Nine Ways Love Can Be Powerful

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated April 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

"Of all powers, love is the most powerful and the most powerless. It is the most powerful because it alone can conquer that final and most impregnable stronghold, which is the human heart. It is the most powerless because it can do nothing except by consent." –Frederick Buechner 

Throughout the whole world, from New York City to Tokyo, love is powerful. Love can be an  enlightening emotion that can be experienced toward friends, families, romantic partners, the universe, God, or oneself. Losing love may be considered one of the most painful experiences. Gaining it may be considered one of the happiest. 

Powerful love might not only refer to romantic love. Your love for others in your life could also be considered powerful and life-changing. For some, self-love might be the most powerful form of love, as many struggle to achieve it. For others, the love a parent feels for their child could feel the most powerful and, in many cases, a young boy or girl carries familial love with them for a lifetime. Love can be a subjective topic, however, love is also a powerful message for the world.

Could you use help differentiating healthy and unhealthy love?

10 ways love can be powerful 

There are many ways you may find power in loving yourself and others, including the following. 

1. Accepting yourself and others 

When you love someone, you might accept them for who they are and feel forgiving of their flaws. You can also feel acceptance toward yourself. Self-love and acceptance are often involved in how you relate to and receive love from others. If you believe you are lovable, you might also believe that the love you receive is genuine and impactful. 

It can feel challenging to accept imperfections in others. However, love can help you feel that the people you love are human and make mistakes and every personal tale conveys an empowering story of acceptance. In this way, you might consider loving a powerful force that empowers you and helps you feel empathy toward others. 

A benefit of feeling accepted may be the ability to be yourself in your relationships. If you accept yourself or feel that others accept you out of love, you might feel authentic and able, to be honest with those you care about. 

2. Forgiveness 

A desire to love and be in a relationship with another person can motivate you to take the step of forgiveness if it feels healthy to do so. One of the secrets of power couples that make their relationship last long is forgiveness. When you forgive someone else, it may be done out of love and understanding that people can make mistakes. You might want to forgive someone to give them a chance to grow. 

You might also learn self-forgiveness through your relationships. If you struggle with understanding your past behaviors, being loved might help you see that you have tried your best and have grown as an individual over the years. If love prompts others to forgive you, you may also feel more open to forgiving yourself because someone you love was able to do so. 

3. Self-growth 

When you love someone, it might motivate you to want to grow for them and yourself. You may look for ways to improve yourself and try healthier behaviors. For example, your partner in a romantic relationship might encourage you to get support for a mental health symptom you're having. You may take the chance and sign up for therapy out of love and self-love. 

Love may also encourage you to try new activities that you wouldn't have considered before. For example, when you are in love with someone, you could watch their favorite movies, go on trips, or experience their hobbies. Due to love, you might be willing to do something you wouldn't do on your own. 

4. Creativity 

Love may expand your creativity and inspire you to create. Think of the poets and writers from previous centuries. There are many poems and writings on love. People may also create paintings, sculptures, and thought pieces about the topic. Feeling in love might motivate you to create a piece of art of your own. 

Studies have shown that love encourages creativity more than lust or desire. It can also help people think outside the box to find creative solutions to their problems.


5. Resilience 

Love could give you the ability to endure struggles, work hard, and make sacrifices. For example, if you're going through a difficult time and have the people you love nearby, you might feel better than if you were struggling alone. Studies also show that love can reduce the chance of physical pain and disease. For example, one study shows that love reduces blood pressure.

Some individuals practice resilience to be with the people they love. They might work hard for years to make the relationship work. For example, in a long-distance relationship, an individual might learn a new language or travel to a new country to be with the person they love. In other cases, immigrant mothers might work hard to bring their children to a safer location and help them build a better life for themselves. These can be examples of how love might motivate someone to be resilient. 

6. Happiness 

Love can make you happy and often releases happy chemicals in the brain when you feel it. The early stages of love are associated with a higher level of dopamine, a hormone that can boost your mood and cause you to feel excited, safe, and energetic. 

Although love's initial stages may not last forever, many people find lasting happiness in relationships, whether romantic or not, through both the optimistic energy and positivity conveyed through love. You may feel happy when you see your loved ones smiling, when you are respected, or when someone in your family completes a milestone. 

7. Health 

Many studies have shown the health benefits of being in love, such as one study that shows that being married can help you to live longer. Your immune system might also be boosted when you feel loved. 

8. Lower risk of anxiety and depression

Love may lower your risk of experiencing anxiety, according to one study. When you feel love, you might feel you have a social system and people to lean on in your life, which could offer a sense of safety. 

9. Love can reduce your pain levels

There have been studies that have found a connection between love and lowered levels of pain. The endorphins released when you feel love can also have painkilling effects. 

Benefits of healthy love 

The benefits of love may only benefit you if you're in a healthy relationship. Studies show that healthy relationships are essential for physical and mental health overall. On the other hand, unhealthy and abusive relationships can bring mental and physical health risks

If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 for support. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text "START" to 88788. You can also use the online chat

What to do if you're having trouble with love

Many people in the world hear about love every day, however, they may struggle with love in various ways. You might struggle to find love, express it, or know when you've found a healthy relationship. Although love can be a powerful force, finding love that feels healthy can be a challenge. 

Therapy could benefit you if you're having problems with love in your life. A licensed therapist might help you identify the causes of any conflicts or stressors related to love. Additionally, they can offer professional coping strategies and advice. 

Could you use help differentiating healthy and unhealthy love?

For those who face barriers to treatment, online therapy may be a practical choice. You can choose whether to attend phone, video, or live chat sessions with your therapist. Additionally, online therapy is often hundreds of dollars cheaper per month for those facing financial stressors. 

Numerous studies point to online therapy as an effective treatment method for those experiencing complex emotions related to love or relationships. For example, in a study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, researchers found that online couples counseling was an effective form of therapy for those in distressed relationships. After treatment, couples reported improvements in communication and overall relationship functioning. 

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Love can be an essential and enriching part of life and may be part of your uplifting story. You may feel powerful love toward your friends, families, partners, self, and others. Knowing how to show and receive love may keep you happy, healthy, and thriving. If you're experiencing trouble in this area, consider reaching out to a counselor for further support and guidance.  

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