A few weeks ago I shared that intimacy, trust, and love fuel the fires of desire once the initial lust phase is over — they add spark, increase the frequency of physical intimacy, and stop the never-ending rejection some couples deal with.

Today I’d like to talk with you about love.

When people come to me for a Mindful Change meeting because they feel like the love is gone in their relationship or their sex life is suffering, they typically picture the feeling or maybe even lust when I ask them to define love for me.

But if you ask someone with a great relationship that’s lasted for years what love is, they don’t picture the feeling or the lust. They probably have both in high amounts for their partner, but that’s not what love is to them.

You see, love is more than chemistry, hormones, and those wonderful feelings you have at the beginning of a relationship while you’re in the ‘honeymoon phase.’

Saying that you ‘love’ someone else is a feeling; it’s simply words without anything tangible to back it up. But loving someone is an action — it’s where the rubber hits the road

Loving someone means always speaking from a place of love and respect for the other person.

It’s about knowing what is important to them and making it a priority for you.

In times of conflict, it’s about valuing the other person’s perspective — really listening to them and trying to understand their perceptions and helping them understand you.

It is the willingness to listen to each other and find a way to compromise or, when that’s not possible, the ability to agree to disagree.

Loving someone means you have talks that happen from calmness instead of anger or instant reactions. You avoid name calling and replace it with genuine respect and an understanding that no two people will ever agree on everything.

It’s taking the time to know yourself and the other person, and then respecting and honouring the differences — taking the time to really value who they are, to support them, and to champion them and what they want from life.

Loving means being there when your partner needs help and being there to celebrate the small and large triumphs, too.

When you really love someone, you prioritize their happiness in a way that lets you help them reach for their dreams and look after their needs. You make their desires an important aspect of your life.

And when someone really loves you…they do the same things for you.

That’s a lot different than the emotion and the words, isn’t it? That doesn’t mean that the words aren’t important. But without the actions to back them up, words are almost meaningless.

And if you haven’t guessed by now, when you only say (or hear) the words but never do (or receive) the actions that support what you say, that shreds trust to pieces.

If you aren’t willing to be yourself around your partner (or vice versa) — when you refuse to be emotionally intimate — that also shreds trust. The actions in that situation scream that there isn’t enough trust to be intimate, so your partner (or you) don’t believe the words, “I love you” when they’re said.

Can you see how that starts a vicious cycle that affects your sex life, relationship, and self-worth?

There is a way to stop it, though. You simply start loving your partner and expecting them to love you in return.

What happens if you do that and things still suck? I’ll get to that another week. But for now, try it. You might be surprised at the changes.

As always, I’m here to help if you want. Just contact me at heather@mindfulchange.com or call me at 613.601.1083, and we’ll set up a 30-minute discovery session.

Next to feeling like the love is gone or that the sex sucks, money is the next most common reason people come in. Because it’s so common, I’ll cover money issues related to relationships and business over the next several weeks.

But you’re gonna love the suggestion I have for you next week if you and your partner can’t agree how to spend your money…it’s a solution that is fair and gives you both some control.

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this particular quote of the week, so here it is:

“If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?”
~W. Somerset Maugham