HOW TO MAKE YOUR PARTNER FEEL LOVED
If I were to ask you if you know how to get your partner
upset, could you do it? Of course you could. We all know
how to do or say those irritating things that will get under
our lover's skin. But if I were to ask you to make your
partner feel loved, could you do that? The answer may surprise
you. You may think that you know what will make him or her
feel loved, but I caution you against being a mind reader.
Before you can make your partner feel loved, you have to
know what is loving for them.
For example, some female clients of mine tell me how annoyed
they feel when their husbands affectionately pat their fannies
or come up behind them to give them a hug while they're
doing the dishes. They complain, "All he thinks about is
sex!" Other women say, "I don't feel attractive to him anymore.
He only wants to make love in the same predictable way...in
the bedroom. Why can't he be spontaneous and affectionately
reach out to me when I least expect it...like when I'm washing
the dishes or cooking." I bring this up to illustrate that
the same gesture can have very different meanings depending
upon what is loving to you.
Couples often get their signals crossed in this way. Here's
another example. She says, "I'd love it if you brought me
flowers." He thinks, "That's easy...I'll have my secretary
call FTD and send her a bouquet of carnations." The next
day he comes home thinking she'll be ecstatic about the
flowers. Instead she's cool and mildly appreciative. After
some prompting she confesses that she was hoping He'd pick
up a bunch of flowers and surprise her with them personally.
Her way to feel love included a bouquet of wild flowers
(anything except carnations because she hates carnations),
a warm embrace, and a handwritten note that says something
like, "...because I love you." That's what she wanted...but
he didn't know that because she didn't tell him the important
If your husband wanted to make love on the living room
floor would you consider that to be a demonstration of his
love or his sexual drive? Perhaps the fact that you've worn
the same nightgown forever makes him feel you don't love
him--when all you're trying to be is comfortable. "After
all" he might think, if she cared about me wouldn't she
want to wear something attractive? We've all heard couples
lament, "If you loved me you'd...." We don't all feel loved
by the same things. Furthermore, what we believe about what
is loving gets translated into how we act.
We often (not always) treat others as we wish to be treated.
If what we believe and what we receive doesn't match up,
we grumble that our partner just doesn't care or is selfish.
There's so much variation in what makes us feel loved. For
some people its hearing the words, "I love you." For others,
it's more important that love is shown and the words are
insignificant. And most of us are unaware of what really
matters to our partner. We may cook him/her a meal or put
on some romantic music but feel confused or irritated when
our efforts go unappreciated. By knowing exactly how your
partner feels loved, it becomes much easier to create loving
Now you might say, "If I tell my partner what I want,
it won't be spontaneous." So whatÉisn't intimacy the goal
here? What are you waiting for?
The purpose of this lesson is for each of you to discover
and share what is loving to you and your partner. Use the
Loving Actions LoveTool and
the Loving Moments LoveTool
as a guide.
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