The Celebration of Love
By Diane Landsberg
As Valentine’s day, the holiday of love, is approaching, it is the perfect opportunity to show and tell others that we love them. This year it is suggested that you reach inside and expand your usual list of spouse, children, parents, siblings, boyfriend, and girlfriend. Your children can learn by your example as they witness you saying it to dear friends. I have “adopted” both male and female friends that I love like my brother and sister and feel blessed to share a special bond. I realized it even more this year as I signed my Christmas cards (yes, I still mail them) with a personal note, signing love instead of always or sincerely.
There are many different types of relationships. Family, Friendships, Acquaintanceships and Romantic. Think of who you love besides our parents, spouse, children and siblings. It is called platonic love and the thesaurus defines as Friendly, Amicable, Neighborly, and Companionable. Appreciation is the purest, strongest form of love. It is the outward-bound kind of love that asks for nothing and gives everything. A strong and healthy relationship is built on the three C's: Communication, Compromise and Commitment. Think about how to use communication to make your friend to feel needed, and appreciated.
Platonic love relationships are often the bond between friends, which can be nourishing, fulfilling, and a source of support as we go through life. Research over the years has overwhelmingly indicated the importance of having strong social connections outside your family, and platonic friendships are typically a significant part of these networks.
Closeness: Both people in the relationship feel a closeness to each other and feel that they share things in common.
Honesty: Both individuals feel that they can share what they really think and feel with the other person.
Acceptance: These relationships tend to feel easy and comfortable. Both people feel that they are safe and free to be themselves.
Understanding: People who share a platonic relationship have a connection, but they also recognize and respect each other's personal space. They don't try to force the other person to do things they don't want to do or be something that they are not.
How do you say I love you platonically?
For example, you could say:
“I love how fun you are.”
“I love spending time with you.”
“I love you. Thank you for being my best friend.”
“I love you, man. You're my best friend.”
“I love how we always laugh when we're together.”
“You're so kind and thoughtful.”
Think about the friends that you know you” love”, that special bond that is established in a relationship of complicity, fellowship and shared values – more simply, “the highest form of love.” You can explain to your children and model behavior that they can copy. It will expand their world!