Walking the Shoreline

The journey of someone just like you, on a journey just like you

Category: Marriage (page 1 of 5)

Our Wedding & The Miracle of 12 Close Friends at 30

It can be really hard to believe that it’s possible to have 12 close friends at the age of 30. And yet our wedding day proved to be a great celebration of friendship and what it takes to build and celebrate connections that last a lifetime.

It's possible to have 12 close friends (or more) at 30

Our Wedding Day

Long time no post, huh? I know what you’re thinking. Matt’s married now so that means it’s time for him to disappear off the face of the planet and to never be heard from again. In truth, we did do that for a while on our honeymoon in The Land of The Long White Cloud (New Zealand), and it was great.

But alas, a far greater tragedy struck as this site was hacked before and/or during the wedding and/or during the honeymoon, meaning I have spent the last few weeks trying to regain access to my site. This post of course marks the successful recovery of the site and the ability to log in as usual. Continue reading

6 Books I’m Glad I Read Before I Got Engaged (And One During!)

It’s a time of preparing for a lifetime of eternal bliss, sexual fulfillment and everything always being perfect and wonderful… right? Here are 6 books I’m super glad I read before I got engaged.

Books I'm Glad I Read Before I Got Engaged

A little happy snap from our engagement

And one I’m even more glad I read while engaged.

Last night I wrote a post about the questions I get asked the most about writing online. In it I wrote a small snippet about the importance of being honest, in which I wrote two different paragraphs about the engagement season to illustrate the difference when you’re being open about yourself. Thinking about it today, I was thinking that there really is a lot more I could write about the final months leading up to The Big Day. The bestowing of The One Ring to Rule Them All. The end of my old mancave life as I know it.

Oh, and I also wrote about the importance of writing consistently, so this is probably me making up for a few weeks that I’ve skipped over on the regular content! Continue reading

When Nobody Is Good Enough For You

Whether it’s the inability to find someone worthwhile, or feeling stuck in a relationship – what do you do when nobody is good enough for you?

Nobody is good enough for you?

Photo by Bruce Mars from Pexels

This one comes to you on the other side of some exciting personal news. I’ve recently gotten engaged in the last week or so, and Walking The Shoreline has had over 400,000 visitors! I am truly humbled by all the visitors I’ve had over the last few years, as well as all the messages I get from all across the world of how a few simple words from me have fostered some thought and even some life changing decisions. One of my absolute favourite sorts of messages and conversations have been about how people have seen their marriages and relationships turn around for the better. I love hearing any of those sorts of stories, so make sure you drop me a line on my Facebook page! Continue reading

Are You Too Busy For A Relationship?

The African proverb says, “If you want to travel fast, go alone; if you want to travel far, go together”. A growing majority of single and married people are choosing the former. Are you too busy for a relationship?

Are you too busy for a relationship?

Source: Pexels

I think one of the most common statements I hear when people discuss the topic of relationships, or anything really, is how busy they are. Any time I’m in an elevator somewhere, the small talk conversation is always obsessive about the level of busy-ness. “So so busy, I don’t even know how we’ll get it done”. “Busy, but good busy”. “It’s good to have lots to do”. And while I believe in living a full life, I think it’s interesting how our preoccupation with busy replaces our pursuit of other things in life.

When it comes to someone’s love life, not just their work environment, the obsession with being busy is almost the go-to line. Many people when asked about why they don’t have a man or a woman yet respond with, “Hey, I’m just too busy for a relationship”. “I’m too busy loving myself to love someone else”. “I have too much on and don’t have to meet or court anyone”.

I’ve seen and known and continue to hear of people who break off or undervalue their current relationships because of how busy their calendar has become. Wives and husbands sit at home waiting for their partner during what is supposedly free time but have to deal with such a full calendar where their spouse has no longer made room for them. Perhaps that’s how their whole relationship has been from the start.

Can you be too busy for a relationship? I think you can. It always makes wonder, is this really the right path to take?

What are you so busy doing?

