An Exercise: I love you! But do you know that?
How often do you say, ‘I love you and I want you to know it’? Well, for many of us expressing love is not as easy as it might seem. We all have our own ways of conveying our love and of feeling loved. We look for the signs that mean the most to us. This is why it is so important to know each other’s preferred ways of loving and of being loved. Unfortunately many couples end up feeling distant or having arguments – ‘you don’t love me enough!’ – because they don’t get this type of communication right. Here is an exercise to help identify your ways of showing and receiving love.
- Think of 3 ways you generally express love to your partner.
(Example: I show my love to you by calling you to see how your day’s going.)
- Now let’s get more specific. Use the questions below as prompts to help you discover which ‘love language(s)’ you use with your partner. Reflect on each and take note of which best apply to you.
- I show my love to you by finding ways to do things together with you. How do you do this? Give an example.
- I show my love to you by being available to help you when you need it. How do you do this? Give an example.
- I show my love to you by doing things to help you without being asked. How do you do this?
- I show my love for you by telling you directly and also by telling others. What do you say? Do you say it often to your partner? Is this easy for you to say?
- I show my love for you by living a life of respect and integrity. Explain what this means in your relationship.
- I show my love for you by keeping my promises. Give an example.
- I show my love to you by… (feel free to add your own).
If you are in a relationship, ask your partner to do the exercise too. Discuss your responses together. Are you receiving and expressing love so that you both experience a high level of satisfaction and affirmation?
For those not in a relationship, reflect on your answers to better understand how you want to express and receive love in the future.
I hope this exercise has given you food for thought. Is it easy or difficult to express your love to your partner? Does your partner understand how much you love him/her or do you hear complaints about this? I would love to hear your reflections or answers to some of the questions raised. Please leave a comment below.
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