Many people mistakenly believe that love is simply a feeling. They believe that when we lose this feeling, we are “falling out of love” or they’ll say things like “ I don’t love you anymore.” When the love is real and the feelings are pure, love never simply just dies or fades out. When the love is real, one person or both choose to stop loving; then comes the feeling of not feeling loved or loving someone, but it’s always a choice.
Love or Infatuated?
One thing we can clear up is many people aren’t in love or love someone. They are simply infatuated. What this means is they don’t love the person they are with, they are in love with how that person makes them feel, they are in love with how the person looks or the benefit that person brings them, they are in love with the thought of being in love, and they are in love not with the person, but with the false image they made in their mind for that person. So when it comes to being infatuated it is entirely true to have one person want the love, but not want to love you back. Either way those relationships are short lived, and are mainly led by lust. When you truly love someone you of course find them attractive, handsome and beautiful, but you are in love with who the actual person is. You are in love with their character, their values, their compassion and many more things. So, then we may ask, if two people do truly love each other. why is it then that the marriage fails, why is the divorce on the table, why is it the relationship that had such a strong promise, fail?
The answer is simple, because of their choice to not love.
Real Marriages-Real Relationships.
First thing is there are the obvious reasons why many relationships don’t work. Reasons like lack of communication, values,or wrong focus. We aren’t talking about these obvious reasons, we are talking about the marriages, the relationships where communication is good, values tend to match up and love and commitment are there. How is it that these relationships fail?
When you enter a relationship with another person, you commit to them and the relationship. Many people believe that once you stop feeling butterflies or stop feeling love that you no longer love that person, but that’s not how it should be. Love is something you show, It’s something you decide to do. When you talk with love, you act with love. then that’s when the feeling of love arises. It’s true you won’t always feel loved, but you can always decide to love someone. Being committed in a relationship means you aren’t only committed in the good times, but the bad times too! Even when you don’t feel like loving someone, you do it anyway because being committed means turning a promise into real life. Love isn’t passive, it doesn’t just happen, it takes hard work, determination, love isn’t always easy, but above all else it’s always worth it. When two partners are committed, each partner has to self-evaluate to see if they themselves are acting in love and respect. How many times do we hear people in relationships blame the other for everything? Why not ask ourselves, “what can I do better, what have I stopped doing that made my partner feel loved?” There are times where our partner does lack to make us feel loved, but why not request, why not communicate in love and ask them to help fix this problem instead of blaming them and demanding things. You can’t demand love, because it is always a choice.
How is love a choice & what are the ways to show love?
How is it possible that you can have someone say they love you and be telling the complete truth, but with the same truth having them not show you love or make you feel loved? This is where marriages, and relationships fail even when two people genuinely love each-other. It’s because we all receive love differently, we all actually show our love differently. So, in essence what might make one person feel loved will make another person not really feel anything. I recently read a book called “The 5 love languages.” I was intrigued by what I knew and what I found out. Judge me if you might for being young and talking about love, but wisdom doesn’t come with age it comes with God, obsessively learning, and being open-minded.
The 5 signs of Love.
(Obviously, Not in order)
- Words of love & affirmations
- Acts of service
- Receiving thoughtful gifts
- Quality time
- Physical touch
I mentioned how we all receive and give love differently. It’s all based upon many different things like childhood memories, watching our parents, our culture and many more. Now that we know this, we know why two people who truly love each other may not feel or show love to each other. We now know that someone can truly say they love you and still have you feeling not so loved. When we have our partner its huge to find out how our partners receive love. It’s possible to have two of the 5 signs, but usually one is dominant above others and that’s the sign of love you should really focus on, but without losing sight of the others. It also important to know how you recieve love to find out why you feel a certain way or why you feel the lack of love from your partner.
This is where frustration can settle in from one partner when they don’t understand how their spouse doesn’t feel loved, like you keep telling them you love them and they mean the world to you.how is it that they don’t feel loved? It’s possible that you receive love by words of love and affirmations and you’re doing the mistake of thinking that they also receive love with words like you do. That’s also why when they tell you they love you and you mean the world to them, you feel loved, happy and without a doubt in the world. Let’s say that your partner receives love by quality time and you receive love by words of love and affirmation. Your partner always reminds you by telling you they love you and you get those words stuck in your head then you might think there is nothing wrong with the relationship. You say it back to your partner and expect them to feel the same way as you do. If they receive love by quality time your worlds of love and affirmations simply won’t have the same impact. If you remind your partner all the time that you love them but lack to make time for him/her, lack to show up randomly, or stay with him in tough times. This is where you might truly love him, but he won’t feel loved.
Lacking to know your partners way of receiving love can cause them to feel like they are taken for granted, let’s use the example above. If you have a partner who’s primary way of receiving love is quality time and yours is Words of love & affirmations. Your partner might tell you, they feel like they’re being taken for granted because they are aware that you know they love you and you might very well know they love you too, but since you lack to spend time with them or make time for them, they will question if you do truly love them. Which will cause the feeling of being taken for granted.
