Why Love Matters


Valentine’s Day: a day loaded with expectations and hopes, disappointments and lacks. A day hijacked by romantic illusions and measurements of love outlined by Hollywood script writers and companies selling love.

In a bid to ignore the rampant consumerism of the day, it’s easy to discard completely the ritual of Valentine’s Day that is in essence simply a day about honouring love.

Love not romance. Two very different things.

I’m a woman as easily seduced by romance as anyone. I have been swept of my feet on more than one occasion by grand romantic gestures that had I looked a little closer I may have seen lacked the substance I really craved.

One of the first questions I ask a new client is what they really long for. Regardless of their profession, role, gender, race, or age, the answer will almost always be, in some form or another, that their deepest longing is to be loved and to love.

We live in world that is full of people hungry for love.

To be loved, seen and known is every human’s need. It is what makes us feel safe in the world; it is what gives us our belonging and sense of place, and even purpose, in the world.

To be met fully by another human being is one of life’s sweetest offerings. To nestle into the safety of a non-judgemental gaze our greatest place of belonging. To love and be loved our heart’s deepest joy and pleasure.

And, yet how we limit ourselves, and our experience of love, if we look for that only in romantic partnerships.

Ask any dis-satisfied employee what is missing for them to feel more satisfied at work and it will almost always come down to some version of needing to feel more seen, appreciated, and valued. Qualities that we know sit at the very foundation of what love really is.

Watch your child or partner acting out and ask yourself if this has some thread back to them feeling a need for more love. Ask yourself the same thing in those moments when you find yourself triggered and defended. We so often become reactive and unreasonable when our desire to be more seen, heard and valued is not being met.

Acknowledgement and appreciation are core leadership skills, coaching skills, parenting skills, relationship skills. When genuinely spoken they have people feel cherished, valued and understood. They are life skills that tell a person they are seen. They are the heart skills that have people flourish.

Use these skills frequently and generously with those around you and I guarantee you will see things change.

Our own hunger to be loved, seen, and known can make us fixate on what we want to get, rather than choosing to be generous. It is easy to get mean spirited about love, measuring our gestures and acts out in response to what we receive.

But love is never wasted, even if in some moments it seems not to be received or returned.

This Valentine’s Day, I’ll be offering no romantic gestures. But I will be focusing on the people I love and value. I’ll be writing notes of appreciation or speaking words of acknowledgement for who they are and why I value them. Not because I have to or because I want to hear or get something back. But because I want to use this day of love as a reminder to myself to give out better.

Who do you want to appreciate and acknowledge today? It could be personal or professional. Who needs to hear you value them? Who in your life needs to feel you see them? And what happens if you start to do that more – not just today on Valentine’s Day, but making every day a day of love?

I’d love to hear your comments and reflections. And, if you liked this blog post, and would like to read others, please sign up to my email list, where you will receive my weekly blog posts and information on future retreats and workshops that I will be hosting CLICK HERE.

And, if you haven’t already, please join my Facebook page and add your comments and reflections there.

Meanwhile, wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day! May you feel loved, valued and respected by those who matter to you most. May you love big and unapologetically, this day and every day, knowing that each gesture of love given and received is what makes this world – your world – a better place.


  1. I love this article!

  2. Thanks Susannah, this comes at just the right moment, when I am wondering how to nurture a relationship that’s gone through a sticky patch. Happy Valentine’s Day to you too.

  3. Chris Gill says:

    Thanks Susannah, love your weekly blogs..today’s really took me some place I haven’t been for a while. Your reference to acknowledgement and appreciation suddenly made me realise that this needs to be much more a part of who I am and not just part of my coaching tool kit. As a parent just how am I showing up in my relationships with my kids when it comes to that acknowledgement and appreciation. Sure there is love and plenty of banter with three teenagers, but when did I last acknowledge them as individuals.

    Thank you Susannah, a valentines gift I wasn’t expecting.
    Chris Gill

  4. Brenda Heckes says:

    Susannah – you wholly embody what you express via the written word on love. Thank you for sharing. Good to remember that true beauty lies in our capacity to love. Brenda

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