Have you ever found yourself bemoaning the shortcomings in your partner’s loving ways? How often have you complained that they’re not romantic enough, don’t compliment you very often, never tell you they love you, hardly notice the things you do and don’t do anything particularly nice for you?
A few times perhaps?
I’m guessing at least once and the reason I say that is because naturally we want to have the best we can have in life and in love. So, in an attempt to fix what isn’t working we tend to point out what’s going wrong and hope that something changes.
But what are you doing to encourage the change from where you stand?
I hear my clients, colleagues and friends complaining about their partners with barely a single thought about how THEY might contribute to the issue. It’s all the fault of the other person. They’re just not doing what they need them to do to feel loved, supported, respected and cared for and if that person could just change, everything would work out perfectly.
Can you see any flaw in that plan?
The problem with simply identifying where the gaps are and then expecting them to close is that we forget to take into account that there are TWO people involved in a relationship and that no one person has the power to pull the fabric of the relationship back together by themselves. Add to that the complicating fact that the only person we have any power over changing is ourselves. There isn’t a single other person in this world that you have the ability to completely alter to your requirements, except you so how will you fix your problem?
In my practice where I’m allowed to, and actually get paid to, ask the gritty questions (friends don’t want to be coached 24/7) I ask my clients, who are waxing lyrical about their partner’s deficiencies in the giving department, to “Tell me about the sort of things you do to show and express each of the things you want from your partner”.
The answers are usually the same and involve a collection of household tasks, child care, work commitments and various personal sacrifices.
Now I’m not disputing that all of these things go a long way towards pulling your weight in your relationship and the household arrangements but they really don’t do a lot towards strengthening or enriching the love connection between you and your partner. In fact often, they take more away as we get busy and at times overwhelmed by day to day life.
But all is not lost. Because if we go back to that key point of you only being able to change you, there is an answer there.
If you are seeking more from your partner, in the way of expressions of love, respect and commitment ask yourself what you do each day to give so that you can receive.
Are you giving the love that you expect back?
You want them to be more romantic and do nice things for you – When did you last arrange something romantic for them or do something nice for them just because you wanted to, not because you wanted to earn ‘credit’.
You want to be complimented more – What was the last genuine compliment you paid your partner that made them positively beam with pleasure?
You want to be told and know you are loved more often – Have you said it lately? And delivered it with meaning and full heart and soul, not just as a good night or good bye routine.
The fact is, it is so much easier to get the quality of love you want, if you are freely giving it because like attracts like.
Perhaps you are thinking to yourself that once your partner steps up you’ll be more inclined to reciprocate but once we become adults, ‘do as I say not as I do’ no longer cuts it. You might get away with that line with your kids but your partner or spouse just won’t buy it.
So here’s something to try.
For 30 days I want you to go the extra mile in giving the sort of love that you want back. Say and do all the nice things, be romantic, compliment and caress, open your heart and give lots of love. At times you might feel vulnerable, at times you might feel over the top but I can guarantee that in time (just 30 days) you will feel more love.
Are you ready to give so that you can receive?
Photo credit: © 2007 Denise Mayumi