Today I read Ken Page’s blogpost on Psychology Today and it inspired me to not only comment on his blog, but to write this blog post of my own. As I spend so much of my time writing, speaking, and coaching people on The Pathway to Love, Ken’s blog reminded me of the pressure and emphasis that our society places on romantic love—if you have it, you have love in your life—if you don't, something is missing or wrong. This couldn't be farther from the truth and we need to dispel the myth that the ultimate prize is romantic, sexual love. In truth, the ultimate prize is love, and it comes in all shapes and sizes.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm a firm believer in creating loving romantic relationships. But love comes from within, not from without. The joy you feel when it comes to love is the joy you feel when you express your love. No one can give you that joy. It always emanates from within. And believe it or not, you really can choose to love at any given time. Just think about all the wonderful people you have in your life—your children, parents, family members, friends, colleagues, even the person at your favorite coffee house who has your order waiting before you even arrive at the cash register every morning. Love comes in so many forms. Nature, pets, art, creativity, and music can arouse the love that is always available in your heart.
Okay, now some of you may be thinking “yes, I know love comes in many different shapes and sizes, but intimacy only lives with a romantic partner.” This is simply not true either. Intimacy can be created with many types of relationships, not just sexual romantic ones. Intimacy is simply two people authentically sharing who they are with each other in a way that makes each person feel heard, validated, and understood. It is a way of connecting that transcends transactional interactions—e.g., Can you take out the trash? If you go to the market, I’ll make dinner, I’ll meet you at the movies at 4pm, I need the report by noon, and so on. Being authentic and vulnerable is something that you own. You can choose to create this with anyone who is able and willing to participate. It does not require any physical or sexual contact. It is the fullest expression of who you are.
So take advantage of the endless flow of love that's available to you. Don't miss the opportunity to express your love with those around you. Don't get caught up in the myth that implies your life is not whole or you are not whole unless you have a romantic partner. It simply isn't true.
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com