Love is expressed as an action and is experienced as a feeling. However, love has an essence that is opposed to being defined in only one way: it encompasses compassion, determination, endurance, support, faith, and much more. Everyone is capable of love and there is apparently no limit to the amount of love you can give or receive. If you have trouble expressing or receiving love, there are ways to help you open up to love.
Part 1 of 3: Love yourself
Step 1. Appreciate yourself
Before loving someone else, you have to love yourself. Learning to love yourself means accepting and appreciating the vulnerability within. You have many qualities that are unique to you. Learn to appreciate who you are and what you can offer.
- If you have trouble loving yourself, then make an effort to give yourself importance. Work on self-confidence by accepting your past and moving on with your life. You may feel like things you've done in the past make you hateful or that you have too much trouble for them to love you. This is false. Accept the things that happened to you, forgive yourself and move on with your life.
- For more information, check out the article "How to love yourself."
Step 2. Take care of yourself just as you worry about others
This can be difficult if you consider yourself a natural caregiver or if you have children. Remember, your ability to care for others increases if you take proper care of yourself.
- Don't let yourself become the last priority; You better do things to show yourself that you care. Treat yourself to a massage or a bath. Do one thing every day that is just for you.
- This extends to keeping boundaries and saying "no." If what you need is to relax a bit, say no to hanging out with your friends.
Step 3. Give gratitude
Grateful people have health benefits and show higher levels of happiness. Find ways to be grateful for the things around you and, above all, for who you are.
Think about the characteristics that you have that you love about yourself. Maybe you are very compassionate, generous, or a good listener. Maybe you learn new skills easily. Maybe you create beautiful paintings or do electrical installations like a pro. Take a moment and be grateful
Step 4. Have a good attitude
Even if situations seem negative, find something positive, big or small. Having a positive attitude is associated with health and emotional benefits, such as lower rates of distress and a longer life expectancy. When you start having negative thoughts, especially about yourself, turn them into positive thoughts.
- Use motivational thinking to transform negative thoughts into positive ones.
- Fight thoughts about new situations, instead of: "I'll screw this up, I'm so stupid!" Try thinking, "I'm proud of myself for trying something new and taking a chance."
- If you think, “I'm so bad at meeting people,” replace it with: “I'm excited to learn new social skills and meet people like me. I know I can make friends. "
Step 5. Dedicate yourself to things that make you happy
Being happy is part of showing love to yourself. Create a state of happiness by doing things that make you feel good. Do things that make your body, mind, spirit, and your emotions feel good. Happiness depends in large part on the effort to make your life more positive.
You can choose to meditate, practice yoga, paint or draw, kayak, practice Muay Thai, or participate in lively discussions. Think about what makes you smile and do it
Step 6. Take some time alone
An important part of self-care is spending time alone. It can be difficult to share a room or have children, but saving a little time for yourself is important. Loneliness can help you relax, solve problems, reset your mind, and discover yourself. Don't feel guilty for wanting alone time. By spending time alone, you can improve your relationships by prioritizing your happiness and allowing yourself to restart.
- It is important to note that alone time does not mean going on social media. Try to do things that enrich your life and make you feel good like going for a walk or writing in a journal.
- If you have trouble finding time alone, wake up earlier than others or spend your lunch break alone. Ask your partner to babysit for an hour each week so you can get out of the house and spend some time alone.
Step 7. Accept that you don't need a partner to feel whole
Some people believe that happiness and love can only be experienced through a relationship or that a bad relationship is even better than no relationship at all. Staying in a relationship that doesn't work does not respect you or your partner. Loneliness is different from being lonely and it's not worth succumbing to social pressure to fit in or feel whole.
If you are unhappy or impatient while single, make the most of the situation. Pursue opportunities that are hard to come by with a partner or family. Travel, acquire many close friends and enjoy your perpetual freedom
Part 2 of 3: Loving Your Partner
Step 1. Make a commitment
Push yourself into your relationship and work hard to make it work. Communicate openly with your partner about your goals for the relationship and where you see it going. If you're only interested in a short-term affair, be honest. If you have your sights set on a serious long-term relationship, be honest. There is nothing wrong with any kind of love, but you need to make sure that your partner is as committed as you are to the same version of love.
