When I was in my marriage, I often expressed love the way that I wanted to be shown love:
I gave words… freely, willingly.
I believed that by expressing my love to my husband verbally, I was giving him what he wanted: and affirmation of my love and commitment to him.
But what I found out after my divorce, and after years of spiritual footwork, is that there are several ways to express love and that just because I like words, affirmations, to prove someone is committed to me, it does not mean that my partner feels the same about that form of expression.
Today I know that when I want to show love to someone I care for it is best to find out what makes them feel most cherished and secure in the relationship:
Is it words of affirmation they need?
Do they prefer that I clear the calendar and spend quality time with them… no distractions?
Would they prefer that I show my love through simple acts of service, bringing them coffee? Cooking a nice meal on a night when they are feeling worn?
Is it a gift that they need? Something that truly makes them smile? A book they love but haven’t bought? A gift card to a favorite store?
Or would my loved one like some time alone. Some time to relax and unwind and not worry that I will be offended at their need for solitude?
A relationship is like a dance and I must learn how to move with my partner, to find our own rhythm and language so that our expression of love compliments each other’s needs.
“Dear God, help me to express my love. Help me to give what is needed to those I care about.”