I guess this is the real question I ask anyone who says they’re really busy, including myself. When I see a busy schedule I think, man, where has all my time gone? And it’s definitely worthwhile finding out.

When you say you’re busy, what do you really mean? Do you mean you literally had something on every second of every day? Do you mean that you’re out of energy from the things you have already done that week and don’t have enough energy for anything else? Do you mean that you want to keep your plans free in case something comes up?

Busy can mean so many things, but I guess we just want to make sure when we are busy, that it’s doing the right things.

You could be busy planning a big meeting. You could be busy completing an assignment or preparing for a big presentation. You could be busy checking your investment portfolio or managing your properties.

You could also be busy loving your wife or husband. You could also be physically and emotionally blocked out to anything and anyone else in order to spend time with your girlfriend or boyfriend. You could be busy putting yourself out there, meeting people, dating or courting or “catching up” with this guy you’re not really sure about, or this girl that you’ve wanted to get to know better.

A BBC article on the topic highlighted that a lot of people are less busy than they actually are. It’s usually more a feeling of pressure from being always potentially available, or always being able to jump online and finish off a few more tasks in the agenda. They also put it down to attaining one’s identity from a full time commitment over what you’re actually doing in that time. In other words, it’s an issue of priority.

I heard this illustrated really well in a relationship seminar once. The speaker said, “Who wants to come hang out with me after this?”. A few people put up their hands, but most hands remained down as everyone thought about what they wanted to do after the seminar. He then asked, “What if I gave you $500 to hang out with me after this?”. Everyone’s hand promptly went up. He asked us, “What changed? It’s the same time together. But your priority and sense of value about the time changed.”.

Really brilliant and sobering illustration, I thought.

What would it take for you to prioritize time with your wife? What would it take for your husband to get those few hours he’s been asking for? What would it take for you to make space for love to grow and develop in your life? Would they need to give you $500? Would you need to get a full Bitcoin wallet for it to be worth your while? Would you need to get acclaim and Likes and Loves and comments from the world in order for it to be worthwhile to you?

If you love this person, if you want to love a person, they have to be a priority. Granted you need to live your own life and make room for own goals, careers, hobbies and interests. But if you’re serious about having this person in your life and ensuring they know that they know that they have a special place in your heart, your calendar and your activity needs to reflect that.

Can you really not do both at the same time?

It’s always funny to me listening to a 19 year old saying “man I’m just too busy for a girlfriend or boyfriend right now, I’m at uni 16 hours a week, I’m working 20 hours a week, and I just have no time for it”. Then what happens? They reach 24, and they’re twice as busy, and still don’t have room or time. Then they turn 30, and they’re like man I’d love a relationship I just don’t have capacity for it with my career and yoga and Saturday morning climbing team and Thursday squash and Monday drinks and Sunday afternoon Netflix sesh and meal prep and bed time by 7:30pm.

I wonder why we view love and work as mutually exclusive. This is not an attitude that exists even 30 years ago. Everyone knew you could date in uni and do great in your studies. It was completely normal for people to actually be better because they had someone with them supporting through those earlier adult years preparing them for life. There was also no real conflict once you started working, especially as the average marriage age was about 8-9 years younger than it is now (in Australia anyway).

Nowadays we’re like “wow look at me I have an assignment I need to take home how can I possibly have anyone in my life while I’m doing my assignment?”. When did we suddenly feel trapped or held back if someone else was around while we were trying to get ahead in life?

Forbes published a controversial article citing a number of studies on this whole idea of career vs. love, and actually found that people get paid more, are more relaxed, feel more supported in high stress positions, and have higher levels of satisfaction when they are in a loving relationship compared to their single counterparts. This isn’t to diminish the value of single people, but it does demolish this weird idea that we got from someone somewhere (I’m still not entirely sure who or where or who thought it was right) that having someone else in your life is just going to slow you down and hold you back from being who you want to be. The research simply doesn’t back this claim up.

