Why doesn’t he/she tell me how much I mean to them?
Have there been times when you’ve felt that your interactions with a loved one somehow ‘miss the mark’?You’re certain you’re showing them how much you care for them by the things you do for them but you can feel an ocean of confusion between you. They don’t seem to understand how keen you are to demonstrate your love, so you up your game and do more of the things you’re certain will be recognised as loving.
Song: ‘Love You More’ by Michael Watson | Above the Golden State.
You know how much it means to you when he/she lightly touches you as they pass by, gently brushing your arm with their fingertips. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. You just wish they would do it more to you – it means so very much. Like a silent, affectionate reminder that you are loved.
If you do it just a little more to them – because that’s the way you show affection and love – they’ll know and appreciate their value in your life – won’t they? And then they will do more of the same for you. It’s a win, win!
Only that doesn’t happen … and you feel a little rejected. Maybe even that they mean more to you than you mean to them. Oh …
Meanwhile, he/she continues to show their affection, love, and support for you by always dealing with the household rubbish. And they make a point of cleaning the bathroom or dealing with the boring stuff like car insurance and bills. You’ll fully get that you’re important to them if they continue to do these things, right?
And he/she can’t help but wish you’d show your support and love for them in the same way – maybe cleaning his/her shoes from time to time, or sorting the laundry. Then they would feel important to you. So they up their game and do more of these things in the hope you’ll ‘get it’.
What’s going on?
A book by Gary Chapman - The 5 Love Languages - explains. He describes how we tend to have a primary love language (or maybe 2 important ones): Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch.
If your primary language is Physical Touch then you’ll look to receive that from your partner as validation of their feelings for you. On the other hand, if your partner’s primary love language is Acts of Service they will look for that to be reciprocated. And whilst you feel very happy that your partner does these acts of service, they aren’t seen as a demonstration of their love. And you can affectionately touch your partner as much as you like but they will wonder why you don’t do occasional acts of service for them.
And so you miss …
Each of you wants something different from the other to show your love and each maybe feels a little resentful overtime when they don’t get it.
It’s a minefield, isn’t it! If you’re interested to know more about your own primary and secondary love languages the book has a questionnaire to help you get clear. And it can be really helpful to be aware that others may not share your love languages when you meet your new partner.
It’s a really interesting read providing all the big stepping stones to a successful relationship – recommended by our dating coach, Debra.
Lots of luck!