verbalist

Can we talk about love?

Seriously for a second. A lot of relationships I know of that fell apart had a lot to do with two things - communication and showing love. I already tell you guys all the time how important communication is (VERY FUCKING IMPORTANT!!!), but maybe we should talk about how we show love.

Firstly - you and your partner might not even show love in the same way. That happens. But as long as you can figure out how each other best gives and receives love, this isn’t always a big deal.

Al and I are big verbalists, first and foremost. We tell each other all the time that we love each other. Every other text is an I love you. But we have other ways we show each other as well.

Al is a big fan of something she calls The Domestic Touch. Like, say we’re in the kitchen and making dinner or doing dishes or something stupid and banal. If I even just simply touch the small of her back, her arm, her shoulder, anything. She says little things like that mean a lot to her. Because I can’t even do the most mundane of tasks without being affectionate. I like to hold her hand. And just hold her - not necessarily crazy make outs or sexy times - just holding her.

And I really love two things that Alex does. One is that she makes a concerted effort to maintain positive relationships with the people I care about. Not just nice, friendly. She makes lunch dates with my mum. Remembers my coworkers birthdays. Calls my sister and asks how the kids are. When my coworker Ollie’s wife wasn’t well during their last pregnancy, she went around there and helped with some housework, took her some food. The other thing is something so basic. She obviously knows that I work out a lot. And as a result I can get kinda sore. If she notices me moving a little stiffer or slower, she’ll do something like run me a radox bath or give me a massage, without asking.

Not everyone demonstrates love the same way. And not everyone receives it the same. It’s something that can be worked around and worked at. But leaving things unchecked or having styles that really don’t work with each other can be a problem.

I’ve known couples who’ve broken up because one person thought the other didn’t love them because they didn’t hear the words enough. The other party wasn’t good with saying it aloud, but was constantly saying other things like “hope you got there safe” or “this made me think of you today” or “I just want you to know how happy you make me”.

I’ve known a couple where one person really craved big grand gestures and spontaneous romance. And the other was just overwhelmed at the mere thought of such things. And even though they loved each other very much, it didn’t work out. Person two felt like they were failing at loving person one adequately and didn’t want to end up resenting them.

Love is both an incredibly simple and incredibly complex thing. And like all good things, it requires constant communication and effort on both parts for it to succeed. So please, people, when you’re in a relationship or even looking to be in a relationship, just make sure you keep your eyes open. And keep talking.

Brooklyn, NY

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