When Do You Feel Loved? #GirlBoner Nurturing

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” — Paulo Coelho

Most of us who’ve loved someone deeply understand this . Turning the table to love ourselves is often more difficult.

A few Girl Boner Facebook readers have expressed feelings of sadness and stress over the past few weeks. In response to a post about sex and orgasm as stress relief, one reader shared that she has sex a few times per week yet remains sad and strained. While sexual play and climax can help minimize physical and emotional stress, they certainly aren’t a cure-all. You know nearly is? As cliche or cheesy as it may sound, it’s self-love. Most of us recognize its value, but sheesh, is it easy to neglect…

self care

In a recent Your Tango article, Margaret Paul, Phd shared a story about a couple she counseled. “Marlo and Jack have been married for twelve years and have two young children,” she wrote. “Marlo and Jack each state that they love each other, yet Marlo does not feel loved by Jack, while Jack states that he is content with the relationship.”

Marla, the caretaker in the relationship, asked the therapist whether she should leave Jack, the “taker,” or simply keep trying to get him to treat her as she desires. Neither, said Paul.

“There is a good possibility that the way Jack treats you is a mirror of how you treat yourself,” Paul said. “How often do you think about what you want or feel?”

Woah. Suddenly the lights flipped on for Marlo. She’d seldom considered her own wants and needs, erroneously deeming self-care selfish rather than responsible. To improve her relationship with her husband, said Paul, Marlo would have to start asking herself what it would take to feel loved, then start providing it for herself. Her husband would eventually catch on, and Marlo would feel more fulfilled regardless.

The article didn’t address the couple’s sex life, but I imagine that their physical intimacy diminished during their struggles and improved once Marlo changed her ways.

Sex can be a very self-nurturing act, but if we’re feeling low about ourselves, we’re not likely to desire or fully enjoy it. In order to gain the countless benefits of sex and orgasm, we’ve got to have some level of self-nurturing—possibly lots of it.

So I’m going to ask you to ponder the same question Dr. Paul posed to Marlo: When do you feel loved? Don’t over-think it. Let it flow!

Here are the first 5 examples that popped to my mind. I felt/feel ultra-loved when:

1 – I was midway through eating disorder treatment and my brother stomped into the living room where family members were watching the Miss America pageant. “August has anorexia. Are you seriously watching this right now?”

2 – My dog never left my side as I recovered from oral surgery last year.

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3 – My husband helped me bathe when I was sick with a nasty bug and felt utterly disgusting.

4 – A dear friend heard me mention my dream bouquet of flowers, then surprised me with it—months later.

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5 – My parents cook for me during visits home.

Reflecting on this list, I can see many ways of loving myself similarly. I can steer clear of negative influences, let myself rest when I’m not feeling well, nurture my body, buy myself flowers and prepare meals I crave. The list could go on and on. Hopefully all of our lists will, because we’ll not only pay attention to them, but make self-care a priority.

Now it’s your turn! Complete this sentence: I’ve felt (or feel) ultra-loved when ____________________.  (Share one, a few, five – up to you!) Do you do the same for yourself? In what ways? If you don’t, might you start?

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26 Comments

  1. Mathair: I feel most loved when my kids take care of me. I’m disabled and have a hard time getting around. My children are always looking out for me. When I walk down a set of steps, it never fails that I feel one of their arms tuck under mine to help me down or up. My son always opens doors for me or helps me across the street, and my daughter (Inion) will make sure I’m set up comfortably during our writing sessions, going the extra mile to set up a comfy seat and have my snacks, drinks and laptop set up for me. They’re the best kids in the world.
    Inion: I feel most loved when I’m surrounded by my family, especially when we’re at the dinner table. I know that’s pretty general, but we’re a close knit family and there’s a lot of love between us. We have a tendency to show that love with food. Whether it’s cooking for each other or sharing a good, hearty meal, it’s our way of saying “I love you”. We’re southern, what can I say? LOL

    Reply
    • BEAUTIFUL, ladies! I love the fact that togetherness and compassion play such huge roles in your lives – a little says “I love you” like tasty vittles! Studies actually show that food prepared with love taste better, so there you go! More proof. 😉 Thanks so much for weighing in.

      Reply
  2. This is so true August. Sometimes in managing priorities & meeting obligations we tend to ignore ourselves and that seem to sending wrong signal to the people near & dear to us. I can relate to Jack & Marla’s story, with a bit of twist. E.g. During our dating days I always used to be the first one & wait at the meeting place and that was mainly for her security reason. Somehow that became a norm and in almost every aspect of life I started to sacrifice my time so that she would be comfortable.
    I’ve felt ultra-loved when …
    When my “NO” was greeted with a smile instead of a frown; 🙂 on a serious note, it feels much better when occasionally you can express regrets without have that guilt conscience in mind.

