“You should never have to look for evidence that someone loves you. True love is crystal clear.”
~ Mandy Hale
Being unsure if your man loves you can cause a significant amount of distress.
When you think there is a discrepancy between his words and actions you might begin to think the relationship is at risk.
It is important to recognize that you and him may have very different ideas and expectations for the relationship and what love looks like.
Try these three techniques to build a loving relationship that works for you both, minimize personal and relationship distress, and develop understanding, the truest form of love.
1. Identify Your Love Languages
There are five different universal love languages in which human beings both give and receive love. These include Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Receiving Gifts.
Often when someone says that their significant other isn’t acting like they love them, it comes down to differences in love languages.
For example, someone may feel that their boyfriend doesn’t act like they love them because he doesn’t give her a kiss when he gets home (Physical Touch) but he often surprises her with her favorite treats (Receiving Gifts).
You can identify your love language by noting what your man is doing when you feel most love or by examining your/his complaints (or if you want easy answers look up an online quiz!).
When you are knowledgeable and making a conscious effort to speak each other’s love language you both will be actively showing your love and feel it too!
2. Effectively Communicate Your Needs
You have needs in the relationship, and so does he. However, when couples do not engage in the open sharing of their needs problems occur. It’s hard to know what the other person needs if they never tell you.
Your man cannot read your mind after all, and it’s possible he is not intentionally trying to hurt you. In order to effectively communicate your needs, you must be honest about your feelings.
It helps to utilize “I statements” in conjunction with verbs such as need, want, and feel when sharing your thoughts and feelings.
It is also important to be as specific as possible. In addition, do not blame him and be assertive in your statements. An example of this might be “I feel hurt and ignored when you come home and don’t give me a kiss right away.”
3. Check In
Finally, check in with each other regularly. There may be other factors that are contributing to your feelings or what you see as him not acting like he loves you.
Perhaps he’s really stressed at work and it’s taking up all his energy. Maybe you’ve ended a friendship recently and it has you worried about other relationships in your life.
Regularly checking in and sharing your thoughts and feelings can lead to increased closeness and feeling loved and understood.
You may discover that his actions are not a reflection of his love for you, but rather a struggle you can tackle together.
Heather Gillam, MS, NCC, LMFTA – www.sisulumicounseling.com
Let’s look at love.
What does that mean and how do we express it?
Loving someone can mean having deep affection or caring for a person. Showing this love or affection for someone comes in many different forms. Sometimes what makes one person feel loved is not the same for another.
Oftentimes when we feel uncertain of someone’s love or aren’t feeling loved, we first need to look inward. How do we prefer to be loved?
There are several ways to show affection for someone, but it ultimately comes down to 5 Love Languages.
Dr. Gary Chapman discovered that we receive and show love in one or more of the 5 love languages.
- Words of Affirmation– hearing the words “I love you” or the meaning behind their love through voice messages, notes, or directly talking to them.
- Quality Time– having someone’s undivided attention, spending time, or doing something meaningful together.
- Physical Touch– feeling affection through touch, not to be confused with sexual intimacy. This can be hand holding, back rub, a kiss, etc.
- Gifts– receiving something or understanding the meaning, thoughtfulness, or love behind a gift.
- Acts of Service– doing something for someone or easing the burden of responsibility.
Once you discover what your love language is, how you feel the most loved, you are better able to understand what fills your “love tank” up.
Next, we can look outward, how is the other person showing their love?
If they aren’t communicating using the same language you won’t be able to understand it or receive the message. This might help us understand when your partner is sending you love, even if it’s not the way that you’re familiar with.
As you begin to discover ways you feel loved and your partner feels loved, you can then determine if there is a miscommunication.
Not everyone expresses love in the same way. Taking time to understand both how you and your partner communicate love, can help you understand the relationship better.
Emily Ruggles, APC, CRC – www.growcounseling.com
He loves me, he loves me not? He loves me, he loves me not?
It seems like this is a question women have been asking themselves since childhood picking apart flowers, petal by petal. As if the flowers hold the answer to this suspenseful question.
It’s no wonder it can be difficult to look to your partner for the answer, when you’ve been pulling apart flowers your whole life just for a little hint on whether or not your partner loves you.
But what happens when you turn to your partner for the answer and he gives you mixed messages?
How do you determine if the love is really there when he tells you that he loves you, but his actions don’t appear to communicate the same thing?
As with so many relational problems, it’s best to start with yourself.
First ask yourself, how do you show your love?
Do you buy your partner presents, do you make him his favorite meal, do you leave him special notes, or perhaps you wear that sexy little number that gets him excited?
Then ask yourself, how do you feel loved?
Chances are, the way you show love is the same way you feel loved. Understanding how you feel loved is important information to know about yourself. Without it, you and your partner are left playing a game of emotional roulette.
Once you have a better understanding of how you feel loved, it’s important to share this information with your partner.
Create space for conversations about what feels loving for each of you. It’s likely you’re both expressing your love differently based on what feels loving to each of you.
