If you love your partner, doing these little things can make a huge difference.
Many studies, such as this one, have concluded that how we were raised and what kind of romantic relationship we saw our parents having greatly influences our future romantic successes.
Your parents’ story doesn’t have to be your story, but it can take some reprogramming. Something I’ve had to do myself.
My parents have been married for 38 years, but they are more roommates that tolerate each other than a loving couple today. They sleep in separate bedrooms on separate floors of the same home.
One of my clearest memories is of being out at a restaurant with my family after my father had returned from a work trip. My father attempted to kiss my mother, and she looked at my sister and me and said, “Ew, gross!”
“Stop it,” my dad said.
She didn’t, and he pulled away.
For years, I didn’t understand why I hated PDA, why I actually felt anxious when my partner kissed me or touched me out in public until I recalled that memory.
Beyond that, I never saw them do or say nice things about one another. Their marriage seemed very much like a stifling prison. You were going to be there forever and it was going to suck, so you might as well deal with it.
Based on these details alone, it is a wonder that I have had any romantic relationships last more than a few weeks.
But after doing some interior work and becoming a Relationship Coach, I met my now husband. He should hold seminars and write books on how to be an extraordinary spouse. Truly. He’s a champ at showing me on a regular basis just how much he loves me.
If you want to exemplify Mr. Ball (and surely you do), here are 6 little ways things you can show your partner you love her:
1. Connect with her.
When you get home from work, greet her. Start dinner or help her in making it or setting up for it. Talk about your day, and be sure to ask her about hers.
Look at her while she’s talking. Take some time to touch her without any sexual intentions (though that can come later, and it’s much more likely if you’re being affectionate).
2. Be open with her.
We want to know what’s going on. When we ask you a bunch of questions, you might think we’re snooping, prying, criticizing, or trying to control you, but get over that thinking.
You matter to us, which is why we might bug you with a lot of questions to try to get to the meat of what happened, how you’re feeling, etc. You’ve got to ignore how you feel when we ask you questions (which is probably threatened, annoyed, etc.) and instead focus on being open with us anyway.
Tell us about your day, your concerns with work, how you got annoyed.
3. Listen to her instead of trying to “fix” her.
I have enough understanding of myself that I have often said to my husband, “Hey, I want to talk to you about something, but I just need you to listen. I don’t need any advice right now.”
I’m a grown ass woman, and there will be times I need advice — and I will clearly state that — but more often than not, I just need some empathy.
If you’re wondering what your partner is needing, ask. Say something like, “Do you need a solution or do you just need me to listen?” Then, while she’s speaking, you can stop her for clarification, try to identify her feelings, not interrupt her, and show appreciation for her (“I could never do what you do,” etc.).
4. Say “I’m sorry.”
I know, I know. You’re likely bristling at that suggestion.
Without an “I’m sorry,” women may assume that you’re still upset and just not expressing it, that you’re, in fact, stewing. Saying “just drop it” doesn’t help us just drop it. Saying “I’m sorry” actually helps to end the conflict for us.
Actively work to resolve conflicts, acknowledge where you went wrong and say you’re sorry, and give and receive forgiveness.
5. Be loyal to her.
If you are in a committed, monogamous relationship, your woman is going to want to know that you’re it for her. Be faithful. Don’t gawk at or have otherwise inappropriate relationships with other women. Make sure to include her in social gatherings, and keep your commitments to her.
6. Care for her.
Thank her for all she does. Open the door for her if that’s something she likes. Speak highly of her in front of others, don’t correct her in front of others, teach your children to show respect to her, counteract the negative self-talk she shares with you.
My husband makes me a better woman by loving me the way he does. If you love your partner, connect with her, share openly with her, don’t try to fix her, apologize, be loyal, and care for her. These little things can make a huge difference.
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