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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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How to Show Love

May 2011

We all have different ways of wanting to be loved. Some of us want words. Some of us want actions. There is no wrong way. We may want flowers or a foot massage or a home cooked meal. All of these can represent love. All are equally valid. We tend to love our partners the way that we want to be loved. That is where the problems may arise.

When our husband comes in from work, we may greet him with a big hug and “I love you!” He may greet us with an ”I made an appointment to get the oil changed on your car.” We may both be disappointed. The wife in this scenario may be upset because her husband has not greeted her with words of love. The husband may be disappointed because his wife did not greet him with the resolution of a problem he had asked her to work on. Neither one is “bad,” just looking for different things.

From this point, we may feel that our partner does not love us. Our partner does not appreciate us. Does not know what makes us happy when really our partner is doing quite a few things to show love, just in a different way than we are wanting.

Ask your partner what makes him or her feel loved. Ask your partner to write down a list of five things such as foot massages, phrases, walks, whatever it is. You also write down your list. Exchange lists and act on them! Every day do one thing that your partner recognizes as loving. Don’t wait for your partner to start, just do it. You will be amazed what a difference it can make in a relationship!

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