This is How I Show My Love.
“I don’t buy flowers! Why would I buy something that is already dying? What does that say about our relationship or love?” – Well, that sort of energetic logic made sense to my soulful self. How could I argue it even though it took away something that meant the world to me, that said “I love you. I appreciate you. I want to bring beauty into your life.” And so I let go of my need believing that I was evolving my thinking and feeling. The reality was that my previous relationship, a marriage of almost two-decades only bought me flowers when he was in trouble and really knew how bad the trouble was, which hardly ever occurred, his knowing that is. That and we could not afford the luxury of flowers as well. That was an expense that was certainly not needed in our life of rubbing pennies together. Now, here I was in a more stable part of life, I had been on some dates between relationships and I got a little spoiled in the romance department and courting. I also, just simply have always adored fresh cut flowers on my table or somewhere that I could see them and appreciate their beauty and radiance each day. They made me feel good.
In turn what I learned to do was to buy myself flowers when I wanted them. I took on the practice of courting myself and not relying on anyone to romance me because my partner did not believe that it was a sign of love that I needed and that what I did need was a few more electronic devices for me to stack up in a box and never use. The issue with this concept was much like sexual desire and need. Physical touch could fall under the same scope for that matter. Self-pleasuring yourself can be great here and there, but if its all the sexual intimacy you are getting you find yourself starving and frustrated. Similar to touch, I can sit in a chair all day long and hug myself or massage my foot but it does not bring me the conscious touch, emotional bonding and fullness that I crave.I am not given the opportunity to drop all my guards and be vulnerable with someone I love. Just the same as courting myself and buying myself flowers. It still brings beauty into my home that I deeply want and appreciate, but I lack the feeling desired, appreciated by another or loved. These are the things we get into intimate relationships for in today’s world.
To know we are wanted, desired, appreciated, seen, loved, cherished and that if something happened to us that we would be missed. This is a human need and when we find ourselves in a relationship that does not provide this base level of intimacy, connection, understanding, desire and showing of love in the style that we feel it, then we question why we are even in the relationship.
A depleted person will do a few things:
- Cope with their emptiness and frustration taking care of their needs like I did in my above story. They will settle for far less than what their needs are and callous themselves to the needs, believing that something is better than nothing and take what they get. This will last as long as they can stay detached from self.
- They will begin to fantasize about old relationships or potentially what it would be like to have an affair, friend with benefits or even opening up the relationship. In their deprivation they grow weary and all the more hungry making themselves more susceptible to cheating. You cannot expect someone to walk through the desert of a relationship in this situation, desiring water and then turning away from it when offered. One of the main contributing reasons for affairs and requests for opening up relationships is ignoring our partners’ needs and love styles.
- They will try to cope for as long as possible, make their needs known the best they can and then at some point they will give up and quit the relationship.
Our intimate relationships demand maintenance and if it is a relationship that is worthy of fighting for, whatever that may mean to you and your mate then it’s vitally important to understand this one principle: Love your mate the way they need not the way you want.
I strongly encourage you to read the book “The Five Love Languages,” however it’s important to realize that although we all have primary love languages, our languages change.
I like to look at love and relationships like its food, because it most certainly feeds us in multiple ways. You would not want to just have to eat burgers for the rest of your life, no matter how much you loved burgers, right? You most likely might have other foods that you really enjoy and meet your needs. Just like our favorite foods, there are seasons for many of them. We have our favorite comfort foods, our favorite “special dinner” foods, the foods we crave when we are joyous or sick. Feeling loved and desired are the same. In order for us to have a sustainable, happy, thriving intimate relationship we as partners must be consciously aware of what our partners favorite foods are in love – how they feel most loved, desired, appreciated, and seen. Realizing that these priority languages need to be cycled through and used in different times of life and relationship. We cannot force feed our partner just one love language and expect that that is all they need. It’s not! If my partner bought me flowers every week to say he loves me, but completely disregarded any acts of service, touch, kissing, intimacy, dates out, positive affirmation statements, listening and talking then guess what, those flowers would not make me feel loved. Instead I would think that he is taking the lazy path and ignoring me as a human who needs more than flowers. Yet, the flowers mean the world sprinkled throughout our relationship because they say, “Hey I wanted you to smile today.”
We are all high maintenance when it comes to love languages that are ever changing. The best approach to this is to first understand the primary love language your partner has, then what the secondary and third are. Next, focus for a time frame on the primary, however realize that just like the food scenario, your mate will grow tired of that language and it will not mean as much because they are “filled up” on it and need something different now. Whatever is lacking in their life will become the primary love language.
One can argue all day long, that this seems silly and your partner just needs to be more mature or less needy. That you love the way you love and that should be good enough. That if they loved you, then they would be able to see all that you do for them to show your love, and even though these statements can ring true in instances, what an emotionally mature person who loves another being will understand is that : we cannot change the way another person feels about something. We cannot force our will onto them. However, many of us do just this when it comes to our most intimate relationships. We deny our beloved what they need in return for our demands that they accept our love the way we want to be loved most. All this does is create a barrier to love and trust. It prevents vulnerability, and says, “I am right. You are wrong.”
This same relationship above shared with the flowers also consistently denied me touch, kissing, foreplay and something that speaks volumes to my heart and soul – affirmation and acceptance through reading my words. Although he knew that my writing was my passion and outlet, a vulnerability I offered to this world and to him to understand me deeper and to clearly see me, he consistently said, “Looks good, but that’s a lot of words.” What he did not understand is that his statement translated too:
- That’s too much trouble and you are not worth it. We are not worth my time to read your thoughts and feelings.
- I don’t care about your work and purpose, where your heart is at.
- I don’t want to know you better and do not care that you are ever changing.
- You have nothing for me. I do not respect you or your knowledge and ideas.
He often told me that if I had something to say to him, then I should just say it and not write it because he did not have the time to read my words. Yet, when I attempted to share vocally, he would remain not present with me, tell me I was too emotional, needed to be calmer, more logical and shorter in my talk. This just aligned and confirmed the above that he did not want to take the time for our relationship, and he was unconcerned with my feelings or thoughts.
I was a bother, yet somehow, he claimed that he still loved me and that I should feel it, but only the way he wanted to show it.
I ask you; you may not understand why your partner’s needs vary. Why one thing works today and not tomorrow. You may not understand why a relationship is such work and requires the maintenance that it does, believing that love should just get you through. But I ask you this, “How many other things do you do in your life that you are not 100% about or even understand the why behind, but you just do them anyway? Some of these things you do in your intimate relationship, others for other people, work, neighbors, family, etc. Most of the things you do that take your time and energy you do for less valuable causes than love – the love of the person that you claim you want to do this life with, and you expect will have your back. So why not here?”
In loving service always to those who love and desire to be loved.
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