While love can be a wonderful and rewarding emotion, there’s often a lot of confusion surrounding love. It can be difficult to understand your feelings, wants, and needs, especially when it comes to relationships with others. But love doesn’t necessarily have to be confusing. By thinking clearly about your relationships and desires, you can get clarity surrounding love.
What Type of Love Are You Feeling?
When you have strong positive feelings for someone, it can sometimes be difficult to categorize them right away. You may be unsure if you consider someone a close friend or romantic interest, or you may wonder what the boundaries are between friends and found family.
Romantic love is a strong positive feeling for another person, usually but not always associated with sexual desire. If you’re feeling romantic love for another person, you may want to go on dates with them, get to know them better, and become physically intimate. Down the line, you may even want to date or marry them. Romantic love can take many different forms and might look different for different people.
Platonic love refers to love between friends, in which there’s no sexual component. While we often think of romantic love as being one of the strongest forms of love, platonic love can be just as intense and complicated. If you’re feeling platonic love for another person, you might want to become closer friends, spend lots of time together, or even become roommates. Some people have many strong platonic friendships, while other people may only have a handful of very close friends.
Familial love refers to love between family members. While not all families are close, familial love can form incredibly strong bonds between parents and children, siblings, and other members of the extended family. Even if you don’t have a close connection with your family, however, you can still experience familial love for your found or chosen family. While familial love and platonic love can sometimes overlap, familial love often transcends personal differences and is shaped by family experiences and traditions.
Is Your Relationship Healthy?
If you’re confused about a romantic, platonic, or familial relationship, you may be wondering whether or not your relationship is healthy or what you can do to make it more successful. You may even be in an abusive relationship and are unsure whether or not your relationship is normal. Healthy relationships can have enormous benefitsfor your mental and physical health. While every relationship is different, there are a few common elements that indicate a healthy relationship.
Any healthy relationship should be supportive and encouraging, even during hard times. If you’re in a supportive relationship, your friend, partner, or family member should cheer you on as you surmount obstacles and have your back when things don’t go your way. Supportive loved ones will encourage you even when they don’t fully understand your hobbies or passions. A healthy relationship makes you feel valued and supported in all that you do.
While every relationship is different, openness is an important factor in determining whether or not your relationship is healthy. When you’re open with one another in a relationship, you share important things with each other, even if they’re sometimes difficult to talk about. You don’t keep secrets, and you try to communicate your thoughts and feelings as openly as possible. In addition, you’re open about your relationship to the world and don’t feel the need to hide your friendship or romantic relationship.
Healthy relationships are built on a foundation of respect and love. Respectful friends, partners, and family members won’t demean you, call you names, or make fun of you. They’ll also give you the space you need and respect your desire for privacy and independence. Instead of trying to control you, they’ll give you the freedom to make your own decisions and support you along the way.
What Type Of Love Are You Looking For?
When you feel strong emotions toward another person, it can sometimes be difficult to decide what you want your relationship with them to look like. Whether you’re looking to pursue someone romantically, become better friends, or grow closer to your family members, it’s important to reflect upon what you want this relationship to look like going forward.
Develop A Romantic Connection
Although rejection is never fun, you should also be prepared for the possibility that this person might not be interested in a romantic relationship with you at the time. If you do decide to express your feelings of love, be sure to do so in a way that is respectful and allows the other person the option of saying no.
Deepen A Friendship
Platonic love can often be just as intense as romantic love, especially in the early stages of a relationship. If you find yourself overwhelmed by positive platonic feelings for another person, you may want to deepen your relationship with your friend.
As with romantic relationships, deepening a relationship too quickly can sometimes end poorly, especially when intense emotions are involved. If you’re looking to further develop your friendship, make sure that your friend feels the same way. Try hanging out together, spending time doing hobbies and activities, and learning more about them. As with romantic relationships, spending time together should always be fun for both people, and you should always respect any boundaries your friend might set.
