You might think love is a magic in the air, that particular indefinable something that is beyond description. Sure there is a magic about it. It feels fantastic when you are swept up in the feelings of love. However, I assure you that it can be described. Even more, it can be predicted and managed, just like every other human behaviour.
You have specific strategies for everything you do. Strategies are no more than a particular set of steps and conditions that you follow.
When you get up in the morning, you put one leg out of bed first – always, and then the other. You sit up, you stand and stretch. You lead with either the right or left foot as you walk to the bathroom. If tomorrow I made sure that you had to do each of those things differently, you would feel “wrong”. Just putting the other foot out of bed first would be very uncomfortable. It isn’t part of your waking up strategy.
You probably aren’t aware of the strategies you use for most things in life, and yet they exist. Attraction and love are no exception. Working with a life coach can help you identify and create strategies that work for you in all areas of your life.
Let’s start with attraction. There are specific actions that signal to you when you are attracted to someone or when they are attracted to you.
It might be a look that catches your eye, or the sound of their voice, or the way they move. Think about the last time you felt a romantic pull. What drew you to that person? What was happening? Where were you? “He was just standing up against the counter at the coffee shop and chatting with the barista so easily. I thought, wow, he is so tall and handsome. I could hear her laughing, and I knew he was being friendly and making her feel special.”
What happened? You have a lot of information about what signalled attraction for you at this moment.
First, you had a visual: POW. You saw you liked.
Second, you heard: chatting & laughing and you made the association to friendliness.
Third, you indicated how it would make YOU feel: special.
You can conclude that when it comes to attraction words or audible stimulus seems to be pretty important to you.
Now, what about in a love relationship. Once things have progressed, and we are beyond attraction, there are styles that we all have of giving and receiving love. Typically, early on, we shower affection in all kinds of ways: we show it, we say it, and we feel our way. During the honeymoon, couples are making an effort to look their best. They are going out on dates, writing little love notes, whispering sweet nothings, saying I love you, holding hands, hugging, kissing. That ticks all of the boxes.
Then gradually, you start to get comfy. Now, you are bound to cut some corners. You still love your partner, and you want to show it, and so you will do what you think they want. Unless you have paid attention, this means you will do what you want. If you like to be touched, you will be touchy/feely. If you like to hear “I love you”, and need reassuring words, you will say it, and if you want to have things done for you, you will do something for your partner.
That sounds wonderful.
Except, if it is not their style, then all of the effort you are making is virtually wasted. Your partner won’t feel it, and you will feel unappreciated for your efforts. What you may be doing is turning them off, and not on. If your partner is not a toucher, and you are up in their space touch, touch, touching all the time, they are likely to feel less loving not more.
If your partner needs to hear “I love you” and you are out there washing their car, they are likely to feel neglected. Mismatched love styles can lead to very unhappy partnerships, even when two people love each other very much. So start to pay attention.
What do YOU like? That is an excellent place to start. If you don’t know what your style is, how can your partner meet your needs?
Then find out what your partner likes? How do you even find out?
Maybe you ask, that is an option.
Or you can start to observe. When you write a little note and put it in their lunch, do they make a fuss of it or toss it aside? When you come up behind them for a sneak embrace do they melt into you or tense up? When you say “I love you”, do they pause and smile or do they fire back “ditto” and move on.
Watch, learn, listen to what your partner does for you. That is an excellent way to find out what they want. Remember, you have a tendency to give based on your preference, well, so do they. What are they giving to you? Mirror that.
Last but not least, speak up. Tell your partner what you need too. Have the courage to speak your truth and both of you can have your love needs met.