Obligatory Love?

“You only did that because I told you to." Time and again these words, or some slight variation, have been uttered throughout therapy sessions and phone calls with friends. Each time, this person had expressed to a loved one how they would feel less irritated or more loved. Then, the individual would find themselves arguing or thinking, “You only did that because I told you to!” Perhaps, you even find that you are frustrated with yourself; "I have to make a conscious effort to show my partner love. I wish it came more naturally; hugging shouldn't feel weird."

One of our greatest road blocks is the way in which we talk to ourselves. Think about it! How often are you minimizing your own efforts? "It would have been better if I'd...How could I be so forgetful..." And now, think about how often we do that to our partners. Through self-talk, we convince ourselves that we would feel more loved or appreciated if our loved ones could somehow read our minds and anticipate our every need.

While the likes of Luke, Leia, and Charles Xavier may benefit from the gift of telepathy, us mere mortals here on earth are left needing to communicate our needs to our significant others. So, do not be shy about giving yourself and your loved one a mental pat on the back to say "thank you for loving me in a way I know how to receive it 'because I told you [how] to."

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