Many of us see romantic love as a foundation of marriage or romantic partnership. When you make that commitment to your loved one, you hope that your love will last forever and that things will be as exciting and romantic as they are at the start of the relationship.
It is easy to be in love at the beginning of meeting your special someone. All of your thoughts and actions at that time are devoted to your new partner. It is effortless to keep them in mind, and give them all of your attention during a time when your love chemistry is at an ultimate high!
Research shows that the chemical composition in the brain of people newly in love/lust changes dramatically, and that their brains show a dramatic increase in dopamine and endorphin, the feel good chemicals.
It is impossible to sustain that type of excitement and preoccupation with one person for an extended period of time. With time, your feelings shift and change into feelings of security, safety and attachment.
That transition can be difficult for some couples, as it comes behavioural change. One, or both of you. might stop doing those special things that you used to do for the other. Those very acts that you found most romantic, special, exciting, and that made you fall in love in the first place, suddenly become absent from your relationship, leaving it mundane and monotonous. It is no longer effortless to perform those actions that used to make your partner feel loved.
Real and Lasting Love
Real and lasting love comes when you make a conscious decision to act in a way that would make your significant other feel loved again. It is no longer effortless, as it requires awareness, motivation and a conscious decision to do something that pleases your partner and fills in their ‘love tank’.
The ‘love tank’ was coined by Dr. Chapman that describes and measures the feeling of being loved. If your tank is full, you feel loved and cared for by your partner and do the same in return. But if you feel ignored, not listened to, or neglected, you will experience an empty ‘love tank’.
How do you consistently fill your partner’s ‘love tank’?
Apart from just making a conscious choice, you'll also want to know the best way for your partner to feel loved. Although love is a shared feeling, each one of us shows love in a different way. Some of us love to give gifts, while others like to spent time together.
Often these ways can be influenced by the way we were brought up. We might learn from our parents how to express love or we might be missing a particular expression of love from them and crave it from our partners instead.
The Language of Love!
Dr. Chapman described ways of expressing and receiving love as love languages, and identified 5 specific love languages.
Words of Affirmation. For some of us, words carry a lot of importance. Hearing things like “I love you” can be essential for feeling loved. If unsolicited compliments make your partner light up, it might be their love language.
Gifts. This is not to imply that you partner has a materialistic streak. If gifts is their language, the feeling of love comes from the thoughtfulness, care, and time that would go into selecting or making a gift. The value of the gift itself might be irrelevant.
Acts of service. For some of us, having our floors vacuumed or the dishes done by our partners can be the ultimate expression of love. If you think that this is your partner’s language, simply asking them “Can I do that for you?” can make the sparks fly.
Physical touch. This language goes beyond just sexual interaction. A person for whom physical touch is a primary love language, is someone who likes hugs, kisses, and holding hands. Physical proximity is important to them.
To discover your primary love language, take a love language quiz by clicking here.
If you would like to learn more about love languages, and to establish a deeper bond with your partner, connect with Viktoria, one of the Vida’s Relationship Counsellors.
By Viktoria Ivanova, Certified Canadian Counsellor & Psychotherapist.
Viktoria is a Certified Canadian Counsellor and Relationship Specialist at Vida Relationships who is accepting new clients for couples and individual counselling in Vancouver, BC. Contact her here to book and appointment.
Information source: The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.