the way someone shows love is not what makes their partner feel
loved. For example, one person may show love by looking after their
partner's practical needs, when what the partner longs for is a
hug and tender words.
exercise should help you and your partner think about the things
you need to feel loved.
You'll need two sheets of paper, a pen and about 30 minutes
get most from this exercise if you and your partner do it separately
and then share what you've learnt.
your partner's not keen, it's still worth doing, as it can help
you feel more confident about asking for what you need.
What to do
First take a sheet of paper and write: "As a child, I
felt loved when..."
write down as many things as you can think of. Your list may include
things a parent or carer said. You might remember physical affection,
time spent with you, presents bought. Or perhaps it was someone
cooking your favourite food or doing your paper round for you.
a second sheet of paper write: "I feel loved when..."
and write down all the things you can think of that your current
or previous partner(s) have done that make you feel loved.
a look at the list and think about which things you prefer. Next
time you find you're not feeling loved, remember what you've written
and ask your partner to show their love in a way that's more meaningful
If you're struggling to think of things for your lists, try reminiscing
with some old photos, or remember how you were cared for when
you were unwell.
If completing this exercise leaves you feeling uncomfortable
or you've got concerns about your relationship, try talking it
through with your partner or a trusted friend. Alternatively you
might want to consider seeing a relationship counsellor.