What’s love got to do with it? Possibly everything

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As much as we may deny it, love is an overpowering experience that most of us want to feel. In fact, many of us yearn to be loved. Have you ever sat down and thought, “What does it mean to feel loved by my partner?” In essence, what is your partner doing during these specific times that makes you feel wanted and loved?

Touch: Touching can make people feel wanted but most importantly, feel loved. What kind of touching do you crave from your partner? Have you ever discussed with your partner how you would like to be touched? For example, some people feel loved when their partners spontaneously hold their hands, or rest their feet on each other as they are watching television. These times simply depend on your preferences and comfort levels. It may feel awkward to talk about; however, open communication with your partner will lead you to effectively discuss your needs and desires. In turn, you will feel wanted, sought after, and loved.

Show appreciation: Feeling appreciated can make people feel valued, respected, and loved. When do you feel appreciated by your partner? How do you show your partner that he/she is valued and appreciated? Small gestures like leaving a thoughtful post-it on your bathroom mirror, saying “I love you” before you leave the house, and offer random compliments such as “I really like your outfit” can positively shift a relationship and make each partner feel appreciated and loved.

Be a team: Being a team and helping one another can make both individuals feel recognized, supported, and loved. What part of your daily routine do you wish your partner could be more hands-on with? Are your responsibilities as a couple divided fairly or in a way that works for both of you? Think of yourselves as being on the same team. Teammates look out for one another, pick up the slack when another needs help, and understand that they are all on the same level. Support each other and you will feel loved.

Offer emotional support: Actively listening to each other can make individuals feel recognized, acknowledged, and loved. Do you normally feel as if your partner is not listening to you? People typically repeat themselves when they feel they are not being heard. Make sure to be present for one another, physically and emotionally. Make eye contact when your partner is talking to you and try to sit or stay in one place when communicating. People can feel as if you are not listening to them or fully paying attention if you are walking around or doing things around the house. You may be beyond exhausted sometimes, but your partner still needs you. Discuss what you are able to physically and emotionally give your partner and what you are looking to receive as well.

Compromise: Relationships are all about give and take. Finding a balance can result in both of you feeling mutually respected and loved. Does your partner make you feel like his/her opinion is more important than your opinion? Is it always about what he/she wants to do? This can cause individuals to feel invisible in their relationship. Sometimes people don’t compromise because they really don’t know how. Be upfront with your partner and essentially tell him/her what you would like or need and come to some form of middle ground. This may sound odd or wrong to you, but there is no right way to compromise. Do what works best for your relationship. The whole point is to feel happy, valued, and loved by your partner.

Be patient with one another. It takes time to make positive changes and to alter the way we interact with each other. The goal is to have a strong and solid relationship by doing what works best for you and your partner; something only you as a couple can define.

Celeste Catania-Opris, Ph.D., LMFT, offers therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families. Contact her at 954-655-0718;


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