Things I Didn’t Know About Love
One of the things I love about reading is that it helps me discover things I didn’t know about love and also to understand myself better.
Sometimes I discover why something I do in my relationship with Dave actually works.
Anything he says or does that irritates me is by far outweighed by the things he says and does that fill me with love and gratitude.
I recently came across a book by Robert Holden called ‘Loveability’ and I finally understood why our relationship works so well.
There was this one word that jumped out at me.
Things I didn’t know about love include the need to focus on what I like and love about him because the more I do the less I notice any irritating habits he might have.
This is so important, I need to repeat it:
The good stuff by far outweighs the not so good stuff. This is what encourages love to grow.
From the very beginning, I found it easy to notice Dave’s great qualities. All I had to do was compare him with Jim, my ex-husband.
Eventually, I reached the point where Jim receded into the dim and distant past and only Dave started to shine in my life.
When I was a young woman, I felt unsure about how lovable and attractive I was as a woman and being married to Jim made my self-doubts worse. Those self-doubts stayed with me long after I left him aged 60.
When Dave entered my life 10 years later he made it clear he sees me as a beautiful woman. I admit I didn’t believe him at first but, eventually, my self-doubts began to dissipate and my wounds slowly healed.
I knew I loved him but I hadn’t realised how grateful I am that he’s in my life until I read the following section in ‘Loveability’:
“To love someone is to have a deep appreciation for who they are. When you say, “I love you” what you’re saying is, “I feel blessed to know you”. It also says, “Thank you for being you.” And “Everything looks better because you are in my life.”
It also says, “Thank you for seeing me and loving me anyway.” It says, “thank you for accepting me.” And, best of all, it says, “Thank you for letting me be me.”
The other thing I want to say to Dave is, “Thank you for teaching me about love. Thank you for loving me and letting me love you.”
That last one, “Thank you for letting me love you” is a particularly special gift for me because I always felt Jim didn’t let me love him. I used to turn to him when I wanted to share something but he was emotionally unavailable.
This brings me to the practical side of love.
How do we express it in a way that is meaningful and recognisable to each other?
It took years after I left Jim for me to understand the tragedy of my marriage.
While I now believe we did love each other, neither one of us expressed ourselves in a way that was meaningful and recognisable to the other.
With Dave, it couldn’t be more different.
We both express our love to each other in a way that is absolutely clear and deeply felt.
Here are a few of the things I do that make him feel loved
(I know because he tells me how much he values and appreciates the things I do!)
- I give him my undivided attention when he needs it.
- I make it clear how much I value and appreciate the things he does for me.
- I express my admiration for him for the kind of loving, helpful and thoughtful person he is.
- I express my love and affection with lots of tenderness and flirting which we both love.
- I encourage him to pursue his dreams and do what I can to support them.
- I encourage him to go out and do some of the things that I know he enjoys even if I don’t share them.
Here are a few of the things he does that make me feel loved
- He gives me his undivided attention when I need it. (it helps that I choose my timing.)
- He makes it clear how much he values and appreciates the things I do for him.
- He often tells me how much he admires the things I do in my work.
- He hugs and flirts with me which makes me feel beautiful and sexy.
- He makes it clear my health and wellbeing are of prime importance to him and looks for practical ways to make life easier.
- He accepts me and my idiosyncrasies, and never judges or criticises me.
- He’s uncompetitive with me which means I can be the best I can be without fear of making him feel less.
- He makes it clear there’s nothing he wants to change about me.
Now it’s your turn.
If you care about your relationship with your partner then here are some ideas that will enable you to become more conscious of your love for each other.
Make a list
- of at least 10 ways you express your love for your partner.
- of at least 10 ways your partner expresses their love for you.
- of when you feel most loved by them, e.g. when they say how much they love and appreciate you, when they do things for you when they touch you with tenderness and affection, not just sexually, when they bring you an unexpected gift or send you an unexpected text. This is based on the 5 languages of love.
- of how you could be kinder and more loving.
By the way, Dave and I have been together almost six years and married almost two.
If you have fallen into the habit of focusing on the things that irritate you about your partner and would like to change that, then why not give me a free call on 07903 795027 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out NOW how to start to transform your relationship.