I was reflecting on relationships and what women, young and old, long for and to some degree boys and men, also.
A- ACCEPTED: We all have a deep need to feel accepted, flaws and all. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to change or improve- but it does mean that others will accept our innate value as a person as we are. This actually begins at birth, especially if our parents may have hoped for an opposite gender child. Are we accepted as precious and dear, regardless of gender, size, physical appearance and any possible problems?
Think about what people will do in order to be accepted. Many will try to alter their looks and dress in a certain fashion. Some will take up a sport or another activity in order to please their parent who values it. Young men will join gangs and even commit crimes in order to be accepted in that group, have an identity that seems to bring respect from the other members, and feel that they belong. Some will never follow their own dreams or speak their own mind in order to please someone else and be accepted by them.
When we fall in love, most often we feel like the other person really likes us just the way we are. They admire our looks, like our personality, find us interesting and valuable. We each are looking for someone to make us feel that way.
B- BELONG: We also all share a need to belong. Everyone wants to have a home where they feel secure and wanted and part of a family identity. Isn’t that some of what children needing foster or adoptive parents are yearning for? Even animals live and travel in various types of groups- packs, schools, tribes, etc. They belong and share similar lifestyles and tastes.
Children and teens especially feel a need to belong. Having friends is so important and being liked and affirmed. It is hurtful to be the one not invited to a birthday party or to play on the playground. Parents need to help them find loyal, supportive friends and give them opportunities to partake in various activities that interest them.
B- BEAUTIFUL: Females of all ages also need to feel beautiful. There is obviously often too much focus on makeup and hairstyles, body build and fashion. But even little girls like to play dress up and pretend makeup. The important thing to is to realize that we all are beautiful indifferent ways and embrace what makes us special, enhance our positives and also be reminded that the most important beauty radiates from inside.
C- CHERISH/ CARED FOR: When i was dating my husband, a friend told me that she wanted what I had – to be cherished. I love the sound of that word. To me, cherish means to love dearly, to treat as precious and special, to desire to take tender care of. What does it mean to you?
I think of when my husband and I were on a cruise a few years ago at Valentine’s Day. He walked me to the on-board jewelry store and told me to select what I would like. I chose a beautiful ruby ring and he told me I needed matching earrings, too. It isn’t the jewelry or the cost of it that warms my heart. It is the feeling that my husband wanted to give me whatever would make me happy because he loves me. I will treasure those jewelry gifts forever for representing that my husband loves and cherishes me.
As parents, friends and partners, we should stop each day and ask ourselves: “What have I done today to make my spouse/ child/ friend feel accepted, belonging, beautiful, cherished, cared for and loved? How have we demonstrated that their feelings, well-being and happiness matters to me?
This could make a huge difference in our families and homes and in the emotional well-being of each person who is important to us.