I love being good at doing stuff. Who doesn’t?
Love is a feeling. One of a deep sense of affection to someone. But this deep, passionate feeling isn’t always there. So, what is love to you when the exciting, thrilling, euphoric phase of your relationship comes to a halt and the commitment part begins?
Love is an activity.
An activity you can be good at. So,
HOW CAN YOU BE BETTER AT LOVE?
- Treat your partner as they’d want to be treated. Read that again.
We often show love to a partner depending on how we feel love for ourselves. For example, when it comes to love languages, if your love language is words of affirmation, you’ll find yourself regularly affirming your partner whether or not they value the affirmation. This tends to come with an expectation that, since I affirm him a lot, he will also affirm me and I will feel loved. This unspoken expectation brings forth frustration when your partner doesn’t do as you expect of them.
You can be better at loving your partner by just finding out what action makes them, not you, feel loved and then do it, whether or not it makes sense to you. Also, express which actions make you feel loved.
- Don’t only look for demonstrations of love.
True love as we Christians say, was first demonstrated to us in the Bible. As it continues to say that love is patient, love is kind …… (1 Cor 13:4-7)
Someone can truly love you but since they didn’t see it being demonstrated growing up, they don’t know how to do it. That doesn’t mean they have no love for you. This is something that can be learned with time and with you, effectively communicating your wishes.
Be aware of moments you don’t feel loved just because it has not been demonstrated as you have seen with other couples. Don’t miss out on true love just because they don’t demonstrate it. Maybe they just don’t know how to. Now show them how they can do it.
- Love the ‘feeling’ is as a result of love the ‘verb’. Not vice versa
You know those moments when you feel the love spark is diminishing and you start having doubts about the relationship? This is the moment to affirm your partner, gift them, touch, appreciate them, forgive, serve them and spend time with them. Love -the feeling- will always come back. It is the fruit of love -the verb-
I know it’s harder to take these actions when the feeling is just not there but if you desire for your relationship to grow into a lifetime attachment, it’s time to make your love a verb.
- Emotional Bank Account
Just like a financial bank account, you make deposits into it, build up a reserve and make withdrawals when the need arises.
With actions of kindness, patience, forgiveness, understanding, apologizing, etc. you make deposits into your partner’s emotional bank account. Trust levels go up, communication improves and even in case of mistakes done (a withdrawal), forgiveness comes easily.
The opposite happens with actions of disrespect, impatience, abuse, etc. Your partner’s emotional bank account becomes overdrawn. Trust levels drop, communication is poor and you have to be extremely careful with your words, or else things will blow up. There’s always tension in your relationship.
Keep depositing in your partner’s emotional account. (Be intentional). Obviously, there will be withdrawals (mistakes) along the way but with a huge reserve built, you can trust that your deposits will compensate.
Make sure you don’t deplete your partner’s account.
When you withdraw, make sure you deposit back (sincerely apologize)
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
If you don’t love yourself, it will be harder for you to love someone else. It will also be an exhausting task for your partner to love you if they have to keep proving to you that they do.
When your sense of self-worth comes from your partner’s actions, it shows a lack of self-love. For example, when your partner asks for some time alone and you conclude that as rejection; when they are mad at you, you feel worthless, when they love you that’s when you love yourself, you keep looking for signs that they don’t love you or any of their weaknesses proves to you that they are not good partners.
You can start showing yourself love now by doing the things you want your partner or future partner to do for you.
Take yourself out, gift yourself, forgive yourself, affirm yourself, be less critical to yourself and be patient with yourself as you work on your self-love.
Do all these things so that when your partner doesn’t do them for you, it doesn’t change how you think of yourself.
P.S. This is a note to self.
If you’re past that stage in your relationship when your feelings were so intense, choose to love better for a committed lifelong relationship.
Much love to you.
Now go ahead and start that conversation with your boo. “How can I love you better?”