“You should never have to look for evidence that someone loves you. True love is crystal clear.”
~ Mandy Hale
Love is a need and when we feel like it’s not enough it’s a sign to reflect on what needs are not being met and identify what action steps will help his love become enough.
First, start by knowing how you receive love.
The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman is a great book to learn more about your love language and he offers a free love language quiz on his website to learn what your love language is.
Once you know what it is, have a conversation with your partner about your love language and ways they can express your love language to you.
Second, reflect on how this feeling of not being loved enough may be connected to a past relational dynamic.
- Did you feel loved in your family?
- Was there a past relationship you had where the love also did not feel like enough?
When we can reflect on our past relational dynamics, we can identify if we are carrying past harms into our current relationship and discover ways to move forward.
Share this with your partner so they can understand where you are coming from and the narrative you hold.
Discuss together ways you can heal from these past relational dynamics to allow yourself to feel loved by your partner.
Third, remember that needs are your own responsibility to get met and love is a need.
It is your responsibility to invite your partner into helping you get your needs met and into loving you well. Your partner has the choice to accept this invitation or not. If they are unable to meet part of your love need, identify who else can support you in this.
Love is complex and diverse-we have romantic love, friendship love, self-love, familiar love and so many more. Understand the complex love needs you have and find those who can support your love tank filling up.
If these steps do not help, then it’s important to discuss whether the relationship should continue or not.
You deserve love, he deserves love, and you both deserve to be in a relationship that is fulfilling.
Rachel Elder, LMHC, MHP – www.rachel-elder.com
The first step in addressing this issue is to look at exactly you need.
Nagging feelings can be very imprecise, and it’s important to know exactly what you want before you ask for it.
What exactly is missing?
- Does he not listen to you when you speak?
- Is he not interested in any of the activities that are important to you?
- Do you wish he would do more around the house?
- Does he rarely tell you he loves you?
Once you are clear about what exactly is missing, it’s time to ask for what you want.
Asking for what you want seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world. But for many people it seems downright impossible, you may worry that you will anger your partner, or stir things up in a situation that seems otherwise calm.
Many people struggle with self confidence issues that can leave them feeling like they aren’t worthy of asking for what they want, or that what they want is too small or petty.
If it’s bugging you, you deserve to ask for a change.You might not get it, but if you don’t ask, you surely won’t.
Avoid passive aggressive language, many of us, don’t mean to, but our lack of confidence can come off very negatively.
If you love your partner, make sure your request comes from a place of love, but avoid the “but”- “I Love you, but I wish you would do your own laundry” is very different from: “I am so happy when I see you’ve done your own laundry.”
Be assertive and confident, but not mean.
It is an art to walk the line between nagging and asking. Asking is done once, and clearly. Nagging is done frequently, usually without results.
Assertive communication is key to asking and getting what you want.
If you don’t get it, let your partner know how it affects you. Statements like:”I love going to festivals with you, I was sad to go without you” work better than” You never go to festivals with me, and it feels like you hate me, my friends, and my music” the first, is more welcoming the second is shaming.
If this style of communication is new to you, it may take time.
Don’t try it out until you feel ready. You might even want to practice with a friend. If you are feeling like its just too hard, you might want to consider investing in therapy, either individually or couples. There is no shame in asking for help, and might make your life richer.
Katie Butler, MSc, LMFT – www.katiebutlerlmft.com
The key to a healthy relationship is communication.
We can never truly know what is happening in someone else’s inner world. The closest we can get to the inner thoughts and feelings of our beloved is through what we ask and hear expressed by them.
The most fulfilling and deepest connections come through authentic expression and relations between people.
If you are feeling dissatisfied by the quality of love from your partner, the first step is to take time with yourself, being curious and reflecting on your own background (i.e. attachment and relationship history), thoughts, feelings, desires, and needs.
Once you are clear with yourself about what you are missing, you can then consider how to most effectively communicate this to your partner.
The GIVE skills (from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) can be helpful here.
- Be Gentle, without attacking or casting judgments.
- Act Interested by listening fully to what the other is saying, without interrupting.
- Validate by showing that you understand the other person’s feelings or opinions.
- Finally embrace an Easy manner by smiling, using humor, and leaving your attitude at the door.
As authentic, connected communication occurs in relationships, couples are bonded and feelings of love and being loved grow.
Alternatively, if this kind of comfortable communication is not possible within a romantic relationship, it might be time to reconsider the match and/or seek couples counseling for help.
