What if I asked you, “What makes you feel loved?” — and I’m not JUST talking about bedroom shenanigans. There may be times that we feel that our partner is not a mental giant when it comes to romancing us or we may feel that we have worn away our friendship with our partner, our integrity or our desire to grow old and grey together… It happens.
What’s fascinating though is to ponder if we actually know ourselves — what makes us feel loved.
We may think that our partner is clueless
but maybe, just maybe, we are also clueless.
I have been chatting with some wonderful friends about the incredible value of asking ourselves some tough questions at times. As we all move into having some “down time” over the festive season, I’d love to offer you three questions to ponder and my hope is that through contemplating these — and also assessing and measuring how you currently rate — then you’ll have a clearer vision of what you want to move towards in 2014.
Here are three important questions:
- How Do You Feel Loved?
- How Do Rate As A Parent or Work Colleague?
- What are Your Five Chief Goals for 2014?
. . . . .
Q#1: How Do You Feel Loved?
Let’s think about it. Write down as many thoughts as you can.
Try to refrain from, “I feel loved when you don’t leave your crap all over the bedroom floor” and instead try to create a friendly list of actions, words and gestures. If your relationship has been at a critical point for a long, long time then I’d suggest checking in with a relationship counsellor prior to embarking on this question as it’s likely that there other issues that need addressing first. Let me be upfront — while I’m a keen observer of life and an avid reader — I am certainly NOT a counsellor.
For those of you who feel lighthearted about this and are…
- looking for ways to continue growth in your marriage
- or starting to feel a little disenchanted with your life partner
…then this is a perfect question to mull over.
You might be itching to get started on writing down ‘what it is that makes you loved,’ only to discover that after just a few notations, you’re actually stumped… Yep, stumped. It’s fascinating.
How can we expect our partner to know
what makes us feel cherished and adored
if we can’t clearly identify a list of thoughts
and ideas on the matter ourselves?
If we genuinely want our relationship to succeed then maybe we need to identify how our partner can refuel our heart and then, better again, we can let them know how to do this.
This process of reflection on “How Do I Feel Loved?” is most useful if we also ask our partner to complete their love list in their own time. To write down their thoughts and desires and to discuss them with you. If you both decide to make this playful rather then damming then I bet you’ll find this activity extremely beneficial.
So what things make you feel loved?
- Is it when they bring you spontaneous gifts?
- Is it words of kindness or praise?
- Is it through touch — an urgent passionate embrace when they walk in the door?
- Is it when they organise all the necessary details for a “date night”?
- Is it when they hold your hand or stroke your back to let you know they aren’t judging you, even if you’re both having a tricky, heated conversation?
- Is it when they leave you love notes?
- Is it when they “do something” that they say they are going to do?
…What are the little things they do they make you feel amorous?
The funny thing in a relationship is we often presume to know what our partner’s “love language” is, or we falsely believe that our love language is actually theirs. Again if we don’t identify and verbalise how we feel loved then someone else will decide, guess or presume to know our love language, and after a while this may no longer work for us.
The point here is to observe ourselves.
While we are at it, why not write a list of what makes our blood spike with raw, primal desire? Consider how you like to be ravished? What makes you want to jump your partner over anyone else — time and time again?
Now before you say…
“Enough! They should know HOW I need to be loved and appreciated!”
“They should know what turns me on!”
…Let me ask you, how would you rate your relationship?
Is it wonderful? Is it exciting, rich in personal growth and romantic? Do you make each other feel safe to have open hearted discussions about areas that you both need to acknowledge and work on?
Or is your relationship currently hovering in Suckville — the land where you put everything and everyone else before each other. The land where everything your partner does feels lame and you live in blame.
The relationship we share with our life partner can be an environment where we constantly recommit to bringing our best version of ourselves forward and work through issues. Getting “out” of our ego, getting out from the shadows. Where we stop playing games and make our relationship our priority again. Not for a second am I suggesting my relationship is all peachy and there are times where I have to tell myself to “quit my barking” and be self-responsible. To stop playing the victim and look at what I need to address, what I need to “own” before I start pointing the finger.
I do believe that — if both partners are committed to safely addressing issues, to personal growth and to learning how to love each better — then our relationship is more likely to offer us nourishment. If one partner decides it’s too hard, too late, too little or too much, then this poses enormous challenges and we have to decide if that environment really honours our needs.
Now some of you may not be in a romantic relationship at present, if you do however want to be in a serious relationship then this question certainly helps to clarify what you’re looking for in a partner. Additionally if your’e single and yet have children and other loved ones, then modifying your answers so that you can communicate how you feel appreciated to your loved ones and this process will help create the space for your inner circle to identify how you can make them feel appreciated and adored.
. . . . .
Q#2: How Do You Rate As A Parent or Work Colleague?
I find, as our family rolls into holiday mode, that this a great time to ask my boys for some feedback on my parenting. They are lovely fellas, so I have to probe sometimes and remind them that I take my role seriously — that I’d love honest feedback.
I ask them:
- How do I rate on lunches and meals?
- How do I rate on helping them with tasks and homework?
- Am I good listener?
- When do they notice I am not available?
- How I do I go handling conflicts when they arise?
- Am I fair?
- Am I fun and light-hearted?
- What would make them feel more heard, more supported?
- Do I embarrass them? How?
- What activities do they love to do together?
- Do they feel like they are a major priority in my life?
We may have the best intentions in the world, but asking questions takes away the guess work and gives us sincere feedback on how our loved ones perceive us.
These types of questions are also incredibly useful to ask your work colleagues, employees or employer. Taylor them to suit your work environment.
. . . . .
Q#3: What Are Your Five Chief Goals For 2014?
In twelve months time what would you be delighted to have achieved or to have mastered?
- Increasing your daily fitness regime to (fill in the blank)?
- Loosing 10 kilos?
- Reducing your debt (by a certain amount or percentage?)
- Increasing your income (by a certain amount or percentage each month?)
- Learning a language?
- Saving a deposit?
- Healing a relationship?
- Mastering a new skill or sport?
Since I was little I have been encouraged to have goal books and I spend many hours reviewing and beautifying these. I typically sit with these folders for about 20-30 minutes at least a few times each week. This year however I have decided to spend a short amount of time each day focusing on five main goals.
I’ll continue to invest time in my goal books but I will prioritise these five goals in the following ways:
- Visualising these goals (collecting pictures, creating story boards, role playing in my mind the steps and events incorporating senses and emotions)
- Mind mapping the steps involved to achieving these goals
- Measuring my success daily and weekly with attaining these goals
- Create strategies for any resistance or obstacles
- Refine the goals if need be
. . . . .
The festive season is a wonderful time to reflect on life and I hope by authentically sharing where late December carries my heart and mind, you too may embark on the New Year feeling clear and sturdy about the forthcoming year.
. . . . .
Wishing you all a beautiful Christmas with your loved ones and a first-rate, five-star 2014.
With love and best wishes,