Love is a responsibility. Some folk will talk a good game without the wherewithal to back it up with deeds, and the difference between them and someone with whom you can forge a mutually fulfilling, loving relationship is that they take care, and you do, too. There’s mutual like, taking an interest, conscientiousness, empathy and consideration of each other’s needs and those of the relationship, ultimately recognising that there is no need for either of you to crush the other because you want similar things, but also because you’re on the same team.

Care requires honouring the separateness. Knowing where you end and others begin creates interdependence (read: healthy boundaries), not codependence. This means you’ll need to be yourself and also take time to know and understand each other. You each have to step outside your own heads and be able to recognise where the other is coming from. In doing so, you’re willing to truly see that person and be seen so that you can learn to relate and respond to each other in the most effective and loving ways, even though it means getting out of your comfort zone. You try not to assume the worst in each other’s actions and intentions.

Care is about each of you consistently showing up with caring feelings, thoughts and actions because you value the health of your relationship. Of course, we’re all human so you’ll each undoubtedly err and misfire with words. Still, a habit of care means that you’ll strive to overcome it because you care more about what you’ve created together than any individual attachment to being ‘right’ or winning. 

For more on authentic, loving relationships, check out my book Love, Care, Trust and Respect.

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