Speaking About Love

Love ? I love love love you.

Love ? I love love love you. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Love heals all wounds.  Where there is love there IS a way.  No matter what the question, love is the answer.  Love makes the world go ’round.  Love is the greatest gift we can give and receive. And love, as we know it and practice it, is an illusion, a figment of our own imagination.  As such, it is easily knocked off course, diminished and even destroyed.

When we speak about love, we think that everyone agrees with our point of view.  We don’t even realize that we have our own unique perspective, concept and belief about what love is and what love is not. Love can be defined in many different ways. It can be used as:

  • an adjective:  She is a “love child”
  • a verb:  Learn “to love” one another”
  • a noun: “Love” conquers all.

Without further explanation, we cannot possibly know what another person means – and what actions they will naturally take – when they say “I love you.”

There are many different types of love, but in the English language we have only one word – LOVE  Other languages have several different specific types of love built into their vocabulary.  For example, the Greek language uses such words as “storge” to describe kinship and familiarity, “philia”  to mean platonic friendship, “eros” to define a passionate, romantic desire, and  “agape” to express a quality of selfless devotion. The French, Spanish and Italian languages use separate words to say “you” depending upon whether it is a stranger or non-familiar relationship or if it is someone you know personally or in an intimate way.

We can define love by the preferred type of activity engaged in as an expression of love.  In the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, the author defines love according to an individual person’s natural and desired actions that accompany the feeling of love. One person may express and feel love by praising another and only feels loved when receiving compliments.  Another person expresses love and feels loved through kind and caring actions taken.  Someone else defines love by the quality of physical gifts given and received while another person cares more about the quality and quantity of physical and sexual contact.  And yet another person may love and feel loved when sharing quality time with a partner.  When these love styles or “love languages” do not match, as they often don’t, each person may feel unloved and less inclined to give and share love.

Love can also be defined by the effect upon the other of each partner’s personality style. In relationships, it is common to find that one partner needs closeness and the other prefers distance, one is spontaneous and the other likes to plan, one spends money freely and the other is more thrifty,  one thrives on taking risks and the other needs security and safety, or one is neat, organized and always on time while the other is sloppy, careless, and often procrastinates and is late for appointments.

The most important definition of love is derived from a deep analysis of each partner’s early caretaker experiences and memories that have been imprinted and grooved into their brains.  In the course of ordinary life, each person may function quite well and develop a sense of him or her self as being a certain way.  Then the love bug strikes and they become intimate with another person. Wham!  Whoever they thought they were may go right out the window.  A sweet, unassuming, and seemingly gentle woman may become a raging terror when her unmet needs are exposed by the one she loves.  A strong, dominating and macho man may become needy, insecure and even sexually impotent in the privacy of his intimate relationship.

Love brings up anything unlike itself for the purpose of release and healing. My doctoral dissertation was based upon Dr. Margaret Mahler’s theory of mother-infant bonding and the lifetime effects of an inadequate and less than optimal bonding experience.  The repercussions continue throughout life, repeating in every intimate relationship.  We tend to choose another person whose unmet needs somehow match our own but in a different and complementary way.  For example, if a man was put on a pedestal by his parents, always told he is great but rarely given the freedom to stumble and fall and learn on his own, he may connect with a woman who was always criticized and told she is inadequate but was given lots of room to explore.  The task of the love union may be for her to bring him down off his pedestal and gain confidence in herself by so doing.  At the same time, as he stops feeling he has to prove how great he is, he can begin to explore new ways of being in his relationship and then out in the world.

Love is most often treated as a verb, something you do or expect the other person to do.    Most of us operate in the doing – we may give what we think we “should” give and do the “right” thing. The danger here is when we expect the other person to act in the same way and when they do not behave according to our expectations, we become angry, hurt, resentful, needy and basically “unloving.”

I believe that one of our major life tasks is to develop the capacity to “love everyone, including, especially yourself.”  These were the wise words told to me many years ago by my teacher and guide, Ken Keyes Jr, author of The Handbook to Higher Consciousness.

The journey to creating long lasting, love-filled, romantic and passionate relationships begins at home, within your own self.  Discover who YOU are, what you want and need for yourself,.from and with others.  Learn what your true purpose is here on earth.  Be Who You Are – The Greatest Gift  of All. Give to yourself and all who know you The Gift of Love.  And then you are ready to dance The Delicate Dance of LoveThe with others.

