What To Love

Many of my clients come to me sad and disappointed about not having loving relationships with a romantic partner. This disappointment is valid. Although, I have always tried to reframe these feelings to teach my clients about other types of love there are, with other types of beings. Our brains register pleasure from love in similar ways regardless of the stimulus.

There is love for plants. In return we receive oxygen.

There is love for pets. In return we receive unconditional positive regard and sometimes fur everywhere.

There is love for the open water. In return we receive the wind in18 our hair and feelings of freedom.

There is love for hiking. In return we receive endorphins, fresh air, and a sense of accomplishment.

There is love for friends. In return we receive care, compassion, support, and kindness.

There is love for art. In return we receive stimulation, inspiration, soothing, and passion.

There is love for learning. In return we receive growth, pride, smarter brains, and stronger bodies.

There is love for our beds. In return we receive feelings of being held and held up.

There is love for success. In return we receive accolades and recognition.

There is love for motors. In return we receive the thrill and sensation.

There is love for doing nothing. In return we receive recharge and revitalization.

There is love for coffee, tea, seltzer, wine, and water. In return we feel hydrated.

There are so many different kinds of love. Each brings with it the sweet rewards of life and living. The list could go on forever. The list of love targets are different for each of us, and likely change over time. We have to find out what our brains and bodies need and crave. This involves a process of investigation, experimentation, and then, reflection. 

Love and affection is important. It has been deeply compartmentalize by our culture to be about romance, we feel paralyzed to start the investigation and experimentation. But, we have to start somewhere – it doesn’t have to be in the right place. Our bodies and brains will tell us, immediately, what we love and what we don’t. We must listen to ourselves and keep looking for love in all of the places it could be.

  1. Understand that love is not just romance.
  2. Believe that we each have the capacity AND need to have various and variable forms of love to fill us up and make us feel whole.  
  3. Be compassionate with yourself while you are searching for new forms of love and belonging.
  4. Embrace the investigation, experimentation, reflection part of this.  Searching for love is brave.
  5. As soon as you find something you love, do more, and more, and more.

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