How To Love Your Partner

John Gray says, “Women show their love by doing a lot of little things all the time for their partner, thinking this will make him feel loved because that’s how she feels loved. Her brain is set up to be able to focus on a lot of little things at a time and not one just on big thing.

A man does one or two big things for his partner thinking that will make her feel loved. His brain is set up to focus on one big thing at a time.

Men and women need to understand and accept their differences in order to love and be loved.

Imagine women have a love tank similar to a gas tank in a car. It needs to be filled over and over again. Doing many little things is the secret for filling a woman’s love tank. A women feels loved when her tank is full. A woman cannot appreciate the big things a man does for her unless he is also doing little things too. Doing little things fulfills her primary needs to feel cared for, understood, respected appreciated and loved. She is then able to respond with greater love, trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval, and encouragement.

This is a mix of things taken from John Gray’s book Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus (first addition), mixed in with some things from The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, M.D.,  Marshall Rosenbergs NVC, and from me.

Ways to love woman:

  • When you first see her (morning and evening) give her a hug or a kiss or both
  • Ask her how her day was (just listening and being *empathetic, not trying to fix anything)
  • Give her a flower or flowers for no reason (as well as on special occasions)
  • Plan a date with her
  • Compliment her on how she looks
  • When she’s upset, *validate her feelings (don’t defend yourself, if the upset is with you)
  • When she’s upset with someone else, validate her feelings (don’t defend the other person)
  • When you are running late, call her to let her know
  • Whenever her feelings have been hurt, give her some empathy and tell her “ I’m sorry you feel hurt.” Then be silent; then be silent and just hold her if she let’s you without defending or offering solutions.
  • When you need space, let her know you just need space to think about things and that you will be back. When you’ve cooled off and you come back, talk about what was bothering you in a respectful, non-blaming way, so she doesn’t imagine the worst. (women’s brains unconsciously make up worst case scenario stories )
  • When she talks to you, give her your full attention. If you absolutely can’t, then tell her when you can
  • When she is busy doing things, ask her what you can do to help.
  • Let her know when you are leaving and when you leave give her a kiss and/or a hug.
  • Call her from work to ask how she is or to share something exciting or to tell her “I love you”
  • Tell her you love her at least once a day
  • Shower before sex and brush your teeth and perhaps put on cologne she likes
  • Offer to give her a back, head or foot massage
  • Be *affectionate with her, without being sexual
  • When holding hands stay connected by not letting your hand go limp
  • Create occasions when you can both dress up
  • Pay more attention to her than others when in public
  • Buy her little presents ie: small box of chocolates or something you know she likes
  • Write her little love notes from time to time and leave them somewhere she will notice
  • Drive slowly and safely, respecting her preferences.
  • Treat her in ways you did at the beginning of the relationship
  • Make a “fix it” list with her and offer to fix something. If you can’t do it or find someone who can. Do this weekly or monthly. Don’t let the list get to long.
  • Open the door for her
  • Offer to carry things for her
  • Show interest in what she does during the day. The people she talks to or books she’s reading.
  • Ask her how she is feeling. Then respond with *empathy, if she’s not happy or fine.
  • Verbally say “Thank you” when she does something for you
  • Apologize without defending your position, just be silent and empathetic if need be
  • When she gets her hair done take notice
  • Don’t answer the phone when sharing intimate moments or if she is sharing vulnerable feelings.
  • Negotiate in a manner that shows her that you want her to get what she wants too.
  • When having a discussion, notice when your voice goes up in volume and say you need to pause, and that you’d like to discuss this later, because you want to hear her and find a win/win solution, but you are triggered right now and can’t, but will try again after a pause.
  • Ask her if there is anything she’d like to add or delete from this list!

*Empathetic: looking at her in the eyes and showing signs that you hear and feel what she is saying by making sounds like: hmmm or ahh or ohhh. No comments about what you think she should do or should have done or try to fix anything. Just listen.

*Validating feelings: Say: “You seem really upset” and then just listen, without taking ownership of her feelings. Just let her get hers out. Then maybe see what else she is needing or wanting. (not by taking the blame for what she’s feeling, because feelings are just a sign post to what she’s needing). See if she’s needing more reassurance, support, appreciation, more love, if you can’t “sense it” ask her.  Then give it to her if you can or if you can’t say yes or no without making her feel wrong.

*Affectionate: touch her in a soothing relaxing way, give her a loving non sexual hug, hold her hand or give it a little light squeeze (hand hug) 🙂 These all raise her oxytocin (love hormone), which creates a more possitive happy mood.

Ways to love a man:

  • If he makes a mistake don’t say “ I told you so” or offer advice
  • If he disappoints you, don’t punish him
  • If he gets lost while driving don’t make a big deal out of it
  • If he forgets to pick something up you, don’t make a big deal about it
  • When you’ve hurt him, try to be understanding and apologize
  • When you ask him for support and he says no… understand, accept his limitations and don’t feel hurt or rejected. Don’t get angry at him. Find another healthy way to get support. Ideally call a girlfriend (remember women are more naturally empathetic. It can often be a huge stretch for a man)
  • Respectfully ask for support without being demanding
  • When he withdraws, don’t make him feel guilty or chase after him. Give him space, knowing it’s how he deals with emotions
  • When he apologizes for a mistake, receive it with loving acceptance and forgiveness
  • When he asks you to do something that you can’t, don’t give a list of why you can’t, just say I can’t. If you can do it later say so.
  • When you can do what he asks, stay in a good mood about it
  • Be happy to see him
  • Notice when he does things for you and appreciate it
  • When you are upset with him, go away to center yourself and come back more centered with a loving heart. Hopefully with clarity on what you’re needing so you can make a specific doable request.
  • Enjoy having sex with him. If need be show him or tell him what you’d like
  • Be tactful and kind when expressing disapproval
  • Share negative feelings in a centered way without blaming, rejecting or being disapproving of him.
  • Don’t give driving advice
  • Ask for his support for what you are needing rather than dwelling on what he’s done wrong
  • Ask him what he’d like to add or delete from this list!

 Patty Gates, Love Consultant

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