How do you like to be loved? Does this seem like a strange question? Or perhaps an unusual question? Maybe you don’t know the answer. Would you like to find out? You would be surprised at the simple, but not so obvious answer, to this conundrum.
When I work with couples, a common complaint is that that they no longer feel the other really makes much of an effort for them, and that in their daily lives, they are just going through the motions of coupledom. The “specialness” of the relationship has been lost to the daily grind.
It helps to recall what each of you did when the relationship was fresh and you were both eager to please the other. One trap that is easy to fall into is that of caring for the other as you would yourself. What do I mean by this? We all have ways that please us in terms of how we feel the most loved. However, you may not be aware of what yours or your partner’s favored way of being loved is. By this I mean what author Gary Chapman calls the 5 Love Languages. He reports that how couples love each other can be understood in five basic ways. Here’s his list:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
You can go online here and take his quiz to see what your favorite method of feeling loved is, and often there can be a top two or three. They will be ranked for you in the results.
Where Do We Stumble?
The place we stumble in this endeavor to love our partners is that we all tend to love others as we want to be loved vs loving them in their preferred manner. You might feel loved by acts of service where I might feel best loved by the occasional small gift or words of affirmation. See how that works?
My own partner knows well how I like to be loved, and one way he has done so for me throughout our marriage is to bring me my morning tea while I am still sleepy-faced in bed and trying my darnedest to join the world. This would be considered an act of service. One young man I know told me he tries to do all the “gross stuff” for his wife, including taking out the garbage or cleaning up “nasty messes” that occur at times with the pets. I thought this was so sweet–especially his recognition that her gross-out factor was kinda high!
T’is The Season To Feel Loved
During the holiday season it is most common for us to express our love via gift-giving. And I completely support this method, but it behooves couples to learn and pay attention throughout the year the ways your partner best likes to be loved. Go on. Take the quiz. Then put it into practice, and bask in the results! Merry loving!