Oh, how I’ve missed you all! Forgive my quiet absence from the blog over the last two weeks – the past couple of weekends were either snowed in or long holiday weekends (including Valentine’s Day and a birthday weekend for me!), and during that time, I had the chance to reflect on love – specifically, unconditional love.
How often do you feel that wonderful feeling of unconditional love?
Of complete acceptance?
For whatever reason – just in being human – we seem to start our relationships with our eyes open and our hearts curious. As we go deeper into getting to know someone, we begin to inspect them.
Interesting – they don’t think exactly the way we do. They have their own funny habits, quirks, and challenges. They may respond to situations in ways that are absolutely confusing to us.
We start to see how different our partners are from us, and then, without realizing, we begin to judge them. What’s wrong with them? Why are they acting or reacting this way? They should act differently – they should be like us.
Guess what? Our partners are likely thinking the same about us.
We all want to feel accepted as who we are. We hope that we’ll be loved for our messy, uncertain selves, combined with the confident, got-it-together sides.
And curiously, men, just like women, often feel that they need to ‘play a part’ in life in order to be liked, to have approval, or to be respected.
Whenever a client tells me that her partner says to her that ‘he doesn’t know what he wants,’ it almost always goes back to his feeling a lack of acceptance. That he’s not sure that he can win in the situation. That he will not measure up in some way. That he will disappoint or not deliver.
“I can’t say what I want, because I don’t want to be rejected for being who I am.”
Notice that whenever we over-deliver in order to win someone over, it often has to do with our looking for something in return. That’s conditional love – if he acts this way, I will love him. I will accept him.
Instead, what if we focused on giving love openly, unconditionally? Now, unconditional love does not mean love without boundary. It means love without the expectation of repayment. It is loving ourselves and each other without anything owed in return.
Can you be open and curious and see your partner for who he really is, right now – this imperfect, cautious, complex human being? That perhaps there is something to learn from this person, something different from what you’ve learned before?
It’s interesting – we get caught up in our own stories of how people should be or act, but at the end of the day, the best role they play is themselves.
When we love our partners openly – with a sense of curiosity about them and acceptance of them, in the moment – they are drawn to us. The more accepted he feels, while noticing that this feeling is coming from you – the better the love between you grows. ♥️