There are many different ways to tell if we are loved by our partner. It's often the small, subtle things that make the real difference rather than the grand, elaborate gestures. Those natural, automatic actions make the difference between us feeling that we are really loved rather than wondering if our partner is merely going through the motions and paying lip service to the relationship.
Let's look at some of the important ways to tell if you are loved:
- Gifts are an obvious indicator of how our partner feels about us. Remembering special events, significant dates can be an important part of acknowledging our relationship and many people do delight in receiving expensive, lavish gifts, but ultimately it is the thought that counts. When our partner brings home a book that we've expressed an interest in or even a free flyer for a talk by a speaker we admire it's a clear signal that we are loved, cared for, being thought about even when we're not together.
A personalised gift like a framed collage or scrapbook of souvenirs from times shared throughout the relationship can mean so much; assimilating tickets, photos, a shell from our beach holiday, a leaf from a forest walk may cost little in terms of money but the time, effort and thoughtfulness of making such a gesture is a wonderful sign of being loved. Such a gesture often means far more than an expensive piece of jewellery or a bottle of fragrance purchased as an afterthought by a secretary from a high-end store.
- Physical closeness is important in a relationship, but love is not just about sexual intimacy. When we are in a loving relationship we automatically touch each other as we walk by. We may unthinkingly rest a hand on our partner's leg or arm, lay our head on their shoulder. These actions reveal a relaxed ease in being together, a comfortable acceptance of each other's presence. Equally, when a couple start to become estranged it often becomes apparent as the physical and emotional space between them grows. They may even be unaware that the physical distance between them is increasing as they move further and further apart.
- Verbal support is an important way of telling if we are loved. Both giving and receiving unconditional support and praise demonstrates pride in each other which is evident to those who are within earshot. We are loved, cared for and supported by our partner and vice versa. We are proud of each other and not embarrassed to show it. Verbal support and love can include sending a text message that simply says 'thinking of you' or a text kiss. Being loved is also conveyed when we receive a compliment about something specific, where someone has noticed something we have said, done, are wearing, rather than a more general, nondescript comment or remark.
- Having a partner who wants to spend time with us is an important way to tell if we are loved. Sometimes life makes unavoidable demands that reduce the amount of time we can spend together but there are other times which are more flexible and can be negotiated with. When our partner decides not to work, perhaps occasionally declines arrangements with friends, obligations with family in order to spend time with us it allows us to feel loved, important to them, that they want to be with us.
- Quietly doing things to offer support and make our life easier is another way for our partner to show how much they love us. Helping with chores, doing what needs to be done to relieve our stress, helping without having to be asked are all ways they can be supportive in the relationship and demonstrate their love and consideration. Our partner benefits as a consequence because by helping us and ensuring that we feel respected, appreciated we also feel less tired, stressed, taken for granted, and ultimately more happy and loved within the relationship.
Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist who works with stressed individuals to promote confidence and self belief, with couples experiencing relationship difficulties to improve communications and understanding and with business clients to support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams.