Love is a catch-all word that people use and we seem to think it means the same to you as it does to me.
But your love is different from mine. And your love for person X is different than your love for person Y. Once you accept this truth, you will be able to give and receive love more freely.
This is somewhat similar to the premise of the “5 Love Languages” by Chapman. Essentially, you may feel my love through displays of physical affection, and I may feel your love through gifts. Neither is right or wrong. But we need to appreciate that both are attempts to convey love.
And then, the world opens up to one big love fest! We can be more open to express love in varied ways across diverse relationships. You can show a coworker love via assisting on a late night project. You can receive love from the barista who gave you an upgrade on your coffee size. Your kids can display love by being quiet when you have a headache. Your spouse can show love by a hug, or a gift, or a sweet text, or doing the dishes, or skipping a Dolphins game to go to brunch with you.
And beyond the concept of the “5 love languages,” I ask you to allow for love to come from many sources, including yourself.
Get your hugs where you can. Take the compliment even if it “wasn’t from the right person.” Buy yourself a gift or a vacation.
Sometimes it’s too much to ask for all of your “daily love quota” to be met by one person. Spread it around. No need to put all the pressure on your spouse, or for your patience to wear thin waiting for him/her to meet your needs. Love is all around! Grab it. Enjoy it. Give it.