It’s one of the simplest practices. Telling your partner you love them. Perhaps I overdo it. But, I *am* head over heels in love with my girlfriend. Further, I’d say it’s the simplest and healthiest relationship I’ve been in. Period. That’s saying a lot.
How Do You Show Affection?
We started from a Match.com connection. After a few texts we spoke on the phone and agreed to meet for lunch when she returned to town. Our approach to the “hello date” was quick and efficient. Then, imagine after we’ve been enjoying our lunch for about 30 minutes when she says, gesturing with her hands, “So, what do you think?”
“Oh, wow. Okay,” I said. “You’re going to answer the same question, after me?”
The conversation about “what’s next” was simple too. We talked about playing tennis some evening in the coming week. BINGO.
Here’s what’s right and a bit different than any previous relationships.
How This Love Is More Balanced
- Her kids are older, out of the nest, and in the process of individuating themselves
- She wants a relationship, and she appears to know what that might look like (me)
- Our entanglements are purely by choice
- She’s a bit closer to my age (-3 years) than my previous two girlfriends
- She’s whip-smart, with a Master’s Degree in Education, and a reader
- I adore her and knew I was chemically attracted to her at first sight
- She expresses her love and affection easily
- We maintain a negotiated balance of time together and (importantly for me) time apart.
- Our expressed joy at being together is mutual and exponential
- We’re happy doing “whatever”
- She’s a great listener, and I do tend to go on-and-on
- She’s learning to hold her line when I’ve overshared
- I can’t wait to greet her every morning with a kiss and a cup of coffee
How Do You Say I Love You (on Repeat)?
One of the ways we started getting to know each other was our morning coffees. By chance, I was in the process of purchasing a house when we met, as the result and reward for landing a nice new corporate job, and it just so happens the house was *on her way to work*! Seriously. This was a bit of a fluke but started a ritual together, that continues today. I LOVE making coffee and/or breakfast for the people I love. It gives me a sense of being “of service” and I get to express my caring and joy for a beverage that makes us both feel a bit higher.
Is my coffee better than any other coffee she’s ever had? Of course, because it comes with a built-in kiss and nowadays a kiss and a hug too.
I want to give her something warm and happy, every day, for the rest of her life.
How’s that for a grand idea?
And, in the course of my day, I like to send her memes, love notes, sexy enticements, and logistical ideas about travel or dinner or tennis. I stay connected to her via texts. As an elementary school teacher, talking on the phone during the day is almost impossible. What I am letting her know, all day long, is that I am thinking about her, I am wanting to make her laugh, and I am making our dates and time together a priority in my life.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship where your partnership is not a priority, it’s painful. Being in a relationship with someone who is emotionally unavailable is toxic. And for someone like me, an empath who is feeling into every interaction, it is debilitating. Why do I stay in relationships with unavailable women? No idea, except for the fact that my mom and dad were both hyper-narcissists. It wasn’t about YOU it was about THEM. So, I learned to craft and create my life and my joy around their priorities and their schedules. UG.
Keep Love Coming
The way to a happy and healthy relationship is to keep investing the time and energy to make your partner feel loved. Let them know they are a priority in your life by spending time together, making plans *after* checking in with them, and giving them the benefit of the doubt when you’re frustrated or disconnected.
Love is an action. Being in love is a process and a discovery that never ends. If you’re no longer fascinated by your partner, you may be missing a key element of attachment. If you’re feeling anxious or pressured in your relationship, do your work to understand what’s at play. When I stayed with a less-than-healthy partner it was out of fear. Fear of being alone. Fear of hurting their feelings. Fear of having to start over, dating, seeking, and doing cartwheels trying to attract a loving partner.
I would rather stay in a marginal relationship, getting some of my needs met, while starving for genuine and unabashed love.
Show you love your partner by putting them first. Give them your time. Give them your attention and mini-connections throughout the day. And, please, make sure you express your love and affection EVERY SINGLE MORNING YOU ARE ALIVE, TOGETHER.
Good Morning, I Love You.
Are there any more powerful words? Maybe, “And here’s your delicious coffee, made with love and a touch of vanilla.”
Get in the habit of telling your partner how much you love them. Then, follow up with real action, real time, and real plans. Together.
John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
Facebook | Instagram | @wholeparent
- Don’t Wait and Don’t Settle: Dating Goals
- Searching for The Last Date: Seeking the ONE
- What Is Sexual Chemistry? Mood? Desire? Compatibility? Body Heat?
- Evolved Dating: Driven in the Non-linear World of Relationships
Here are a few of my books on Amazon:
- Single Dad Seeks: Dating Again After Divorce: Advice and Strategies on Learning How to be Loved Again
- Fall of the House of Dad: My journey through divorce, from loss to joy, again and again
- A Good Dad’s Guide to Divorce: One father’s quest to stay connected with his children
- The Sex Index: Getting Our Love Languages Right in the Bedroom
- Here Comes the Darkness: Surviving and Thriving After a Mental Illness Diagnosis
- The Third Glass: When Drinking Becomes an Issue
- The Storm Before the Divorce: When One Parent Wants Out, That’s the End
- Dating 2.0: Aiming for the Love of Your Life