The other day, Rob and I were doing errands around the city and took that time to catch up. Lately due to him finishing up his college diploma over distance, working a full time job, has commitments at our church, and taking on extra responsibilities around the house we have to make the most of our spare time together. In the car that day we decided to talk about what behaviour I do that makes him KNOW I love him and vice versa.. Then we talked more about the difference between KNOWING you are loved and FEELING the love. More on that later.
If you know my husband you know words are not his thing. Until you get to know him, he is perceived as being shy. However once you get to know him you know his “quietness” isn’t out of insecurity but out of confidence. He really doesn’t care for small talk or the need to fill silence because he is the type of person who would rather have a meaningful conversation. I really love this about him because everything he says is meaningful and fully thought out (however I am one of those blessed people he will make the small talk effort with).
I am his polar opposite! I love small talk because it can lead to great conversation. I talk too much and I’m working on being a better listener. I am not a large group person but I really enjoy my girls nights in small numbers or the one on one coffee dates. I find silence uncomfortable and I always feel I need to fill that void – again it is something that I’m working on. To throw in a Dr. Phil quote (because it’s been awhile), “Never miss a good opportunity to shut up.”
Being married to my opposite is seriously the best. I love how we naturally compliment each other’s personalities. We are both the type of people who don’t want to make the same mistakes twice or consistently hurt each other. Like all couples though there are always those one or two fights that we have once every few months because of a bad habit that is so ingrained in our personality. I am naturally impulsive and too quick to make decisions which drives him crazy and can leave him frustrated. Because Rob is detailed oriented sometimes he can be critical of where I leave the dish towel when I am done with it and when I forget to put the lid back on the toothpaste (he gave me permission to share that)!
Because we are opposite we show love differently as well. (If you haven’t heard of the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman check out the link http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ ). I tend to verbally express my love. I tell him how proud I am of him, I communicate why I love him, and I frequently share on social media how much I adore him. I also express love through quality time. I need time together whether talking, doing errands, playing video games – which I have learned to love, or just watching a movie. I am learning how to balance this because our time together is so little right now that we have to make the most out of the time we do get to have.
How Rob shows love is the opposite. He shows love through acts of service (sweet practical gestures) and physical touch. Even after almost two years of marriage he loves to be holding my hand, touching my back in public, and snuggling with me on the couch. He shows he loves me by getting groceries for us every week, making sure I always have a full water bottle, and helping prepare foods. Since my pregnancy, this has become more pronounced and I adore him for it. He may not flaunt it for the world to see and write me social media poetry but I’m okay with that because behind closed doors he is far more romantic and silly and I am blessed that he reserves that side only for me.
BUT we have discovered there is a big difference between knowing you are loved and feeling loved. As humans we tend to SHOW love the way we FEEL loved. Showing love the way I feel loved may be the most comfortable way to live but it is not going to benefit my relationships. I may not get butterflies when Rob holds my hand – how he naturally shows love – but I do when he tells me how much he adores me and why I am so special to him. He may not feel special when I want to watch a movie together – how I naturally show love – but if I take over a chore for him and have supper on the table when he walks in, he melts into a sweet puddle.
For us the biggest thing we have learned overall about love is to communicate! Go on a coffee date and ask, “What do I do that makes you feel loved?” And the answer will probably surprise you. When we did this I was shocked that how I was expressing love was not giving him that love feeling that I was intending. Regardless of this he actually gave me specific pointers of what he loves.. he is pretty great!
It is important to KNOW we are loved because feelings are fickle and flee, but feeling loved and being swept off your feet is what can help keep the romance alive!