We can start challenging ourselves to accept love -- to return a loving look, rather than turning away in embarrassment. We can approach our defenses with curiosity and compassion and slowly start to change our part of the equation that limits our capacity for love.
It is scary to take a chance and go for what we want and compete, but when we do, we most often find it is well worth it to face our fears. We end up with a stronger sense of self, and we increase our chances of creating a relationship with the partner we really desire.
Many couples in the throes of caregiving find great solace in tender gestures, such as kissing, hand-holding, hugging, and looking into each other's eyes. Emotional support can be further extended simply by being polite and sensitive to each other's needs.
While it may sometimes feel like we have to outsmart our feelings so as not to get hurt, when it comes to our relationships, we are far better off being vulnerable, making a practice of being the one who loves more.
The "your day" mentality surrounding the occasion may feel good at first, but it's important not to let the occasion become all about you. Planning the event should always come second to enjoying this time with your partner.
I asked if the sadness was past or present and he said "present." Then I asked, "Are there any thoughts that are creating this sadness?" To which he responded, "Just the same one; that I'm in not in love with my bride."
When two people come together because they want to learn together, grow together, heal together, share their time and companionship, and share their love and passion, they have a good chance of creating a lasting, loving relationship.
I used to be surprised by the number of clients who would share stories about the ways in which grade school peers (including siblings) would taunt, tease, and torture them, but now it's one of the first questions I ask when a client presents with the fear of intimacy.
We're all a little anxious about intimacy, aren't we? After all, letting people in is inherently risky. Which means that even though we won't all go to extremes, everyone's at risk for the occasional retreat -- and technology offers plenty of places to hide.
In the end, fear is fear, and we either accept the task of working with it consciously and diligently or we walk away from loving, solid relationships with the erroneous belief that "It just didn't feel right. If it was right, I wouldn't have to work so hard."
Crying was for the weak girls who couldn't be alone and needed boys to carry their bags for them. Crying was for the girls who sat out from P.E. because they had their periods and were too scared to participate in the game of life. Or so I thought.
As a therapist, I often hear couples complain that whenever one partner tries to get close, the other pulls away. It's a painful reality that love isn't always as easy to give and receive as we'd like to think.