I’ll use me as another example, I’m one of the few that my way of receiving love is quality time being the primary one with physical touch and acts of service being right behind and with words of affirmation being close to the bottom followed right behind my other ones. If I was to have someone lack the first three which would be quality time, physical touch,and acts of services then the minimum I’d expect would be words of love & affirmation through text or words themselves. If I got none, I would feel very empty as far as love and taken for granted. Since receiving gifts does no impact on me then words of affirmation would be the least to keep me feeling loved. There are people with just one really dominant way of receiving love and there are rarely people like me with a few options making it easier for the partner. Everyone is different it’s important to find out yours and your partners way of receiving love. It’s true that it’s harder to love one person with just one dominant love language, but once you know it then it becomes easy. It’s also easy to love a person with multiple love languages because even if you don’t know it, you can do multiple things to make the partner feel loved.
It’s the same with physical touch lets say your way of receiving love is physical touch and your partners is quality time. When you are out in public you want to hold hands, when you’re with them you want to kiss them, make love to them and so you might feel full of love, but if you lack to actually spend time talking with your partner who receives love with quality time and being there for them in tough times, just sitting next to them all day. They won’t feel loved in fact they might even start thinking that you just want to have sex all the time, that you just want to kiss them, when in reality you just want to make them also feel loved.
Be aware of knowing each others way of receiving love. Love is a choice, yes sometimes we don’t realize we have a choice to love because we lack understanding and knowledge of this sort, but no matter what Love is a choice. If you tell your partners you feel unloved, taken for granted, or you don’t love them anymore then it’s time to sit down and talk to them about requests you’d be willing to make for you to feel loved. Whether that’s a text every once and a while, a letter, a gift, more quality time or anything, but make the request and make it specific and make sure you ask not demand. When you demand things and get them the love itself disappears, but like Gary Chapman said “if you request it gives your partner the choice to do the act or not to do the act, it gives them the choice to love.”
Receiving Love signs and what they mean.
There are many examples I can get into, but I will simply list each love language below and I won’t get into how to find out your love language, but I strongly do encourage you to read the book “ The 5 love languages by Gary Chapman” or take a test online to find out what your love language is although they aren’t extremely accurate.
- Words of love & affirmations- A person who’s primary way of receiving love is through words love and affirmation means that the smallest compliments make their day, simple things as “ you look great today!” or “ you look handsome/beautiful.” The same way you can make them feel like the most loved person in the world by simple compliments, you can extremely hurt them with insults and negative words. Choose to love.
- Acts of services– The person who goes of by “acts of services” usually loves the phrase of actions speak louder than words. This way of receiving love usually requires the partner to do things the person might like that may require time, mindfulness, and effort. Such as cooking, doing their chores, planning a random date, showing up to their work, mowing the lawn, and doing laundry. With all these you must do them out of love, to show love not because you simply “have to” if you do things out of negativity and forcefully your partner won’t feel loved. If you aren’t mindful and do things that might hurt your partner that show actions such as hanging around your exes, other men that flirt with you, girls that flirt with you and you acknowledge those people and enjoy those things then you partner will be extremely hurt and see that as act of service in a negative way.
- Receiving gifts- The person who receives love by receiving gifts isn’t a materialistic person, the person who enjoys these things enjoys the thought of the gift not necessarily the gift itself. Sure they might love the gift, but it doesn’t have to a Gucci bag or a Ferrari. Vice versa if you’re wealthy and you give you a dollar gift, that isn’t very loving either. The person who has this love language loves the thought of love, the fact you thought of them when you bought or made the gift. It’s the same person that you can be walking down the road and pick a flower and it will melt their heart. It’s the same person that you you can be at the store and buy them a action figure because you thought of them.
- Quality time- The person who receives love by quality time is the person who thinks words can be just words, they want your focus to be primarily on them. If you’re talking with them and you are on your smartphone or you rather watch tv when they are right next to you, that will have them feeling unloved & unimportant. That doesn’t mean you can be having netflix and chill it means that the tv is on but they want to spend time with you, not netflix. If you cancel plans, if you sleep in, if you stand them up, that’s a sure way of losing this person and making them feel unloved and really hurt them.
- Physical touch– The person who receives love by physical touch is the same person who feels extremely loved if in public you hold their hands, hug them, and kiss them. Now this doesn’t mean exaggerate it and grab each other in inappropriately in public, but it does mean whether it’s in public or private place if you hold your partner’s hands or rubber their shoulders and such things they will feel extremely loved. If this person’s primary way of receiving love is through physical touch that means gifts and words won’t make them feel loved if they don’t have a physical touch. If you neglect a kiss, hug or holding hands or even touching the person they will be very hurt and feel extremely unloved.
Chapman, G. D., & Green, J. (2017). The 5 love languages: The secret to love that lasts. Chicago: Northfield Publishing.
The Five Love Languages And What They Mean. (2018, September 07). Retrieved from https://cratedwithlove.com/five-love-languages-meaning