The ability to give and receive love and affection is an important part of healthy human relationships. In practice, this can look like being able to freely give and receive compliments and terms of endearment, as well as performing and being the recipient of acts of kindness. Healthy, consenting, age-appropriate physical touch, along with words of affirmation, are also examples of healthy love and affection in a variety of relationship types, including friendships, co-workers, and intimate partners.
Signs of Optimal Health & Wellness
Indicators of thriving include:
Ability to freely give and receive words of affirmation and affection, while honoring the boundaries of self and others
A general sense of unconditional positive regard for others
Development of healthy attachments to others
A feeling of being supported and cared for by other people
Indicators of warning:
Feeling starved for affection
Shying away from physical touch
Keeping others at a physical and emotional distance; Inability to form healthy attachments
Heightened vulnerability to addictions, including work, substances, sex and others
Challenges in intimate relationships
Inability to accept compliments
Many times, warning signs are present for people who have experienced unhealed trauma or whose needs were neglected at some point in their lives. Ask yourself: Why do I feel this way? Was there something that happened, or a need that didn’t get met? Do I need help?