I think something else that really smashes people as they get older if they’ve bought into this lie is when they realize that the dating pool has thoroughly diminished while they had their head down bum up working so hard and pushing love out of their life for so long. Moreover, the longer you leave it, the longer it’ll take to get there.

If you haven’t started dating yet, how many people do you think you’ll need to date before you find someone you want to commit to? They say the average person has three to five “great loves” in their life. So let’s say you end up wanting to get married to number 4. If you started “looking and being available” at 20, and it took you 3-4 years to work through those first 3, you’re now 24 and about to start dating Mr Man Of Your Dreams, or Lady Lovely. How long will you date? Maybe a year? Maybe 2? Now you’re 26. Engaged? Engaged for how long? 6 months? A year? Wedding at 27?

Okay, so when will you arrive at that destination if you start making time for love at 25? At 30? At 35?

No, I’m not trying to prophesy over you that you’re going to have a stretched out dating process. But I am just pointing out that these things usually take more time than we acknowledge, and if you’re too busy for it now, just be aware that you may be pushing the time out to an age that you didn’t really want to be when your relational goals started being achieved.

Would that be a bad thing or a good thing? Maybe it’s not bad at all. That’d be up to you. I’m just submitting the thought for your consideration. Unless you’re going from “just met” to “happily ever after” in the span of 3 days, and you’re perfectly okay with getting married or finding love at 46 (you might be), you should factor in that there’s going to be a big time investment getting that area of your life worked out. If you start later, you’ll also probably finish later.

Be open to date nights during the week. Be open to breakfast before uni, chill out sessions around study time, late dinner out after working late. Your partner isn’t going to leave you because you had to have dinner later than 6pm, or you had some other goals in life. Generations of people for millenia have been able to do both, and have even been better for it. No reason for our generation to be any different.

Are you going to be less busy at any point?

“I feel like I haven’t seen you this week”.

“What are you talking about?”, I said. “We’re together right now and I’ve seen you 3 or 4 nights this week?”.

“Yes, but we’re on our way out to an event.”, The Lady said. “A few days ago, there were a lot of people around. That other night there was someone along with us. It hasn’t just been us”.

We had this conversation a month or two ago where The Lady and I were both in a particularly busy and emotionally draining week. Each of us had a number of commitments and social events on, as well as some extra external pressures on our emotions, and this particular week we were feeling it. Well, perhaps less so me, but I think I realized in that moment that if she felt this way, then it was my responsibility to do something about it. Usually a week like that every now and again is okay for us – we usually have at least one or two times a week where it’s only us most weeks so it usually balances out – but this week in particular the needs were greater. So that night, where one of my commitments was a bit less busy, I participated for a shorter amount of time than usual there, and arranged to leave a bit earlier so I could come back and we could spend some alone time together. It was simple and didn’t take too long, but the few hours that night were what we needed to get on the same page and for both of us to feel valued and seen.

You and your partner are a team. Or your potential partner. If one of you is feeling it, if there’s no room for you to make special, dedicated one on one time for someone in your life, you need to do something about it.

I could have done nothing about it, but I would have been sowing seeds of frustration and neglect into our relationship – something that no man or woman should ever allow to be planted or start growing in a loving relationship.

I think too many times we can have a steamroller attitude towards people. My plans my agenda my dreams. Come on woman, keep up. Come on Mister Man, stop being such a little girl and being so needy. Come on Future Spouse, be willing to be Priority Item Number 13 out of 27 items this month.

We don’t think it’s acceptable when someone lowers our priority and overlooks us. I wonder why we think it’s acceptable at times to have the same attitude towards our partner or future partner.

If you know me, you love I love the TV show The Office. There’s a really true to life moment where in the marriage of two of the characters, the strain on their togetherness is too great, largely driven by the huge time commitments the husband was making away from the family. His boss is talking to him one day about a new initiative, and the husband declines. The boss says to him, “Well, I gotta tell you, Jim, a lot of guys in my circle? They wouldn’t even change their golf schedule to shore up their marriage let alone their professional goals.”

If you love them, if you want to love them, if you want to love them, priorities. We need to be less busy to make room when required. The significant other in our lives needs our presence and not just our presents.

