Do you tell your partner "Show me, Don't Tell me" or "Tell me, Don't Show me?" Every person feels loved a different way. My husand is very visual and feels loved the most when I do something appealing to the eye, and act on it. I, on the other hand, will dismiss all the actions he showed that day until he has told me his feelings, then I will realize all the small things he did for me that day.
One day my husband came home with flowers for no reason. I was flattered and thought that my husband was very sweet for doing this. I can't say it made me feel loved because I didn't hear him tell me. Later that night I was putting the dishes away in the kitchen as he was sitting down with our son finishing supper and he asked me, "Aren't the flowers beautiful?" I said, "Yes they are, thank you sweetie!" He added, "they light up the room just like you do......I love you!" From that moment I realized how much it meant to him to give me flowers, to show me he loves me and now that he knows I need it in words, he can tell me also. I gave him a big hug and our son said to me, "You're beautiful mommy!" (Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.)
In our marriage, and I've seen in many others, we want to be loved by our partner. That's true for you too? What a coincidence! Now we simply give love to our partners the way we want to be love, why does that not work?Story Two:
A songwriter was complaining one day about the ignorance of her boyfriend. I asked her why. She said she wrote him a song and he acted as though it was just another song she wrote. She was telling me these deep feelings of concerns she had because she didn't receive an appreciation. She felt neglected because he didn't understand what it means when someone writes a song about you, that is very special. After I showed her understanding I suggested that maybe he doesn't feel loved the way she does if someone were to write her a song. It would feel special to her, and maybe it doesn't feel special for him. It isn't a bad possibility to consider, it is only a possibility that he doesn't know how much she loves him via a song.
Steps to take to Show or Tell your partner how much you love them:
- Play 'Show and Tell.' In order to find out, both of you have to do both to find what matters most in the end, to be told or to be showed.
- Make a List. Time yourself and your partner for 5 minutes to write a list of what makes you feel loved. Try to make the list as long as you can.
- Appreciate. For every effort, no matter how small, always give your partner a pat on the back. Even if your partner does not make the exact expression of love that you wanted, let them know their efforts are appreciated and encouraged.
- Give yourself a thumbs up! When you did something that you don't usually do and might be a bit uncomfortable just to show your partner that you care about them, then give yourself a treat. By treat I mean, a hot bath, a favorite movie, a reward (free if you can) you would like to give yourself for doing something great. It is always great when you want to let someone know you Love them.
- Action Plan. Make an action plan with your partner to maintain these acts of love. Give each other your list so you know what your partner likes, and delete to your own list whenever you want. Make efforts to do those significant acts of love 3 times a week. Agree with each other how many times a week is possible, and what you prefer to hear or see every day.
- Get Specific. Everyday sounds like a lot to do. It really isn't if you stop to look at everything you do and say in one day. Have you counted how many words you say in one day? Or how many arm movements you make in one day? Simple things that can be done daily: opening the car door, saying "I love you" and "good morning." Giving a special kiss when leaving to work. A phone call from work once a day.
- Get Curious. To maintain creativity and maintain the acts of love between you, get curious. Be curious about your partner and what makes them feel loved.
Renewing your love everyday is essential to making a relationship work. Good luck!