Loving Smarter

How can an otherwise intelligent man be such a dumb lover?

For over twenty years I have bought my wife those very expensive chocolates to show her I love her, only to slooowly realise that for her it was more of an annoyance than a gift of love.  I love chocolate and find gift giving as a natural expression of love.  Why did it not ‘speak’ the same thing to her?

Well it turns out that her natural way of experiencing love was through the closeness that came from attentive intimate conversation and acts of service. Admittedly, my eating of those said chocolates probably didn’t help.

Different Love Profiles

As it turns out, like most couples, we have different Love Profiles.  Everyone experiences love differently; biology, upbringing, personality and experiences all influence the way an individual likes and needs to be loved. Some people like to be loved through gestures of service, others feel loved by intimate conversation, some like to be respected while others appreciate shared recreational activities, receiving gifts and so on. Your Love Profile is like a personal love signature – a unique set of gestures that ‘speak’ of love to you more powerfully than others.

Having different Love Profiles shouldn’t be a problem – in fact it’s one of the things that make relationships a rich and wonderful experience. However it becomes a problem because each of us instinctively expresses love the way that we most like to receive it. So if affirmation and verbal expressions of devotion are important to me, I will naturally tend to express love that way, irrespective of whether that is important to the other.

Occasionally, there is a strong overlap in a couple’s Love Profiles (lucky them!). For most of us however, there are significant differences. And it’s in these differences that we find the sources of recurring disappointment and friction. We may both be trying really hard to express our love, but we find ourselves being ineffective and misunderstood.  The problem is that while we are genuinely trying, we are using a ‘language’ that does not speak “LOVE” loudly or clearly to the other.

Fortunately the remedy is simple. To be effective in my efforts to love, I need to learn how my spouse best experiences love; and then express my love in this way – even when it seems a bit foreign to me.  This is intentional, intelligent and, most importantly, effective. This is loving smarter rather than harder.

SmartLoving: giving of yourself to your spouse in the way they most like and need to be loved.

SmartLoving is genuine loving because it’s other-centred and focused on loving your spouse on their terms rather than your own.

It is also smart because it’s effective. It helps you to express love in a way so that the other really experiences your love. And let’s face it, who can afford to waste precious time, energy or money loving in a way that doesn’t hit the mark? SmartLoving: simple and effective. It’s the clever way to love.

See the slide post on this topic: here

 

Put the sizzle in your marriage

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About the Author:

Francine & Byron Pirola
Francine & Byron Pirola are the founders and principal authors of the SmartLoving series. They are passionate about living Catholic marriage to the full and helping couples reach their marital potential. They have been married since 1988 and have five children. Their articles may be reproduced for non commercial purposes with appropriate acknowledgement and back links.

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