What about my goals?

Valid concern. I think all of us have things that we would really love to see accomplished in our lives. As someone who is quite driven myself, I definitely relate to the concern that adding an extra person to your life may alter your ability to achieve your goals.

But I think that the right way to look at it is to think about the power of partnership. When building a building, imagine if one brick thought that it was the be all and end all of the building’s construction. With just this one brick, you don’t need anything else. Imagine how stupid we would consider that brick.

And yet we have the same attitude when we think of ourselves as all that is needed to achieve greatness in life. Your part is important, but imagine how much more important and powerful it would be when coupled with someone else’s part. Or a community of people with parts. Now you’re talking serious power and reach and influence.

Look at you and your accomplishments, Mr One Brick. Look at the mighty empire you’re building on your one lonely brick. Look how much support your one brick in isolation of others can bring. Look at your hectic, obsessive busyness and how you feel like you’re too busy for a relationship, for your friends, for people, because you’re so busy building your empire of one.

Imagine if you realized the power of two.

I think we need to get over the notion that it’s all about us. That’s really what it comes down to, I think. Just me myself and I. Got nobody that I can depend on. Don’t want anyone else slowing me down.

Unfortunately that’s an attitude that needs to be consciously addressed at some point, because living that way and approaching life with that level of self obsession, you’re always going to be too busy. You’ll never have… more accurately, you’ll never make the time required to foster loving and lasting relationship with someone.

If you’re okay with that, then continue as you have. But I would submit to you if love is an important thing in your heart, if you know inside yourself that marriage is on the cards and something you don’t see yourself finishing life without, if you have a lot of love to give, then don’t be afraid to make room to give it.

And if you’re in a relationship, man, even moreso. Too many neglecting wives and husbands in our world today. Too many partners who have seen their own priorities as so much more important than their loved ones. Your husband is coming across as “too needy” in your own mind, your wife is withering away under your care, and you’re just full steam ahead doing whatever the heck you want to be doing. Be the kind of husband or the kind of wife who builds the life of their spouse and fully embraces the power of together.


The one word summary of what we’re talking about here is a simple one to hear but a difficult one to arrive at: balance. All things in their rightful place. A life that is “too busy” is usually just out of balance. For whatever reason. You’ve gotten into autopilot, you’ve been too obsessed with your own things, you have been hurt and you’re unwilling to make time or place for someone else. Whatever it is.

To live a life of love, you need balance. You need to know your priorities. You need to be willing to make adjustments when your lives change.

If you’re too busy now, consider reflecting on when you won’t be so busy any more. I think you’ll find within yourself that you currently have no plans to change that, unless you decide to change that today.

What do you think? Can you be too busy for a relationship? What would you do (or what have you done) in that boat?

7 Reasons Why You Should Just Tell Him (Or Her)

Life is too short to keep love to yourself. Here are 7 reasons why you should just tell him (or her).

You should just tell him (or her)

Source: Pexels

“Matt, why is this one not targeted at guys telling them to communicate their love?”. Well, it is. It’s about all of us really. The phrasing here, “Tell Him”, refers to a classic duet between Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand which seems to be a frequent summary of some of the greatest advice in the realms of love I’ve ever heard. Whilst a dialogue between a younger woman seeking counsel from an older woman about a man she loves, it really does tackle one of the greatest struggles that exists in the realm of relationships on both sides of the fence – the communication of love.

In the song, a younger woman conveys the struggle of many young men and women. Being scared and being afraid to show your care. What if there’s someone else? What if I’m wasting my time? What if what if what if?

It can be really hard to tell someone that you love them. There can be overwhelming fear and uncertainty when even considering the idea. When you’re single, how do you know what to do in order to build a relationship or let someone know you care? How can you be sure whether or not they will respond positively or run screaming the other way? How much game do you need to employ in order to catch the one your heart desires? Continue reading

Is Your Phone Ruining Your Love Life? – Valentine’s Day 2018

Is your phone ruining your love life? Single, dating or married, the greatest competition to a satisfying relationship may be that little screen in your pocket.