Strengthen Relationships With Family
Maybe you’re already very close to your family, or maybe you’d like to develop a stronger relationship with them. Relationships with family members can be rich and rewarding, but they also can come with their own unique challenges. If you’re trying to deepen a relationship with a family member, focus on good times and shared interests rather than bad things that have happened in the past.
While becoming closer to your family is usually a good thing, it’s still important to make sure that your relationships are healthy and independent. It’s a good idea to set clear boundaries with family members, and make sure that you’re not becoming codependent upon one another. It’s also normal for your closeness to your family to wax and wane as you grow and change as a person.
How To Express Love
If you’re feeling strong positive emotions for another person, you may not be sure how to express them without embarrassing yourself. You can express your love for others in a variety of ways, from simple gestures to lasting commitments.
Spend Time Together
One of the easiest ways to express and deepen love is simply to spend time together. Try out new activities together, share a meal, or even just go for a walk. Shared time and experiences will help you show your loved one that you care and will help strengthen the foundation of your relationship.
Tell Them Your Feelings
As long as you know that your feelings of love will be received positively, one of the simplest ways to express love is to confess your feelings to another person. Don’t be afraid of telling people that you love them, even if it can sometimes be a little embarrassing.
Love And Support Them
Are you feeling confused about love? Whether you’re just entering into a relationship, are wondering whether or not your relationship is healthy, or are trying to deepen and strengthen your love for another person, love can often be confusing and fraught with frustration and difficulty. At the same time, however, love can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and is central to our health and wellbeing. Confusion about love is incredibly common, whether you’re heartsick over a potential partner or just unsure about how to express your feelings.
If you’re experiencing uncertainty when it comes to love and romance, one of the most effective solutions is to try to reflect on your own feelings, wants, and desires. Practice spending a little time in introspective thought, investigating what you really think about other people, and what you want your relationships to look like. While introspection can sometimes be scary or unpleasant, it reaps real rewards in terms of self-knowledge and the ability to better understand yourself and others.
Whether you’re struggling with relationships or just want to explore your own feelings, therapy can be a great way to learn more about relationships and the self. BetterHelp offers a diverse selection of online therapy services that can help you control your emotions, navigate relationships, and better your mental health. Get in touch with us today to learn more!
Therapy is incredibly helpful in learning how to express your emotions. It’s been proven that not being able to express your feelings can result in negative health problems and being able to express your feelings well can help us “feel better.”So, working with a therapist through these issues may actually increase your overall health in the long run. In addition, online therapy is set up well to deal with just this kind of issue. Online therapy has been found to be just as effective as traditional therapy for most types of talk therapy and issues that aren’t severe.
There are some other benefits to online therapy that may be helpful to consider. For instance, while you may be put on a waitlist for a traditional office, BetterHelp connects most people with a counselor within 24 hours. Online therapy also tends to be more affordable than traditional therapy.
Here are some reviews by recent BetterHelp users about their counselors:
“I came to Heather and BetterHelp during a time of crisis in love and work, even tho I presented well to the public. Heather helped me identify my core wounds and find strategies to shift away from codependent enabling of others and authentically find a sense of empowerment and autonomy – and work recognize my self worth in the process. I thought I had done this work but I saw I was repeating patterns and fearful of true expression. I love working with Heather and often recommend BetterHelp as a safe, private, trusted service with strong experts in this field. Thank you!” Read more on Heather Abreu.
“I’m happy I had counseling with Glenn. I used to struggle with anger and trust issues towards my husband when I first talked to Glenn. He listened to me attentively and asked questions delicately and politely. I felt that he cared about my case and really wanted to help me. And he did help me solve my relationship problems. Glenn tought me to forgive, manage conflicts, and express and receive love. Now I enjoy my close and intimate relationship with my loved one, and there’s no place for anger and hate in me any more. Finally I feel understood, supported, happy and calm. And I’m so thankful to Glenn for guiding me there.” Read more on Glenn House.