This difference in what feels loving is often what leads to a discrepancy between your partner’s words and his actions. If he feels that watching a show together is his way of showing love, but you would really feel loved if he made dinner, he might be missing the mark unintentionally.
Rather than criticizing and telling your partner what he never does, share with him a moment when you really felt loved by him.
Hopefully creating space for conversations, and exploring your different ways of expressing and receiving love will allow you both an opportunity to better understand how to communicate your love to one another.
Andrea Kosten, PsyD – www.facebook.com/AndreaMKostenPsyD
Trust is a foundational component of any healthy relationship.
Without trust, a relationship is much like a home that has been built on sand. There is not much to hold onto or keep the structure in place, especially in times of stress or conflict.
If you’ve started to notice that your partner’s words aren’t lining up with their actions that is an important red flag to pay attention to in any relationship.
For example, if your partner tells you they love you but you don’t feel loved by them it is crucial to sit with and explore these feelings within yourself first.
- What exactly are they doing that is causing you to feel unloved by them?
- Are they being disrespectful to you?
Perhaps they aren’t being transparent with you or seem guarded.
These are all behaviors that make trust incredibly difficult to establish in a relationship. Ask yourself, what would you need them to do differently in order to feel more secure in the relationship?
Above all else it is important to remember that you feel insecure in the relationship for a reason.
It is imperative that, after exploring the source of this insecurity within yourself, you have a clear conversation with your partner about what you’re experiencing and what you need from them in order to feel more secure. Do not ignore these feelings or brush them under the rug.
Initiating this conversation with your partner may begin something like the following dialogue:
“[Partner] I’ve been struggling lately with feeling insecure in our relationship and I’m not sure where you stand with regard to your feelings for me. Even though you say you love me, when you [behavior x] or when you [behavior y], it makes me feel unloved and uncared for by you. Instead, what I’d like from you is [behavior a] and [behavior b]. Is that something you’d be willing to work on?”
Pay attention to the way your partner responds to this ask from you.
Do they become even more withdrawn and defensive or does this statement melt whatever walls they were putting up a bit so as to let you in closer?
Knowing that they are willing to acknowledge how their behavior has been problematic and is causing you to feel insecure is crucial to the process of establishing trust in your relationship.
At this point, the ball is in their court to continue this discussion with you in a productive way that is helpful to the relationship or not.
It is crucial that your partner not only agree to follow through with whatever you both agreed upon in this conversation, but that you see in their actions and behaviors that they are taking this agreement seriously.
If they say they agree to make these changes and don’t follow-through, this is more evidence that perhaps this person is not in a space of readiness for a healthy and trusting relationship with you.
Chelsea Twiss, Ph.D. – www.drchelseatwisscounseling.com
It can be so hard to be in a relationship where you don’t feel loved, valued, or appreciated in the ways you would like. For anyone in this situation, I would encourage you to consider a few things…
First, what is your partner’s love language?
If you aren’t familiar with the theory around love languages, it would definitely be worthwhile to read the book called The Five Love Languages to learn more.
Briefly though, pretty much the theory is that people communicate love in different ways which can be challenging for couples who do not have the same love languages between partners.
One person might communicate by doing things for you (Love Language: Acts of Service) while the other would like to hear how much their partner loves or appreciates them in words (Love Language: Words of Affirmation).
In this situation, both partners could be expressing love in their way, but not feeling loved because their partner communicates love differently. So, it would be important to really consider if your partner expresses love in ways that you don’t necessarily notice or experience as love.
If this is the case, the questions to consider would be…
- Does this work for me as it is?
- If it doesn’t work as is – Is my partner open to learning how to best show me love in a way I feel it?
- Would it make more sense for me to move on to a relationship where I feel loved easily and wholeheartedly?
Second, have you clearly communicated what you are hoping for in the relationship?
I think that we often have a false view in relationships that our partners should know what we need and want without us openly expressing it at times. So, I think it is worth considering if you have communicated your feelings and needs.
- If you have and your partner says they will work on it, but nothing is really changing, it might be worth it to consider if this is the right relationship for you.
- If you haven’t communicated, I would encourage you to try out telling them what you need and hope for and then see how things go.
Third, why are you staying with this person if you do not feel loved or appreciated?
I say this just as a question for you to reflect on, not as a point of judgment. I think it is crucial for us to clearly understand our own reasons for the relationships we choose.
If you are feeling afraid of moving on or being alone, that is worth knowing so that you can consciously choose if this is the reason you want to stay in a relationship.
Maybe you are staying because of a long shared history or because of finances or having children together. There are so many reasons why we stay in relationships, it is always beneficial to bring those reasons to our awareness so that we can choose them consciously, rather than out of habit.
While it can be overwhelming and challenging to evaluate your relationship in this way, asking yourself tough questions will help guide you towards the future where you can truly be happy and confident in your choice. Whether that is remaining with your current partner, or moving on to a new future.
Erica Wollerman, PsyD – www.thrivetherapystudio.com
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