Is Your Phone Ruining Your Love Life?

I think everyone has had a Valentine’s Day that’s sucked. For some it was because it was a time of love unrequited. For others it was a time where you felt forced into expressing your feelings for someone you feel you’ve already sufficiently expressed your feelings for. Others still may remember a bad date or a breakup triggered by the pressure of the day.

For me a Valentine’s Day that always sticks out was one a few years ago when I had to travel to Canberra for work, and only one of us were put on the rental arrangement for the car. Unfortunately, that person got sick early and I was back in the hotel before 5:30pm with nothing to do and nowhere to go, on Valentine’s Day, thinking about this on again off again what are we doing again relationship I was in at the time. By myself in a hotel room in a city that doesn’t always have a lot to do once you’ve been there enough times. Magical.

It’s a day that always puts pressure on where you are. Single people feel their singleness, no matter how hard they may try to resist or belittle the day. Married people feel the pressure to love like they used to, or perhaps like they never have. Dating people feel the reality check brought on by comparison and commercialism on the day. I don’t think these things are really that bad. I think it’s actually good to have a day that puts pressure on what is often the most frustrating and often the most dismissed area in our lives. It can be a healthy thing to have a health check on your life choices. Continue reading

Are You The Problem In Your Relationships?

It’s not me, it’s everyone else who’s crazy! Or are these the words of ignorance? It’s time to ask – are you the problem in your relationships?

Are You The Problem In Your Relationships?

Source: Castle Rock

I wrote towards the start of the year about one of the most frequently used break-up lines in history – it’s not you, it’s me. At the time it seems so easy to use, and yet in the postmortem of our relationships we may find there was more to the death of the relationship than we initially acknowledged or heard about.

I think blame shifting and blame laying are very common practices across all sorts of relationships. I’ve been in a number of meetings where an employee, a contractor or a project gets thrown under the bus for a greater perception that they have been holding things up. I’ve had scores and scores of male and female friends and acquaintances discuss how there’s just no one good enough for them out there, whether as a group of friends or as a love interest (bit painful being told they don’t know anyone who would make a good friend!). We all know those who seem to always have frustrations with the people in their lives. Continue reading

What Do You Do When People Don’t Change?

Is it my fault, was there anything else I could’ve done, or is there something more going on? What do you do when people don’t change?

What do you do when people don't change?

One day on my Facebook page I started posted some thoughts that had really helped me in my life. Whether it be negotiating work decisions or one of the leadership lessons that stuck with me, I just thought it’d be worthwhile to share a few things that made a marked difference for me. The response was quite overwhelming, and since then, I try to post as often as I can, with many people telling me even to this day they’re still enjoying them (people still read them even if they don’t always react to them).

This week I posted a short thought answering “What do you do when people don’t change?”. It was a topic that resonated with a great many people. So, in response I thought, well, let’s give it a longer look. Continue reading

My Problem With How We Worship Being Single

We get it. You can live a good life while you’re single. But I really think the point is hammered to the point of being obsessive, to the point that we worship being single.

Worship Being Single

Source: Warner Bros

It feels like every day I see at least 10 articles or memes about how awesome it is being single, including and not limited to clickbait-y GIF loaded posts like on HuffPost, those that are more inspirational and reflective in nature, and even posts by faith based Relevant Magazine. All of them labour the same points – you get to work on yourself, you don’t have to hate your life just because of your relationship status, you can do all the things you want alone before involving someone else, it’s a good chance for self discovery, and that there are some great people throughout history who dominated the single life. From Mother Teresa to Jesus to Joan Of Arc, you’re in good company, so you do you girl (or boy… you get the point).

These articles number in the tens of thousands. Seriously. Continue reading

My Problem With “Covenant vs. Contract”

Are all commitments unconditional? Are all promises kept regardless of what the other person does? Or are we grossly oversimplifying the truth? Here’s my problem with “Covenant vs. Contract”.