Commit to the person and the relationship. Go out of your way to make your partner feel special and work to make the relationship work
Step 2. Be intimate
The word "intimacy" is often associated with sex, but emotional intimacy is a big part of a loving relationship. Emotional intimacy involves allowing yourself to feel and express vulnerability around your partner. Avoiding vulnerability can be viewed as withdrawal, attack, or accusations. Rather, intimacy can be seen as sharing fears, discomforts, and disappointments with your partner. Feelings or situations that previously felt unsafe now feel safer because of the vulnerability and trust that has developed.
- When you start to feel vulnerable (such as experiencing fear, sadness, shame, or pain), take a moment and stop. Acknowledge any feelings that arise and allow yourself to feel them; don't avoid it. Have compassion on the feeling and be kind to it.
- Share your vulnerable moments and let your partner support you.
Step 3. Accept that love is dynamic
If you're worried that initial strong feelings of love and attraction will fade, realize that love can come in waves. Sometimes you feel overwhelmingly in love with someone and other times you experience less love towards or from that person. Just because you hit a low point doesn't mean the feelings will last forever. Life happens in cycles and it's okay for love to go through ups and downs.
Many things can create ups and downs in love, like having children or getting old. You can overcome them
Step 4. You must be open to receiving love
You don't have to be in control of love in your relationship; let your partner express his love towards you. Receiving love can make some people feel vulnerable as it requires letting go of control. Be open to receiving gifts, accepting compliments, and loving gestures toward yourself. You may now feel that you owe something in return, but forget it and enjoy the experience of receiving. Love has no debts but multiplies.
Step 5. Touch your partner
Touching doesn't need to be sexual, but giving yourself a long, supportive hug or holding your partner's hand is one way to stay connected. Express love for your partner by initiating and sustaining physical contact. Affection is a way of expressing concern, appreciation, and other positive connecting emotions.
Affection is a way of making your partner feel loved and for you to feel loving
Step 6. Express gratitude to your partner
Sometimes the way we communicate with a partner can lose its original meaning, but gratitude is always understood. Affirm your appreciation for your partner by expressing gratitude. Thank your partner to show that you notice the effort they put into the relationship. Show appreciation for the things your partner does and also for the qualities that they embody.
Step 7. Be partners in life
The point of going through life with the people you love is that you can face life's challenges together. Work together to find solutions, solve problems, and comfort each other when the going gets tough. We cannot solve everything on our own, we cannot know everything there is to know… but a lot of people joining in love can solve almost any problem.
Part 3 of 3: Loving Despite Differences
Step 1. Don't expect perfection
Don't expect perfection in the person you love or yourself. This sets incredibly idealistic expectations. Neither of them will be able to live up to those standards and both will end up hurt and disappointed. Take it easy and expect to make mistakes.
Step 2. Learn lessons and apply them to your relationships
Yes, bad things will happen in your relationships. You will say the wrong thing or your partner will hurt your feelings. This happens. The important part, when something goes wrong (even if it's just problems in your life), is learning your lessons and moving forward. Try to make the most of any negative situation, turning it into something positive by winning and growing with the experience. Try honestly to see your partner's point of view in any discussion that gets serious enough.
If you are wrong, apologize and admit your mistake. Good relationships air complaints and clear things up
Step 3. Fix your differences
It is difficult to feel love towards someone when you are very angry or upset with your partner. Whether you and your partner become volatile or avoid fighting, there are really no calculated differences in partner happiness. The important part is finding happiness together after the fight.
Be aware that there is always a chance to reconcile. Whether they have volatile screaming fights or sit down together making concessions before things get too heated, almost all conflict styles allow for some form of reconciliation. No matter how much you fight, make sure that in the end you both feel heard and are able to reach some kind of agreement
Step 4. Balance the positive and negative feelings you have towards each other
Balance is important to creating a happy and loving relationship. Research shows that for stability over time, the magic ratio for positive and negative interactions in relationships is 5 to 1, or 5 positive interactions for every negative interaction. When you recognize a negative action toward your partner, do your best to provide positive interactions to restore a sense of balance.