If you think of a relationship as a living, breathing thing (as I do), then you know you must nurture it and put energy into it, in order to receive energy from it. Whether you’re celebrating one month or seventy years together, a fresh idea can’t hurt. Below is a round-up of how a few willing couples make their partners feel loved. Their answers are meant to inspire. ‘Tis the season for love, after all.
Angel and Cynthia Gonzalez, together 2.5 years
Angel: Give her random hugs! No words, just grab her randomly and give her a long hug and a kiss!
Cynthia: To make my husband feel loved, I always try to compliment him on many things: What he’s wearing, a delicious dinner he made, his sweet way of interacting with the boys, or something he did around the house. I also try to thank him and then follow it up with a hug or a kiss so that not only does he know that I appreciate him, but that I’m attracted to him as well. I want him to know that his being a good man makes him that much sexier to me. I believe that laughter is key: We laugh a lot and when I acknowledge his silliness or laugh at his jokes I am letting him know how good he makes me feel (which I know in turn touches his heart and makes him feel loved).
Courtney Soloff England and Josh England, together 16 years
Courtney: Allowing him to sleep in, buying him coffee from Dunkin Donuts, watching a movie he wants to watch even though I don’t want to, booking vacations sans children… this is how I show love.
Josh: It’s the playing songs that you know mean something to each of us, scratching her back when she gets her nightly itch, being able to know what she is thinking without even saying a word, saying the exact thing that would make her smile in that moment, and being a complete goofball just to get a smile and a kiss. Plus: Day in and day out, going to two different places to get her coffee every morning because, to her, it only tastes good coming from a Dunkin Donuts, even though we have their coffee at home.
Jess Markowitz, in a relationship for 2.5 years
We are big believers in the Love Languages! I feel loved through affection, and actually hearing it verbally, while my partner responds really positively to acts of service — for example, recently I got these hooks for our door to hang all our towels and all those “clothes that aren’t quite dirty yet but you’ve worn once” and she was so excited and saw it as a huge favor!
Ashley Benson Wenter and Cory Wenter, together 12.5 years
Ashley: Making him coffee in the morning, physical connection, being intentional about saying “Thank you” and “I appreciate you,” and bacon — anything that has to do with bacon!
Cory: Tuck her into bed every single night, always make sure to kiss her when coming or going, try really hard to be a good father and husband, try to make new and interesting meals, try to create new and different experiences to get out of our daily grind and focus on each other and the good parts of life.
Linda and George Rivera, married 55 years
Linda: Talking TO each other, not AT each other, and always appreciating the little things. Fifty-five years later, it still works.
George: Always being able to rely on and trust each other, especially when you go away for fifteen months, and communicating.
Joanna Spilberg and Jacob Spilberg, together 9 years
Joanna: Definitely harder to remember to make him feel loved with a newborn in the house, but extra important for that very reason! Communicating gratitude with intention, no matter how trivial it seems (“I am so grateful that you go to work every day to provide for our family; thank you for making another pot of coffee even though you had to grind fresh beans”) and eye contact… with the baby sometimes when we go to bed at night I realize we haven’t even looked at each other all day!
Jacob: Saying “I appreciate you” often, and making eye contact. Also, giving hugs and kisses.
Edith Marie Ratinov, in a relationship 6 years
Saying “Thank you” often and truly listening to what he says and requests, and then following through with actions as much as possible.
Andrea Perry Kaiser and Ric Kaiser, together 40 years
Andrea: Every day I show my love in small ways. A special look is given. A genuine thank you. A show of appreciation. A gentle touch. A homemade dinner. Listening and paying attention. A shared laugh. Letting go of petty shit. Coconut oil.
And consideration, communication, and cooperation, the three Cs of marriage. Consideration: I remember when Ricky went out with “the boys” and, around midnight, he would call me to say goodnight. His friends would get on his case for calling me, but he was just being considerate, knowing I would sleep better after he called. Communication: Always speak your mind. You won’t always agree, but you can agree to disagree. Cooperation: When you disagree, one is usually more passionate about the issue. Sometimes you give in, and sometimes you don’t. If it’s not that big of a deal, give in. Let go. Compromise. And ALWAYS kiss goodnight.
Ric: I find joy and purpose in making Andrea’s path lighter. Recently I started preparing meals with her, instead of just cleaning up. It’s actually enjoyable sharing the experience and I’m not as helpless as I once thought! I always prepare her iced coffee every day I’m home, and have the newspaper by where she sits and try to always begin the day with a kiss or hug, as well as end the day the same.
…and Suzanne Rapoport, who wanted to express self-love!
I make my partner feel loved by telling her she’s exactly who she’s supposed to be and she is the only person in the world that is uniquely her and she is beautiful just as she is and should never deprive the world of that by trying to be like anyone else. And that partner is ME. Hooray for self-love!
Something I’ve learned from my marriage (husband and I are celebrating eight years together), is that if you DON’T know what makes your partner feel loved in a particular moment or phase of life, ASK! I find it incredibly romantic to be asked what my needs are, and I know he does, too. Now, go forth and spread love!
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