Covenant vs. Contract

In the 80s and 90s, people of faith were swept by the phrase, “It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship”. The term religion had been broadly used to describe the Christian worldview, from its customs to its outworking in daily life. If you regularly went to church or the tabernacle, you upheld certain traditions and lived your life a certain way, you were said to be religious. One day, somebody woke up and found two words starting with R, and in a memorable fashion, summarised a particular view of the Christian faith, highlighting the relationship aspect of its belief over its religious connotations to that point. Continue reading

10 Reasons We Withhold Love From Each Other

Everyone wants to be loved, and yet so many times, love is the hardest thing for us to express and receive. Here are 10 reasons we withhold love from others, and maybe why they withhold it from us.

A meme about how we withhold love

I like to climb the nature reserve next to my house every Saturday morning, and yesterday I was joined by a friend of mine. He’s a pretty smart guy and likes asking questions about things he already has good ideas about in an attempt to learn more about it. Yesterday he asked me what my thoughts were on what it means to guard your heart. I shared some thoughts from a post I wrote quite a while ago about the topic, but it got me thinking on those lines again yesterday. And then last night I saw a few posts on social media about what our parents were like “at our age”, and about our desire to avoid human interaction, like the ones above.

Our society really has become obsessed with independence. For all the talk of people wanting to find a significant other, of finding and falling in love, in being adored and cherished by others… we sure do find it hard to love others. I’m not saying that to be judgmental – just as an observation of a truly prevalent difficulty in our society. Looking at posts like the above and seeing the millions and millions of people who reshare, tag all their friends, and relate and go “omg this is me”, I couldn’t help but feel sad that these sort of posts are as relateable as they are.

Love is one of the most wonderful things a human being can ever experience. Unfortunately, it’s also an area of our greatest pain and frustration. As a result, it’s quite common for us to withhold love from others, and for us to feel like others withhold love from us. So I thought this time around I would have a look at some of those honest, painful and sinister reasons why we do this to each other.

#1: Love is scary

To be seen as you really are, to be cherished, to have someone stay… that’s a scary idea enough on its own.

And perhaps even more scary is, if you put yourself out there – if you communicate your affection, if you give the best of your heart to your wife, if you tell your man how you really feel, if you talk about the love you have for that person… what if they don’t love you back? What if you decide that you will stay with someone through all the things they do wrong, and they don’t decide to stay? What if they misuse your affections? What if they take advantage of your kindness? What if what if what if?

The what if’s usually win out when it comes to love. We end up remaining afraid of the very thing that’s meant to set us free.

#2: Love is new

For some of us, all we’ve every really known is a life where it’s just about us. We make dinner plans for ourselves, we see the friends we want to see, we’re used to managing our schedule the way we want to manage it. So when love comes our way, we withhold our expression or our response. It’s unfamiliar territory. My career, I can control that, I’m in charge there, I’ll throw my effort there. My hobbies, man I’m good at my hobbies, I’ll keep my effort there. Casual sex, that’s easy, no strings attached, no heart things, I’ll keep my effort there. My pets, my housework, my volunteerism, my whatever. We like safe, predictable, familiar.

But to open the door to your heart is something many of us have never really done before. We’ve only ever engaged in our relationships with half our heart involved. Or less.

To love with all our hearts is unfamiliar and so we don’t always know how to go about it.

#3: Because we don’t recognize the right types of love over the wrong types of love

Sadly, our society is dominated by people who have “loved us” in all the wrong ways, and to quote Bon Jovi, many people give love a bad name.

My Fair Lady is a very popular and beloved musical that’s doing the rounds in Brisbane at the moment. I had never seen it, and to find out what I’ve been missing, I watched an adaption of it online a few weeks ago. I couldn’t believe it. The story centres around an abusive, angry, selfish professor trying to teach a cockney woman to live a life of class. Sure, it has some endearing moments, and the professor ends up falling in love with the woman, but there is no pay off – he doesn’t change, he remains angry and abusive towards her.

We call that love?

