Failing To Show Love
Failing To Show Love
Dear Tacit,

I’m not very romantic – and my partner seems to be.  I try to give her flowers, but she gets sick of this.  Any suggestions for other ways to show her that I love her?

Signed Failing To Show Love

Dear Failing To Show Love,

First, I want to commend you for making the effort to bring home flowers.  One of the biggest mistakes many of us make is thinking that our gestures of affection must be perfectly correct before we do them.  And if we doubt that they will be, we sometimes don’t see the point in trying.  But that’s the exact point – the trying.  The end result is lovely when it hits the mark, but it’s just the icing on the cake.  The process of thinking of our partner and of caring enough to make an attempt to show them what is in our heart is actually the part of the gesture that says the most.

Second, I want to commend you for hearing your wife’s message – that she would like more or something different.  You are listening.  You are tuned into her needs and wants.  You are noticing the sentiment that she is trying to convey to you.  And that too is a huge gesture of love and caring.  By asking for help/ideas, you are demonstrating how important it is to you that she receives the message that is in your heart, in all the right ways. You are willing to be vulnerable.  And that’s one of the sexiest things any of us can do for our loved one.

It is the simple, everyday acts that keep a relationship growing.  Depth of connection doesn’t develop relative to the dollar amount spent on extravagant gifts and surprise outings.   Rather, it is strengthened through a regular and consistent sense of knowing that one is truly loved and wanted and desired.   We need to know that our partner is choosing us, every single day.

So how can we do this?  Reach out to hold hands when you are walking somewhere together or sitting on the couch watching a movie.  Share the obscure thoughts that run through your head about your day.  Talk about your future together and share the dream you have about what might someday be.  Send her a text whenever the thought of her pops into your mind, just to let her know it happened.  If her car is low on gas, fill it up for her so she doesn’t have to do it herself.   Wash the headlights on her vehicle or shovel off the snow, to help keep her safe.  Make her supper or bring her a cup of tea, even when she doesn’t ask first.

Speak the words – say “I love you” every day.  And then go deeper than that.  Tell her why she matters to you – talk about the times she made your heart beat fast, or you realized how lucky you were to have her in your life.  What was she doing at those moments – what special thing was there about her that made you recognize her value to you?  Truly listen to her when she shares about her day (even if it’s hard to see a point in what she is saying LOL) – be attentive and give her all of yourself.  Ask her about something she mentioned yesterday, or about something you notice is coming up in her life tomorrow (don’t always wait for her to initiate these conversations).

Take the kids out and let her have the house to herself.  Encourage her to pamper herself a little bit – to take a bath or spend time reading her book or watching a show.  Do the chores that get in the way of her being able to focus on herself.  Encourage her to call a friend or to go out with others. Or go out together, for a walk or to do groceries as a team or to pick up an ice cream cone for no reason at all.  Invite her to do something with you, even if it seems ordinary and boring and you can’t imagine why she would want to.  Just being genuinely asked to join you is showing her that she adds value to your life.

Write a little note to wish her a good day.  Put it on the bathroom mirror, or in the car, or in her lunch bag for work.  Send her jokes to make her smile.  Wink at her across a crowded room.  Dance with her even when there is no music playing.  Hug her and let her lean on you.  Wrap her in your arms and let her hide from the world for a short while.  Be her rock – let her anchor onto you so she knows she doesn’t always have to be strong.  Be a team together – be true friends – and your partnership will grow deeper every day.  (PS to you partner – this goes both ways – take note of these gestures and show appreciation for the acts of trying.  Make some efforts of your own!  Growth and connection must always be a two-way street.)

Take care!

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