Are YOU Ready to Heal Through Love?  What does love mean to YOU?  Please share in the comments below.

Learn about my Complete Relationship Healing System to help you become the love of your dreams.

Contact Me

Remember – Where there is love, there IS a way.


Dr Erica

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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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22 thoughts on “Speaking About Love

  1. Hi Erica,

    You are lovely and each time I read your article, they really move my heart because they are always so natural and your writing can make me feel as if you are talking to me right now. Thank you for all your articles.

    Love is so beautiful and I always find it comes naturally. I agree with you that love heals. I always tell people that there is something very unique and special inside everyone..that is “love”. Just that some people don’t even know they can be loved or can love. You have explained about this in your post above. It mentioned on different type of desire and action. You have given great examples for people who are searching for the meaning of love. Whether to give or to receive, the examples are great guidance for people to understand more.

    Thank you again, Erica.

    Pearly Quah

    • Pearly,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are one of the fortunate people who was taught how to give and receive love. Don’t ever take that for granted. Share what you know with others who don’t naturally know how to love.


      Dr. Erica

  2. Good Morning Erica,
    Thank you! You are the expert in Love and I so appreciate you reminding us to really think about love … the word and how we use it. The feeling, the expression of it and the sharing of it.

    I am so grateful to you! Today I shall seek to infuse extra love in all I do after all … love wounds all heels … oh wait! Love Heals All Wounds! (our words are so powerful … important to get them in the right order)

    ~~ With Love & Appreciation for YOU!
    Nancy Matthews

    • Nancy,

      I love your statement “Love wounds all heels.” LOL

      Sometimes heels actually change through love – receiving love and learning to give love. But it is not easy for the person providing the love. So much easier to be loving when we feel loved in return. Yet those who have the most difficulty returning our love are often the ones who need to be loved the most. Think of a small child who is acting out to get attention. It’s a crazy world and the more we feel the love the more we can share it with others.


      Dr. Erica

  3. Dr Erica,
    I loved your post and Iove the book The 5 Love Languages. I read it long ago, but can usually call up the 5 love languages. Of course it is easy to remember my hubby’s and mine, and then that only leaves the other 3. I remember when I first read that book early on in our marriage….it was a huge eye opener! I think every couple who are struggling should read that book first before they make any hasty decisions about parting ways.
    It is still on my shelf. Maybe it’s time to blow the dust off of it and read it again!
    God bless you,

    • Lynn,

      You are so right. We do usually choose someone who has a different love style and so many of us expect the other person to change to suit us instead of appreciating the other person exactly as he or she is. The solution is to find a way to get your needs met, maybe from friends and other family members, while appreciating whatever is natural for your partner to give.


      Dr. Erica

      • I love the concept of the five languages, because it’s how I’ve learned to help my wife feel loved. Her love languages are gifts and acts of service. So the more I give her thoughtful gifts and acts of service, the better our relationship gets, and the more I want to do for her 🙂

        • Steve,

          How beautiful. If more men and women would understand this simple concept, they could avoid so much hurt and dissatisfaction. We all want to feel loved but the actions that help us to feel that way are not always the same.

          Dr. Erica

  4. HI Dr Erica! I love your blog and your message with in this article. Yes where there is love there is a way to love everyone, including, especially yourself. Very nicely written.. Thanks for sharing.. Chery 🙂

  5. Love the new blog Erica and thrilled to seeing you do more with a topic that you are so good at! Describing the types of love is a little like describing snow… some snow is just more snowy than others! Yet it’s all snow! I love the 5 Love Languages book and I think I still have a post on my blog about that book. It’s one of those “must reads”!

    • Kim,

      Thanks so much for stopping by my new site. In comparing love to snow, I think of the peaceful, cozy feeling when there is a beautiful cover of pure white snow outside and I am feeling warm and cozy inside. It’s even fun to venture out when the temperature is not so cold and we can make the first imprints in the snow. And then building a snowman, throwing soft snowballs, falling in the snow, laughing and playing. Isn’t that what love can be like?