And yet when we see love in our own lives… from the right people, from people who genuinely care, from those who aren’t harsh, from those who aren’t abusive, we fail to recognize, receive, or reciprocate when we see the real deal because we have grown accustomed to its cheap imitators from those who claim to be loving.

#4: Our personality type

I’m pretty introverted, and it can be very easy for me to give into my introverted, introspective nature and keep all my thoughts and affections to myself. So when people tell me they struggle to demonstrate love to their husband or wife, when they say they don’t know how to go about asking someone out or maintaining a growing relationship, when they feel down on themselves because their parents never said that they loved them because of “personality”, I can understand that notion, as my tendencies are inclined to be the same as those who withhold.

I think the real issue here is that good intentions aren’t enough. It’s amazing to hear of how many well meaning, love filled people do not actually express it in a way that their partner, their new girlfriend, their children or their family can understand or receive.

They say love unrequited is one of the most damaging things in life. I think love uncommunicated is perhaps just as bad.

#5: Our family of origin

On that note, if you grew up in a family where people didn’t hug each other, where no one used the words “I love you”, where people routinely belittled each other at the dinner table, even a home full of violence or abuse, you are more likely to withhold your love from others.

One things psychologists frequently discuss when counselling people in these areas is the impact of your family of origin. Why? Because patterns and cycles repeat themselves. The traits of the parents, the marriage, the treatment of children and extended family all perpetuate almost without end, until someone gets the help they need to break the cycle.

Are you repeating a cycle of withholding love?

#6: We don’t know how to balance career and relationship

Can you study and love at the same time? Can you be striving for promotion at work while also building a family?

Many people in our generation can’t. I have heard many of my older mentors attribute this reality to selfishness. You know… they’re probably right. We don’t really know how to put anyone besides ourselves first at times. My dreams, my goals, my aspirations, and no one better get in my way.

Unfortunately, we get to climb the heights of success, only to realize we have no one with us there to celebrate it or share it with.

#7: We don’t understand it ourselves

Man, love is confusing. Especially our own love. Why does this person have so much of my attention? Why do I find myself shifting thought to them continually throughout the day? Why am I deferring my own needs or desires for the sake of others?

Love messes with our sense of control. Even though we are still fully in control, its sway is powerful and makes us feel like our decisions aren’t our decisions any more.

#8: Because of what happened last time

Once bitten, twice shy. If you’ve had your heart broken to whatever degree, it can be an abhorrent, frustrating, brutal idea to even consider loving someone again.

I’ve written more on this one in How Do You Move On?.

Choose healing.

#9: We’re trying to pour from an empty cup

You can’t give from what you don’t have. And if you don’t know you’re loved, if you don’t have strength, energy, capacity, willingness or desire within yourself, how will you ever communicate it to someone else?

Love must come from a source higher than ourselves if it is to be faithful, constant and true. I have to know inside myself that I’m loved, I have to feel it and be consumed by that reality myself before I can successfully open up my heart and love another in return.

Great, great message I heard about this by Steven Furtick that you can watch here. Best 40 minutes of your life if you feel this way.

#10: Because we don’t think we’re worth loving

Are you worth the effort? Are you worth people going out of their way to love you? How does your heart feel about those questions?

You are worthy of being loved. Not because of what you’ve done… man, if it was because of what we’ve done, I’d be screwed.

It’s because of who you are.

You are enough to be loved. You are enough for someone to wake up in the morning with you on their mind. You are enough for someone to pour out their whole life, just to see you smile.

Do you know it? Do you know you’re loved? Do you know you’re worth loving? Because if you don’t, you’ll never be able to give to others the way you want to. You will always have something holding you back. Even with your best intentions, without a clear understanding of your own value, you will never be able to instill in others a clear value of theirs.

Then you’ll know what a great love you carry yourself, and what a great love you have to give to someone else.


There can be many more reasons we withhold love from others, and that they withhold love from us. These were 10 that I’ve been thinking about. How about you? What are some reasons you’ve seen for why we withhold love from people?

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