Most people seem to think about love as a feeling. It’s that warm butterfly sensation you get when you’re around a particular person. And certainly that is part of romantic love. But actual love is not so one-dimensional. Love is how we respond to others, how we feel their emotions with them, how we support them, how we behave toward them and around them.
Admittedly, the feeling of romantic love is incredibly important because it’s the starter button for lasting intimate connection. But it’s hardly what long-term romantic love looks like. Lasting romantic intimacy is less of a feeling and more of an action verb. When you truly love someone, your actions should reflect that love.
If you are struggling in your current relationship (for whatever reason) but you know that you do truly love your partner and want to make things work, taking the following actions can help.
- Be honest and trustworthy. Mutual trust is a huge part of any long-term relationship. If you’ve done something to damage trust in your relationship, you need to be rigorously honest in all aspects of life from here on. If your partner sees you being honest and forthright in all of your actions, both in and out of your relationship, he or she will find it easier to trust you again.
- Feel your partner’s feelings. In long-term relationships, empathy is as important as trust. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the experience of another person. If they’re hurting, you’re hurting. If they’re happy, you’re happy. When you actively empathize with another person, it becomes much easier to accept his or her ups and downs and quirky behaviors.
- Use words like we and our instead of I and my. A great way to actively express your love is to use inclusive words that show you value your relationship. Don’t refer to your home as my house, refer to it as our house. Don’t refer to your kids my kids, refer to them as our kids. Both you and your partner will notice this seemingly insignificant change.
- Fight the problem, not each other. No matter how in-tune you are with your partner, you will inevitably disagree about certain things. This is normal. The trick is resolving your conflicts in ways that don’t destroy intimacy. One useful tactic is for you and your partner, at the start of any argument, to pause and view yourselves allies and on the same team. That way, instead of fighting each other, you are fighting the problem—whatever the problem happens to be.
- Don’t just say it, live it. Telling a person that you love them is nice, but, as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. This is no less true with love than anything else. This doesn’t, however, mean you need to resort to extravagant gestures. In fact, the little things will be far more meaningful in the long run. Most importantly, you need to spend quality time with your partner. It doesn’t matter much what you choose to do together, as long as your partner understands that your goal is to spend time together.
Needless to say, the suggestions listed above are not the only ways you can express love. They are simply a few ideas that can help move forward on the path to deeper emotional intimacy and connection. For more suggestions on how to improve your relationship, stay tuned to this website.
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