      Dr. Erica

  6. WOW! Erica… now I know where you’ve been! How exciting! I am so excited for you and seeing what you’re doing, your new website … it’s just wonderful…you are following your heart stronger than ever.. excellent things are coming to you sooner than you think…

    • Lesly,

      You are such an inspiration for me. I have watched you set up new sites and build on them, like your U Smile Radio site. Setting up a new site really does take a lot of time to put all the pieces together and working correctly. It is really a labor of love.



  7. I really like your new website Erica, you did a great job!

    You explain all this so well, and like Nick said, wouldn’t it be nice to know this before getting married. Living with someone in a husband/wife relationship is easier if you understand how the other person was treated in regard to love. I was in a relationship for a few years, where the other person wasn’t loved a great deal as a child, and had no respect for himself. And, boy, was that hard for me to deal with, because I was the opposite. After that relationship ended, I decided I would only get involved with someone who had a loving childhood. I know that sometimes people grow much stronger if they’re not loved during childhood, but it also seems harder for them to love and be loved. That’s only one experience though, and most likely not true for everyone.

    • Julieanne,

      Thanks. Just observe a little child. They are pure love, curious, excited, with lots of energy. Their parents, caretakers and others who have direct contact with them have a huge effect upon the way they think, feel and behave. If you grew up in a loving family, it is so much easier to be happy in a relationship with someone who also knew love at an early age. However, a loving person can bring out the love that has been suppressed in another person. It’s just that it may be intermittent and strewn with lots of negative trigger reactions. Each of us has to make a choice about how much emotional energy we want to spend to bring out the love in another person.It also depends upon what other benefits we are deriving from a particular relationship.


      Dr. Erica

  8. Dr. Erica,
    this article is amazingly written for all of us to recognize the meaning of what we call “love”. When you said “Without further explanation, we cannot possibly know what another person means – and what actions they will naturally take – when they say “I love you.” … this is so true and from my past experience, it is one of the most overlooked part of a relationship.

    How I know? Well, I was one of those people who did not know what you wrote above… I was not introduced to it, I was not aware it existed… and the reason was because I was loved all my life and so in my view everyone knew it.. well, I was wrong and the first time I found that out was after I got married haha 🙂

    Getting a divorce helped me to regain the loving confidence I once had and enjoyed and most of all, I learn how to love my self )as you clearly explained, this is very important) and as they say, the rest is history.

    Love cannot be expressed in any other way , except true love.

    Thanks so much for your sharing and for caring to assist others learn the differences ways love can be expressed.

    • Nick,

      Thanks for sharing your personal perspective on feeling loved but not realizing that others don’t feel the same way. You had a life lesson and it seems you have learned well and moved on. And of course, loving yourself is what counts most. We cannot love another when we don’t feel that love within our own self.


      Dr. Erica

  9. Dr. Erica:

    What a thought provoking and well written article.

    Love is the essential emotion.

    I once heard the story of some work done with gang members. The facilitators let them talk about anything they wanted to. One of the leaders ranted and raved on for 5 hours. The facilitators did not interrupt, nor did they intervene. After the emotional outpouring, the life story, the hardships, the hatred, the hurt and anger, after all of that got out and there was nothing left, this gang hardened leader broke down sobbing that all he ever wanted as to show his mother that he loved her and wanted to be loved by her.

    Lennon was right… “all you need is love…


    • Thanks Rick for sharing that story. I have viewed that among veterans receiving a somato-emotional release session, Germans and Americans reliving the World War II holocaust at a group Rubenfeld Synergy training, and in my work with couples. Everyone wants and needs love but many people get sidetracked by negative life experiences and lose that awareness.


      Dr. Erica

  10. Dr. Erica, Congratulations! What a wonderful and informative site! You did such an amazing job!

    I love your post. You are so right! Love heals all wounds. It is something you can’t buy and nothing can be put in the empty place you experience when you don’t feel loved.

    Having the pleasure to know you, to be in your life and to have you as my friend means so much to me.

    You are THE expert in teaching people how to heal through love and an unbelievable awesome relationship healer! Again, congratulations to your amazing website!

    • Dagmar,
      Thank you for the lovely supportive comment. Love heals all wounds and friendship helps to soothe us when we need support and caring.


      Dr. Erica

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