Below are some ideas that may help you understand what loving your partner looks like.
1. Ask your partner how they know you love them. Ask them what you do that makes them feel loved. Write it down. Never make light of it or laugh. It is serious and in the end, it can help salvage your relationship.
2. When you perform what signifies love for your partner, for example cooking a home made dinner, make sure you say aloud, “I did this because I know it symbolizes love for you.” Your partner will feel loved, and special. They know the work that went into it, and they appreciate your thinking of them. They also know you listened to them, and this makes them feel more loved.
3. Never keep score of who is showing love more often. Love is real; it is serving of another person because you value and love them. It comes from the heart, not the pocket book. With real love, the scale is always unbalanced.
4. Along with asking your partner what love looks like, ask them what you do that damages your love. Write those down and work on avoiding them. If you slip up, catch yourself right away (the tendency is to hide these behaviors so your partner won’t notice) and tell your partner up front, “I am sorry, I messed up. Please forgive me.”
5. A good relationship is all about negotiating. It is about not letting “me” get in the way of “we.”
I don’t recommend taking a grenade for anyone, nor would I personally throw my hand on a blade for anyone. Although this may change if I saw it in reality; sometimes we don’t know what we would do for another. Less dramatic and risky is to ask and watch your partner how you can show them love.
Humans can survive without money, but not love.
Why not share with your partner what being loved looks like to you?
–Mary Jo Rapini
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