2. Not attempting to change the other. We may not like everything about our partner, yet when we consider the total picture we are able to be more accepting.
3. Caring with detachment. Healthy love cares, listens, and responds; yet does not try to fix or remove the uncomfortable feelings of the lover or loved one.
4. Affirming equality of self and partner. A mature relationship treats the partners as equals. There is no sense of competition, one-upmanship or power-posturing.
LOVE–A JUGGLING ACT?
When we practice mature love, we accept what the other person is able or willing to give at the current moment. We allow each other space to grow and develop.
I’m asking God to teach me more about love. I don’t wish to make inappropriate demands. At the same time, I want to be real, authentic and upfront. Truthfully, it can feel like a juggling act. What do you think?