5 Keys for Cultivating Loving Relationships

Written by admin on . Posted in Essential Balance

All of us want to be seen and loved for who we are. To open our hearts and reveal our true selves—vulnerabilities and all, we need to feel safe with another person. It can be scary stuff, baring your soul; almost impossible in a cold, harshly judgmental or hostile environment.

“Real intimacy is a sacred experience. It never exposes its secret trust and belonging to the voyeuristic eye of neon culture. Real intimacy is of the soul, and the soul is reserved.” (John O’Donohue)

So, how can you create a safe container for love to grow in your relationships? Here are five keys, which, if you put into practice, will help you cultivate love in your life.

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  1. ATTENTION. Just like a plant needs sunshine, a relationship needs attention (focused energy) to grow and remain healthy and strong. Relationships are an energy exchange between two people. Relationships wither from lack of attention. So, spend quality time with your relations. Do your best to be fully present and free from distractions (Yes, that means turning off your cell phone).
  1. ACCEPTANCE. If there’s a something about your loved one, or something they have done, that you don’t like, but it is not a deal breaker or a boundary breaker for you, then accept it. Don’t nag, judge or nit pick about it. Let it be.
  1. APPRECIATION. Celebrate your loved one’s good qualities. Tell her specifically what you like or love about her. Tell her often. When you do this, your loved one receives the heartfelt gift of being seen, loved and appreciated for who she is.
  1. AFFECTION. Be affectionate. Show your love, warmth and caring for your relations through touch. A warm hug, a pat on the back, standing arm in arm, or holding hands communicates positive emotions. Many studies have demonstrated physical and emotional benefits of touch. Research has also shown that touch is the primary language of compassion. Touch can even boost love hormone (oxytocin) levels.
  1. ALLOWING. Allow your family, friends and lover(s) the space to be themselves. Enjoy your relations for who they are. Don’t try to change them to fit your expectations. “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” (Thich Nhat Hahn)

Practicing these 5 keys will help you to develop self-love, too. “Loving oneself is the foundation for loving another person.”( Thich Nhat Hahn) Use these 5 keys to cultivate a more loving relationship with your self and with others.



Tags: affection, intimacy, love, relationship, sacred, self love, soul, vulnerability

Comments (2)

  • Peter Occhiogrosso


    Thanks for reminding us of the basic building blocks of loving relationship that are so simple we tend to forget them! For me I think Acceptance is the most challenging one. Something in my Judge archetype makes me want to raise the issue with my mate, and letting it go by can seem counterintuitive. Why not clear the air? But over years of living together I’ve learned that if, as you say, it’s not a deal breaker (and we know what those are), constantly calling attention to some minor annoyance doesn’t actually heal it. You only enlarge its presence and it becomes a wedge that can separate you, however slightly. It’s the ego and the shadow Judge that makes us want to focus on the negative. I’ll have to recommend your blog to my Sacred Journaling class.
    Blessings, Peter


    • admin


      Dear Peter,
      Thank you SO much for your kindness and sharing about your personal experience and the challenges of living these principles. . .I know the Judge archetype well myself. I call her “the Boss.” As an inner critic, the Boss wants me to walk my talk. While the Boss is always well intentioned and has clear-eyed self awareness, she can be harsh! In relationship, as you point out it can sometimes be most wise to silence the critic.
      I am so honored that you would recommend my blog! Thank you!
      Much Love,


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