Is love enough to make a relationship work?
LOVE might just about be the most used word around.
We think about it, talk about it, sing about it, write about it, pursue it, grieve its loss, fight, obsess, dream, pray about it. But what exactly is it? Sexual chemistry? Friendship? A feeling? A choice? A deal?
We have never had more freedom to love - how, when, where, whomever... We’ve also never had more depression, anxiety, addiction and chronic loneliness. Coincidence? We desire love just as much or more than ever, but there are so many mixed messages about what love even is.
How is 'love' different from being 'in love'? What it is that makes a love relationship 'Good'. Or 'Good enough?' What is reasonable to expect from a relationship? How much happiness? How much frustration? How much sex? How much difference? When are we 'compromising' and when are we 'settling'? What needs changing and what needs accepting? Is love a feeling, or an attitude or a chore or a behaviour? How can we build a strong relationship if we don't know what we're building? Or repair one that needs some help?
The good news is that we really don’t have to guess any more. Decades of attachment research has given us answers, and those answers are profoundly relevant to all of us.
We are hard-wired to connect. It’s a biological need. If I’m human, I need to know that there is at least someone in this world who I can count on to be there for me no matter what.
Someone who knows me intimately and still likes me above all others. Who values me, appreciates me, is in my corner, has my back, and who misses me when I’m not there. Someone I can count on to drop everything and come running if I really need. To celebrate with me in the good times and to care and commiserate and comfort me in the bad. Someone who needs me to be all those things for them, too.
A safe haven and a secure base. An emotional home.
Knowing this gives us a map to navigate relationships. Firstly - it tells us what we’re shooting for! But it gets even better: we already have the tools we need to navigate towards that kind of a safe haven and secure base. In a surprising new twist, it turns out that emotions aren’t fluffy, feminine, irrational things to be avoided or squashed at all costs. Rather - it is our EMOTIONS that hold the information necessary for managing that biological need to connect. The information that the rational, logical part of our brain needs before it knows how to respond to any given situation. We actually need BOTH. Our logic AND our feelings. Love is a duet of thinking and feeling that we sing together to keep us close - but not suffocated - and independent - but not disconnected. The way that we build and maintain the safe haven that we need.
So is love enough? When we can understand it, we can know how to make it, repair it, maintain it, feed it and grow it. To heal old hurts, to overcome loneliness, to build intimacy and to communicate well - not just HOW, but WHAT and WHY.
What do you reckon - is that enough?
Hold Me Tight ®Conversations for Connection is a two-day workshop all about how to do that. It might just be the best investment in your relationship that you've made in a long while.