Monday 21 January, 2019

#NakedTruth: Time to put love into action

It's time that people realise that love is shown through actions.

As persons across the Caribbean join with the rest of the world in celebrating the month of love, Loop is taking a closer look at that word and all that comes with it.

Today, we turned to psychologist with the Caribbean Mental Health Consultants, Dr Natalie Moore. 

Before diving right into attitudes and perceptions about the term, we sought to find out if the month of February brought any special cases to her practice. She explained that while love is in the air - and I would add in the sale tags - during February, it did not have any major impact on the couples she saw at that time:

"I don't see an increase in couples seeking therapy in February per se, it comes up at different times during the relationship for different couples. So I see persons all during the year for couples' therapy - I haven't  seen that it is more so in February than at other times."

But what about singles? Does she see an increase in individuals who have not been struck by Cupid's arrows during February? 

"Not for my clients. My clients have to work on whatever personal issues they are having and I have not seen that February brings up particular anxiety about not having a partner for them."

So it seems that people aren't too worried about love during February - at least not enough to seek counselling on the matter. But what are some of the major challenges impacting those who take that step to seek help with their relationship? 

Dr Moore explained the root of the matter for many couples:

"It's easy to speak about things that people would have conflicts about like finances. Yes, of course, people would have different ideas about how to manage money.

"But I boil it down to foundational issues."

What are those foundational issues?

"People think of love as a noun, whereas love is a verb.

"So whenever I ask couples, 'How do you love him? How do you love her?' they are stumped. 

"Love is a series of tasks, it is a series of acts towards the other person."

So how does she recommend turning that feeling of love into action? It starts with your mindset:

"When you start thinking about that, 'How did you love that person today?' then there are things that you can do make improvements in the relationship. 

"'I can be more aware of that person's challenges or flaws and not be so critical, not be so harsh' or 'I can do nice things just because I know they like them'.

"All of a sudden now it breaks it down into tasks and you look at it as a verb."

Now that you have a better understanding of love, start putting it into action by taking steps that would protect both you and your partner.

Demonstrate your love by not engaging in unsafe sex. 

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