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  • Writer's pictureNeena Rainey

Why there needs to be more gratitude attached to love.


It’s a word we hear all the time. But what does it really mean?

What IS the true meaning of love?

With Valentines Day just gone and February known as the month of love, I feel it’s an appropriate time to address the question and challenge some of the stereotypical thinking when it comes to thinking about love.

Neena and her husband Dave kissing on holiday

The dictionary’s definition of love is an intense, deep, profound, tender affection for another person… also a strong like for something.

If you ask me, LOVE has a foot in many camps, not just as a noun or a verb.

It has many forms…

  • first love

  • unconditional love

  • intense love

  • true love

  • eternal love

  • emophilia love (this is apparently when you fall in love rapidly and often, sure we’ve all encountered a few of those ’fly by nights!’)

Whatever your perception… love is personal to each individual.

I have known people who on the outside express little demonstrative emotion to the outside world… no gush… no slop… no incidental ‘love ya babe’ but have unconditional love for those they hold dear. Would we call that a ‘silent love?’

What about ‘angry love’ when someone (often your kids) pushes all the right buttons and sends us into an uncontrollable panic of worry and stress at the thought of their pain or losing them? Only when the crisis has passed are they scolded with ‘angry love’ for placing us in such a precarious situation.

Me… I describe love as ‘unconditional’.

Neena and Dave in silly fancy dress laughing together

To love is to put that person before yourself… HOWEVER, I have subsequently discovered this is often detrimental and now embrace that a little bit of selfishness makes me a better person.

As for Marks and Spencers and Sofa companies jumping on the love bus and telling us on telly because it’s Valentine's Day, we need them to help spread the love… with what a bloody meal for two and a settee… nah don’t buy into that one.

Love should be given and received every single day of the year… not a concentrated and convoluted effort fuelled by social media and commercialism.

Remember, as we are bombarded with scarlet hearts, mushy verse and sexy underwear, there are still those who have ‘lost love…been hurt by love…never found love…or just want love.’

Oh… and before you cynics out there label me a misery and a killjoy… I pride myself on the love I GIVE…am show GRATITUDE for the love I receive and am actually a real romantic at heart…ask my hubby !!!

Neena and Dave smiling in arms by the sea

It's easy to take the people we love for granted. We get busy with work, school, and other commitments, and sometimes our relationships (whatever they may look like) can fall by the wayside. But it's important to remember that the people who love us deserve our gratitude.

Here are 3 simple ways to show gratitude to the people you love through

1. Take the time to listen.

One of the best things you can do for someone you love is to simply listen to them. Let them vent about their day, their worries, and their triumphs. Just being there for them can mean the world.

2. Do something special for them, just because.

It doesn't have to be anything big or expensive; sometimes the simplest things mean the most. Make them breakfast in bed, buy them their favourite flowers, or write them a heartfelt letter expressing your gratitude for their presence in your life.

3. Let them know how much they mean to you.

A simple "I love you" can go a long way, but sometimes it's even more meaningful to express exactly why you're grateful for that person's love. Tell them what they do that makes you feel loved, and how much happier your life is because of their presence in it.

So, forget all the crappy commercialisation of “love” and take a few minutes out of your day to express your gratitude to the ones you love. It can make all the difference in the world! (And be easier on your wallet!).

Let me know what your thoughts are on love.

Written from me to you, with love, laughter and life lessons.

Neena xx

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