A large portion of the couples that I see come in because there is a lack of connection and closeness. You’ve even probably felt this way before; the spark that you had when you were first dating sometimes just burns out. There are a hundred different possibilities for why your relationship has gone down this path, but a crucial piece could be that your partner doesn’t feel loved.
Not feeling loved can impact your relationship by making your partner view you in a very negative way. It sets the foundation for resentment, and they end up in a very unhappy place. And if they don’t feel loved, it makes it hard for them to reciprocate by showing love to you in return, turning it into an awful cycle of resentment.
So instead of letting your relationship go down this path, there are lots of things you can do to stop this cycle before it even starts.
Ways to Make Your Partner Feel Loved
1. Tell your partner what you like about them (Words of Affirmation)
Try this if you and your partner aren’t know for complimenting each other on a regular basis. Hearing very clearly what your partner likes about you can instantly put you in a better mood. It’s hard to be mad at someone who is describing their adoration for you, and makes you view them positively when you’re the one doing the complimenting.
2. Touch each other more (Physical Touch)
You might be thinking this is just talking about having sex more. While sex is very important to your relationship, maintaining a physical connection with your partner on a day-to-day basis is even more important. Things like holding hands, kissing, cuddling, or even a hug are crucial.
3. Spend more time alone together (Quality Time)
Instead of wanting to hear your partner loves you, you may really want to spend more time with them. Being the only thing that your partner is focused on can jump-start that feeling of connection; that neither of your phones or the TV is getting in-between the two of you, but that you’re paying all your attention to your partner.
4. Do more favors for your partner (Acts of Service)
Many individuals resonate with a more indirect display of love. It can feel overwhelming when you work hard at your job, have kids and pets you need to care for, and dinner to make. If your partner was to do the laundry, cut the grass, or make your coffee for you in the morning, you could feel incredibly loved. This act of service to you means that your partner understands your busy day, and wants to make it easier on you.
5. Buy your partner a gift (Receiving Gifts)
Many need a more tangible display of love. You might feel very loved if your partner was to put in the thought and effort to get you a meaningful gift. This doesn’t make either of you materialistic, because it’s not the actual gift that matters – it’s the thought that is put into that gift.
Find Out What Your Partner Likes and Do it
If these sound familiar to you, you might have heard of The Five Love Languages before. These five ‘tips’ are the love languages that you can “speak” . A major reason why couples feel unloved is that their love languages are different. The way that you give and receive love will often be different from how your partner gives and receives it. When you first start dating someone you will usually give love in all of these ways, but as the relationship continues you settle in to your preferred ways of giving and receiving.
Now what can you do? Bring this post to your partner, and talk about your love languages. To do this, both of you should pick your primary and secondary language. Then, think of and discuss times that your partner gave love in a way that was very satisfying to you and left you with a feeling of great connection. Use this knowledge to your advantage. In the future, try to give love in the way that your partner wants to receive it more often. For example, if your primary language is words of affirmation but your partner’s is acts of service, try doing them a favor instead of telling them that you appreciate them. Your partner should do the same so that both of you will feel loved every day.
Ben King is a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate at The Marriage and Family Clinic who focuses on working with couples experiencing sexual difficulties. In his spare time Ben loves to cook and is secretly aspiring to be the next Iron Chef