Kimberly Finger, LCSW, LICSW – www.kimberlyfinger.com
Sometimes the people we care about are unable to give us the depth of love that we are seeking.
If you feel like you’re beating a dead horse trying to convince him to invest more time, energy or affection, maybe it’s time to listen to what his actions (or lack of) are communicating.
Don’t settle for crumbs when you deserve the whole damn sandwich!
If you notice yourself thinking constantly “maybe he will change?” – ask yourself “if he never changes is this a life I’m willing to settle for?”
He may not be committing because his needs are being met without having to meet your needs.
It may be time to start setting aside how you feel about this person, and remember what you deserve. Your man may have redeemable qualities, and still not be someone who is cut out for a healthy relationship.
I truly believe that we need to learn how to love ourselves before we can form a sustainable healthy relationship with another person.
Your partner’s inability to commit in the way that you’re needing isn’t a reflection of your worth, these are just indicators that they are not the right fit for you.
Bonnie Raitt said it best “Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t, You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t”
Realizing that this person may not be your person is painful, but there is also hope.
Instill in yourself the realization that a partner who can love and commit to you is out there.
Keilani Perisian-Mason, MA, LMHC – www.keilanimason.wixsite.com/evolve
When it feels like somebody doesn’t love you quite enough it can cause anxiety and even depression.
It can cause you to feel insecure and want to constantly please the other person in hopes of getting more attention and acknowledgment.
You may find yourself replaying intimate and other situations looking for assurance that you are in fact loved.
You may even start diagnosing him as having intimacy issues of course because of his past. This feels really crappy and certainly not easy to talk about without feeling embarrassed or needy.
So what do you do?
Well other than trying to constantly push the feelings down I’ve come up with a viable and useful solution that will quite likely ease the pain a bit and may even help as a conversation starter if you choose to do that.
Many of you are familiar with the Five Love Languages.
If you’re not google it. The premise in a few words is that each of us has our own style of expressing and receiving love.
It’s easy if you and your partner “speak” the same language but if you don’t it may lead to feeling less loved.
So take a moment and think about your language and your partners. It will give you much insight into what’s going on in your relationship.
It can also open the door to sharing this with each other and hopefully getting more of what you want.
Lynn Rosen, PhD – www.bocaratonrelationshipcounseling.com
One of the most difficult challenges in a relationship is needing your partner to express their love for you and not having that need met. It can be a really lonely and frustrating place, especially if you don’t feel heard when you express your desires.
Although every relationship is unique, often times this occurs for a few reasons:
1. Love looked different in your families growing up
One of the first sessions I have with my couples involves discussing their family of origin. The way you did feel or did not feel loved growing up has such a huge impact on your expectations of your partner and your needs within romantic relationships.
One thing that will help you see the way your partner is currently loving you is if you listen to their family of origin story.
- What helped them feel loved growing up?
- What did love look like in their family?
- Was it normal to express love in their family or were they more reserved?
Understanding this will hopefully help shed some light on some of your partner’s behaviors.
2. You have not discussed your love languages
Our love language is how we give and receive love. Gary Chapman describes the five love languages: verbal affirmation, physical touch, quality time, acts of service, and receiving gifts in his book.
If you are in a relationship with someone who speaks a different love language than you do, you could both be missing each other’s attempts at expressing love.
Reading the book or taking the short quiz online will help you both understand what your love language is so that you can successfully help one another feel loved more often.
3. Communication sounds like criticism
A common mistake when expressing our needs is that instead of stating our actual need, we describe what the other person is doing wrong.
For example, if I need a hug from my husband when he comes home from work, I might say “you never walk in and give me a hug”. He would most likely get defensive as a result of hearing criticism.
The goal is to avoid words like “always” and “never” and focus on yourself, not your partner.
If I wanted to feel heard, I might say something like “honey, I miss you after a long day and it would make me feel really loved if you would give me a hug when you come home. Would you do that for me?”. As mentioned in the first point, it might even be helpful to open up about your family of origin and explain why a certain act makes you feel loved or unloved.
4. Unresolved issues
When there is built up resentment and unresolved issues from the past, it becomes difficult to be receptive to one another’s needs and emotions. In order to foster a connection, we have to eliminate the road blocks.
Make sure you seek a professional to help you discuss difficult conversations if you have been unsuccessful in addressing them on your own.
Yasman Karimi, MA, LMFT – www.houstonrelationshiptherapy.com
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