A couple kissing under a red umbrella. Black and white stock photography.

How Do You Know You’re Loved? Something to think about while waiting on the toaster.

So, really, how do you know that you’re loved? What has to happen in order for you to feel like your partner, your significant other, your spouse, your lover really loves you? Do they need to say something? Perhaps those magic words, I love you? Do they need to touch you? A hug, a kiss? Do they need to do something? Open doors, sit close on the couch? What triggers the feeling, the knowing you’re loved in your neuro soup?

Think about it. It’s actually an important question when it comes to creating love for yourself and those that you love. I would argue that it’s essential to know what makes your partner feel loved in order to create the possibility and space for that. And we all have our different combinations and variations that cause us to feel that deliciously warm, gooey thing called love.

Let’s look at an example, albeit a very simple example, but probably one that gets played out in the world millions of times, over and over. Let me introduce you to the imaginary couple of Chloe and Joe. While I could have used the imaginary couples of Chloe and Sarah, or Joe and Jim, I run heterosexual, so I tend to frame things from that perspective. But remember, love knows no boundaries. Especially boundaries of sexual preference.

So Chloe feels the most loved when Joe actually says the words, “I love you.” Not in a quick, absent minded way, but if he takes a moment and looks her in the eyes and says it, well, that makes Chloe feel it. If he happens to add a soft kiss to her cheek, Chloe is absolutely smitten, but the words alone will do it. When Chloe was a little girl, her dad would always take the time before he left for work to do just that. Chloe was imprinted early.

Joe, on the other hand, really feels love when Chloe puts her arms around his neck and hugs him, nuzzling his chest with her face. Or when she lays her head on his shoulder on the couch while they watch a movie. When Joe was young, his mom always used to hug him before sending him off to school. Joe needs that touch thing to make him feel it.

So why is it that while Chloe and Joe really do love one another they don’t always seem to be able to show it or feel it? Because they don’t know what the other one wants. What the other one actually needs. They might not know what they want either. But if Joe knew that Chloe really felt most loved when he said the magic words, well then Joe could choose to make Chloe feel very loved with very little effort. But Joe probably won’t come to that on his own because he’s wired for touch, not sound. And the truth is that we all have the built in assumption that other people respond the way we do. It’s our me-centric nature. We tend to assume, for the most part, that other people have the same general sense of morals and ethics, same feelings about things and will respond and behave much like we do. So, if you respond to being touched as the trigger for feeling loved, you’ll probably assume your companion would too. And of course, intellectually, we all know that’s just plain bat shit crazy.

I realize the above was a very simple example, an oversimplification in many ways. But, it’s a good place to start the process of examining what has to happen to make you feel love. Or, what happens that makes it very easy to choose love.

So this Valentine’s Day, whether you’re in a relationship (and this also helps with other family members and your friends too) or not, take a moment to think about how you know you’re loved. Take a moment to ask your partner what does it for them. Is there something I do that lets you know I really do love you? Then share your answers and get busy using that knowledge to make each other feel more loved, more cherished, more treasured and more adored in 2013. That’s not such a bad thing to shoot for, huh?

Yours in expanding the possibilities,

P.S. All my love and soft kisses to my beloved Zen Girl. Happy Valentine’s Day, baby. We are going to have an amazing year!


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