Friday, February 6, 2009

Showing Love and Feeling Loved: Are They The Same?

Jane really feels loved when Tim talks to her about his day and asks about her day. Just finding time to put down the paper, turn off the television and sit with her for a few minutes lets her know that Tim really cares.

Tim feels loved when Jane does things with him. When Jane finds a sitter and invites him to a movie or to play tennis, he really feels loved and cared for.

Zack feels love when Cindy cuddles with him on the couch while they are watching a movie or takes his hand while they are going for a walk.

Cindy really feels loved when Zack brings home a simple flower or her favorite chocolate bar. For her, it is not the cost, it is the idea that he has thought about her and found something that says “I love you. You are important to me.”

Expressing and feeling love is different for different people. Finding out from your sweetheart what feels like love to him or her is important rather than giving love in the way that you want. Jane may appreciate Tim inviting her to do things and really enjoy the opportunity, but would really feel more loved by his giving her a coupon for 20 minutes of uninterrupted conversation every night.

Listen and learn from your partner about what is important to them and what makes them feel loved. Some of the most common ways are:

finding time in the day or night to spend together, even in the craziness of a busy life.
Attention: actively listening and remembering what is happening.
Conversation: talking out loud about your day, hopes, dreams and asking about your partner’s day, hopes and dreams.
Gifts: even the smallest token of acknowledgement is very important to some.
Physical affection: hugs, kisses, touches along with making love.
Activities: doing things together feels like love to many. This is often what men miss most.
Affirmations: recognition and acknowledgment of what you notice that is good and what you really appreciate.

What have you learned about love and what it means in your relationship?

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