All you need is love is a phrase we’ve heard time and time again, and like it or not there’s a lot of science to prove it.
“Doctors have been able to document that our relationships, healthy relationships, have more impact on our health than anything else. Not diet, not smoking, not exercising. not stress. not genetics. not drugs, not surgery which is quite a statement to make but that’s coming from a doctor,” said K.C. Blackketter, a licensed professional counselor.
Whether we realize it or not, Blackketter says we all have emotional needs that are crucial, even if it isn’t from a spouse.
“It’s things like affirmation, acceptance, affection, appreciation, comfort and encouragement respect security support those kinds of things. And if we don’t have those we’ll go looking for them maybe not even realizing that we’re looking for them,” said Blackketter.
So what is love? Blackketter says it’s simply just that.
“I use an example of a diamond. If the diamond is love, then it has a lot of different sides to the diamond that’s what makes it sparkle. And you’ll say OK well what does love look like?," said Blackketter.
"Well sometimes it looks like comfort, sometimes it looks like respect, sometimes it looks like encouragement, sometimes it looks like affirmation. So love shows up in different ways. So people say well you say love me, but what does that mean? What does that look like? Well, you experience it once you feel your emotional needs are getting met."
All of our own needs are clearly different, but Blackketter says they fluctuate too.
“If I’m finding out my company is being bought out, all the sudden my need for security goes up because I hear that there’s going to be layoffs. Well guess what? I get laid off and now I have a high need for comfort, now I also need to find a job," Blackketter said.
"Well who’s going to hire me at this point? Well now I need encouragement.. so I’ll help you fill out some resumes. It all fluctuates according to what’s going on in our life,” said Blackketter.
If you care about the relationships in your life, you’re going to make that extra effort. If you don’t, it’s going to be an even bumpier ride that probably won’t last.
“All these things are to raise awareness and then the challenge is to find out, like a detective, what is it that these people of interest in my life need?” said Blackketter.
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