We all like compliments. We like when our partners tell us we look nice or that we look good in black. What we really love is the stuff that’s a little deeper. We love when our partners say, “You are an amazing parent,” or “You are a wonderful person and I’m proud to be with you.”
That stuff is deep. We need to share that stuff. We need to remind ourselves and our partners why we’re doing this whole crazy relationship thing in the first place.
Ok, so now that we’ve checked our Love Maps, we’re headed to the next stop on the love train.
Share Fondness and Admiration.
Couples who come to therapy have normally waited SIX YEARS since first beginning to have problems. So, it’s usually a crisis situation by the time they come in… like “I will throw her overboard the next time we’re on a boat” type thing.
OK, so not that bad hopefully, but still. If Goldie and Kurt can make it through Overboard and live happily ever after then we all can.
What were we talking about? Oh yes, Fondness. Admiration. Such simple words, so hard to do. Especially when there’s SIX (1…2…3…4…5…6) years of misery, contempt, boredom, irritation, loneliness, etc. all bubbling under the surface.
Is this your relationship? A tar pit of doom and despair?
Fondness and Admiration means expressing what you like about your partner. Sure, maybe it’s not so great now, but what did you like in the beginning? Do you remember when everything was unicorns with rainbow ice cream cones and hot cherry air balloons? Close your eyes and think about it. Do you see it? No? OK, well you get the point. It’s that bright and shiny feeling.
What did you like about him/her?
Stop thinking about Brad Pitt. Focus.
Were they nice to little old ladies crossing the street? Did they say “Please” and “Thank you” when you got them a napkin at McDonalds? Did they like Kung Fu movies and Chinese food, too?
OMG, I love King Fu. You do?
Think about it. Now tell that person.
As the prophet Kanye West once said, “If you love a person you should go ahead and tell ‘em/ People never get their flowers while they can still smell ‘em”.
Wise, wise words.
So yes, share these things with the person you love. Shout it from a mountain, hold a radio over your head, write it on a side walk, or just walk right up to them and say “Hey, I really like you in that blue shirt. Totally brings out your ab muscles.”
Think about how these things make you feel when you hear them from others, especially the people you respect and love the most. Now, give that gift to someone who you thought was bright and shiny at one point. Take that silver polish out and give them a good rub down and look at them and see your reflection gleaming right back at you. That’s love, my pretties. That’s love.