“You mean it’s not?” Gasp! “But when I see him, I feel butterflies, my heart flutters, and my knees buckle. If that’s not love, then what is it?” Those may be physical feelings, yes, but those feelings don’t amount to genuine love.
In order to be more loving, you have to understand what love truly is. It’s not just a feeling. It’s a Commitment. It’s an Action. It’s a Decision.
Those initial feelings–the butterflies, the heart flutters, and the buckling knees, are all part of “falling in love.” It’s like a knee-jerk reaction. It’s not planned, and it doesn’t last. It’s a short honeymoon period that ends if the relationship lasts for any length of time.
It’s understandable why we’re confused about love. Hollywood has put a spell on us. They have us believe that two people can fall in love in hours (look at The Sun is Also a Star ); or days (look at Titanic), or through emails (look at You’ve Got Mail), and a host of other spell-binding ways. But that’s not true love!
True, genuine love begins after the spell wears out, after the honeymoon ends and real life begins. This is great news! If we know that actually loving someone starts at the end of the buckling knees, then we’re prepared, we don’t give up. We don’t think, “Oh, no, it’s over! My heart doesn’t flutter anymore, and the butterflies? What butterflies?”
If you’re currently in a relationship that you feel is circling the drain, or one in which love has flown the coop, or so you think, then you’ve got a nice surprise coming. It doesn’t have to be over!
Read on and learn some of the doable ways in which you can learn how to love — become more loving, win your partner back, and enjoy a satisfying relationship. Once you know what genuine love looks like, it will be easy to implement.
You might be thinking, This is too good to be true. And that’s fine, you can’t always help what you think.
But here’s the thing, it isn’t too good to be true. You can become a more loving partner by applying the following suggestions to your relationship.
Are you ready to become a more loving partner? You look ready to me. Let’s go!
1. Commit to Your Relationship
Decide that you are going to be in the relationship; that you are going to work toward its growth; that you will nourish it to the best of your ability.
Without that commitment, you don’t have the necessary foundation to build a loving relationship. That is why this first step is crucial.
2. Invest Time
The workaholic who works 60 hours a week might say, “I love my family so much. I’m working hard to provide for them.” That’s not love. Remember, love is not a feeling; it’s not words. It’s an action that you decide to take.
M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book, The Road Less Traveled, states,
“…love is an action, an activity.”
One of the most important ways to demonstrate love is to spend time with the person you love. After all, time is our most prized possession. You show someone you love them by spending quality time with them.
If you want to become more loving, find time every day to connect with your loved one. You can do this with a text, a phone call, or a lunch date. Be creative.
3. Communicate Your Love
There are countless and effective ways to do this. When my husband notices I’m in a hurry, he makes the bed for me in order to give me a few additional minutes in the morning. If I run out of a certain food I love, he stops at the store to pick it up; he saves the last of anything for me. If he never said the words I love you, I would still know he does. Clearly, his actions are speaking loudly.
Find ways to communicate your love through action. Bring home a treat, do the dishes, make dinner, leave a note in his favorite coffee mug, etc. Before he leaves for the gym, my husband takes off his chain and sets it on his nightstand. When he’s not around, I shape the chain into a heart and leave it for him to find. It always puts a smile on his face when he does. You get the idea.
As a writer, one of my favorite guidelines is, show, don’t just tell. By doing this, the writer provokes a reaction from their readers, helps them feel the emotion the character is feeling. This works in real life as well.
Take an action, however small, that SHOWS your partner you love them.
4. Be Spontaneous
Relationships can fall into ruts. Years together can dull the excitement felt in the beginning when everything is new. It doesn’t have to stay that way.
Spontaneity can liven any relationship. Imagine yourself walking into the kitchen, wondering what to make for dinner, not feeling like cooking at all. Suddenly, your husband walks in and says, “Take off that apron, I’m taking you out to dinner.” How would you feel? I don’t know, but I’m guessing you’d want to jump for joy.
Or you come home, see your partner sitting in front of the TV and say, “Let’s go, I’ve made reservations at a great Air B&B. Pack your bags.”
Spontaneity adds a thrill to any relationship. Try surprising your partner this week!
5. Acknowledge the Thoughtful Things Your Partner Does
One of the ways to be a more loving partner is to acknowledge all your partner does for you. You might be taking your partner for granted and not even realizing it.