'How to feel more loved - and why relationships are crucial to health'

Our physical health is often affected by the lives we are living. Our ability to have good mental health and make positive choices is also affected by many things.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 10:01 am

One big factor is the quality of our relationships. This article contains a helpful principle towards positive relationships. Why is it you can do things to love people you care about, but they don’t feel loved? You do the kindest thing you can think, but it does not have any impact. What about the other way around?

A friend or partner gets you a present when all you want is some quality time. Or help around the house and all you want is a hug.

It may seem that these points have a tenuous link to my work in General Practice. However when you consider the importance of relationships to health, it is central!

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The natural way to love other people is to do what makes us feel good. But what makes you feel good may not be what makes them feel good.

So you can have two people trying to show love to the other but neither person feeling loved! The consequences of this in relationships can be enormous!

There are five main ways we give and receive love – says Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Love Languages. These are by giving gifts, giving help, giving encouragement, physical touch and spending quality time. You may find some of these things make you feel loved far more than others.

Do you know what makes you feel loved? It helps if those close to you know. Do you know what makes your friends and family feel loved? For your love to have an impact on them it will help to know.

There will be clues. Those who give you thoughtful gifts likely appreciate this from others. Those who encourage you are likely those who value encouragement. Those always helping you are likely those who most appreciate help. The best way to find out is to talk about it! Ask them ‘what have others done for you that you have most appreciated?’

Discuss the five main ways above. Is there a mismatch going on in your relationships?

So, there are five main ways we give and receive love. The natural way for us to give love is how we feel loved. But for everyone to feel loved we need to find out from each other what will actually work!

With time, we can move to loving one another in ways that will have an impact!