    Reply
    • Saying “no” can be so important and powerful. I know what you mean about it being embraced by others–definitely shows love and respect. And amen to guilt-free openness!

      Reply
  3. August, I have just begun to feel loved by myself here in the last … um … year. Since my stroke, I take better care of myself and allow myself to do a lot of things I used to decide to “do later”. That do later attitude went away when I died on that emergency table. I love me and want me to have all the good things I have wished on others.
    Scott

    Reply
  4. I feel most loved when my husband leaves off the TV and just talks to me. I don’t even mind making dinner if he hangs in the kitchen and chats with me while I’m cooking. He cooks for us often, and I usually hang around, but tend to feel more in his way (he’s not the most conversational guy in the world, which is why it’s such a gift when he is feeling chatty). I look forward to the day when we have a kitchen that is better suited to good conversation while cooking and/or actually cooking together.

    Reply
    • How sweet is that, Kim?? The fact that his companionship means so much to you speaks of your lovely heart – and his. Blessings to you both!

      Reply
  5. I feel loved after I read to my writer peeps and hear (good) expletives. I also feel loved when Andy puts gas in the car or buys the vodka. And I love myself every time I hit the “Buy It Now” button on Amazon.

    Reply
  6. I feel loved when…

    1) my 12 YO granddaughter’s face lights up when she sees me,
    2) my body is all clean, moisturized, trimmed, exercised and nourished at the end of the day,
    3) I get an unanticipated phone call from someone special “just because”
    4) a ‘pay if forward’ gift to someone brings tears to their eyes
    5) I take time to make a gratitude list

    WONDERFUL post, August. I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy now. Just because I took time to think about how self-love is not selfish.

    Reply
    • You have a 12-YO granddaughter?!? We’re you 12 when she was born? Sheesh! Lucky girl, regardless. 🙂 Wonderful list, beauty!

      Reply
      • My stepchildren were 17 and 22 when I married their dad. My grandbabies will NEVER be “step.”

        I forgot the most important one, actually.

        I feel loved each morning when I wake up happy to be alive and hangover-free.

        Yeah. I’m an annoyingly chipper morning person.

  7. I LOVE that your brother was looking out for you that way! What a sweetheart!

    Hmm. Good question. Wish I had an answer. But you’ve given me something to think about.

    Reply
  8. August, again, well said. We cannot love others the way we should unless we love ourselves first. I think that part of the problem is there’s been such an over-emphasis on conceit and selfishness. And that can be confusing. But I love your top five. And yes, your brother’s a keeper! 🙂

    Reply
    • It’s definitely a fine line, Karen! There’s a trend of self-entitlement, but I think that true self-love makes us better able to help others, and that insecurity is often masked or manifested in selfishness–minus the case of psychopaths. 🙂 Thanks for the insight! Brilliant, as always.

      Reply
  9. Kate is

     /  August 19, 2013

    I feel ultra-loved when I put the little boy to bed and he kisses and says your the best mum. I just adore that. I feel loved when I help a patient and they are so very grateful. I can see it in their eyes. I feel loved when people accept me the way I am and do not think they can change ( cure) me. I feel love when my brother calls me out of the blue to tell me some silly thing. I have felt a great deal of love recently. I am learning to love myself now that I am free.

    Reply
  10. I’ve felt ultra-loved when my mother and father gave me the gift of life. 🙂

    Reply
  11. Raani York

     /  August 21, 2013

    There are so many little things that make me feel loved. My sister, telling me that she misses me and loves me – my best friends telling me they love me, my friends caring for me – and of course my partner who cares for me, does little romantic things and tells me that he loves me – and makes me feel loved by showing me how much I mean to him.
    (And of course, this little minor detail of three cats trying to cuddle with me to the very same time)…

    Reply
    • Beautiful, Raani. It’s important to acknowledge love from and for not only our partners, but our dearest friends – furry ones, included!

      Reply
  12. When my hubby puts my towels in the dryer while I’m in the shower so they are warm and fluffy when I get out. He does lots of little things like that for me, the big piece missing is me taking care of myself.
    BTW I loved the example with your brother- it warmed my heart.

    Reply
  13. I don’t think we can hear this message enough, August, some of us need to have it drilled into our psyche. So excellent post! 😀
    Even after 7 years of being together, my boyfriend still buys me flowers. I always feel loved when he surprises me with a bouquet of roses. Also, I never really had a close relationship with my parents but since leaving home, they call me out of the blue sometimes and tell me they miss me. Those are special moments to me… 🙂

    Reply

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