Published on October 4, 2011

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Love is a mysterious notion.  For some people it is a warm and fuzzy place to be. For others it can be a confusing quagmire of potential threat and turmoil that can leave them feeling anxious and overwhelmed. There is a simple remedy that can go a long way to make loving easy.

One of the gifts I often share with my clients is to invite them to lay down the word ‘love’ and instead use the word ‘nurture’. When we say we want someone to love us, we actually mean we want someone to nurture us.
To be nurtured is to be appreciated, cared for, and to have our mind, body and soul nourished by the experience of being in relationship with another. As two people nurture each other they celebrate all the magnificent things about both themselves and the other person.
When one person considers what can I do today to nurture my partner then the answers flow. A list of ideas will easily come to mind.  There are always so many things that one can do or say to uplift the other and ensure they feel better about themselves. These nurturing acts of kindness are quick easy ways to enrich your relationship.
Many times when I used to work with couples in a relationship therapy session, I would invite them to feel the difference between finding ways to nurture one another as opposed to finding ways to love one another.

When you ask a couple “What can you do today to show your partner that you love them?” there are many couples or at least one person within each couple that will be left unable to find any meaningful answers.

One of the reasons why this question is so difficult is that there are many of us who unconsciously associate the word love with feeling hurt. If our first role modelling of two people who love each other were our parents fighting, then we soon learn that to love is to hurt another.  As children the first people we love are our parents. If in that love relationship we experience emotional abandonment or any other form of abuse then we soon learn to equate loving someone with emotional pain.  It’s no major leap then to understand why when one person says to the other “show me that you love me” that on an unconscious level alarm bells sound and leave people  feeling confused and overwhelmed and quite frankly with a deep need to run in the other direction.
People need to see changes quickly. When they do they are motivated to keep going and keep working on their relationship. So today I invite you to consider, “What are some of the things you can do or say to nurture your partner?” Sit down and write a list together. Then be brave and enact that list. It’s a simple way to make love easy.