Have you ever thought, “My partner just doesn’t get me” or “I’m trying to show him/her I care” or the even more frustrating, “Nothing I do is ever noticed”? Many times our efforts to show our partner we love them seem to either be ignored or under appreciated. This can lead to bitterness, lack of pursuit, and often indifference.
The expression, “Work smarter not harder,” can be very apropos in that your efforts may not need to be more in quantity rather just different. We are all wired with unique personalities and what Dr. Gary Chapman has dubbed love languages. What may be an act of love to you, may be just an act of kindness for your partner. The five love languages are listed here:
Quality Time - this language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.
Acts of Service - for these people, actions speak louder than words.
Physical Touch - to this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.
Words of Affirmation - this language uses words to affirm other people.
Receiving Gifts - for some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift.
You may be able to peg both yourself and your partner just from reading this list. If so, actively find ways to intentionally serve your partner in their love language. If you are not aware of either your love language or your partner’s, here is a quiz to help http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/couples/. Once you are aware, dialogue about what acts each of you would find more loving. That may be more nonsexual physical contact, quality face to face interactions, helping with dishes and laundry, creating small gifts, or even a few encouraging comments. Share specifics and be open to and appreciative of your partner’s efforts. Over time you may find that what felt like frivolous efforts become true investments in your partner’s heart.