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  #11  
Old 02-09-2010, 09:59 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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I think that it is very interesting to try to understand the different ways that people tell each other "I love you" - each person has a different way of doing it, and, if you're not aware of that, it can seem like the other person isn't saying it.

One of the tools I have found interesting in terms of understanding this is the Five Love Languages - they have a website which you can google, since it is a commercial website hawking the books which is not allowed to be posted here).

There is a quick online assessment that you (and your partner) can do there, to compare.

The idea is that we have the languages of love that we understand and that are important to us. For us to feel loved, we need to hear it in a language that we "understand" if you like.

They have broken it down into five categories (or languages): Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch

The concept goes that if you rank Words of Affirmation as your primary language, and Acts of Service as lowest, and your partner has the reverse, then them washing your car, which they regard as a sign of showing you how much they love you, comes across to you as "thanks, you washed my car, now why can't you tell me you love me?" You just don't comprehend it as a way of expressing their love, whereas that was exactly what they meant!

OK, it is over-simplified, and I can't do it justice, because there is a book on the subject that goes into it in great depth. It's a little bit mainstream self-help in style, but I think that the principles are ones that we can examine and get something from. I know I have.

The idea being that if we know our partner's primary love language then when we want to really express how much we love them, we do it in THEIR language.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2010, 10:07 PM
Ilove2men Ilove2men is offline
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Thanks, Lemondrop. Oddly enough, we have been trying to sort through the rubble of last week and my fiance actually brought it up last night. That he says it all the time, but he's not showing it. He is having to do a lot of soul searching to start his self improvement and I am trying to get myself to a healthy place where I will be able to accept that love. We are a little distant with each other right now, but in a good way. We are focusing on ourselves and giving the other time to do the same. My boyfriend (he asked *gush*) has been amazing through this. Its shocking how I've been with my fiance 7 plus years and suddenly we are strangers to one another and my boyfriend can translate my needs into words better than I can. My mouth dropped when they shared the texts they sent to each other yesterday. Its going to take time and I don't quite feel my normal self, but I have faith in all of us.

Sorry to hijack, terrible of me!

GS, personally I feel you can over say I love you if its the only way you are expressing love. I like hearing a variety of loving words and a variety of loving touches, glances, acts, ect ect. The same ole same ole seems lazy and mundane and love is neither of those. I know sometimes my love for someone can become so overwhelming that I have trouble decribing the magnitude so I will overuse I love you. When I notice this happening I push myself to define it in a varity of ways, because if I truly love that person that much, three little words just aren't good enough for them.
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2010, 03:55 AM
booklady78 booklady78 is offline
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I've had more discussions with both my husband and my bf and it has been very interesting and I think I'm beginning to accept the way my bf expresses his feelings. I like LemonDrop's way of approaching it, asking if her husband loves her and all he has to say is 'yes' and the validation is there. I think I hestiate to come up with an 'alternate' way of saying the words, as really, there is no equivilent in the english language. "I care about you" or "you are special" don't have the same meaning.
I realize that feeling loved means so much, more than words could ever express really. I think I am looking for that validation, commitment, that reassurance that I have found someone that's in this for the long haul and not something casual. In time, I think we will have that, just need to enjoy what we have and continue to learn and grow. I'm learning that love is a journey and not a destination to reach as I had originally believed.
My bf told me that I'm "the person he cares about most in the world". When I really take that statement to heart, that's about as close to "I love you" as you can get <3

And GroundedSpirit... awwwwww <3 thanks for the support and offer of love I really do appreciate the love and support of everyone on the forums. You guys are the best!
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  #14  
Old 02-11-2010, 11:16 AM
FitChick FitChick is offline
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based on my own experiences,some men are not 'built' that way,they cannot express their emotions verbally but prefer to do so through body language and actions. I learnt fairly early on that my father was one of those men,and although it is disappointing not to hear those words,he would have done anything for me,or protected me when I was young.
My SO told me on Tuesday that he loved me for the first time but honestly I felt it way before he said it,the little things like holding my hand,making me lunch,touching my back and the way he looks at me say so much more..I only have to look at him to know that he loves me..
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  #15  
Old 02-12-2010, 07:56 AM
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classycaveman classycaveman is offline
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For a long time I was hung up on what "I love you" actually meant. I found it incredibly frustrating. If a girlfriend told me she loved me (back in my mono days) I would ask her to define love, because it didn't seem so much an emotion as a request for more commitment. I felt that if I said those words I was saying "I don't want to be with anyone else besides you, and I don't see that ever changing."

I researched how our brains act when we are developing a new relationship, about infatuation, friendship, serotonin, oxytocin... trying to identify what being in love actually was. I figured what I felt was love, and what the girls felt was love, was actually just infatuation. At that point I felt even more frustrated because I didn't think they could possibly be genuine about what they felt, and yet I didn't want to drain them of that wonderful energy and feeling they had by telling them.

Lately however, I've had a different experience: I took my last shot at a serious monogamous relationship two years ago. I probably went on about 40 first dates with women I'd met online. Finally I met a wonderful girl, and we dated for almost a year before I got bored and ended it. We started having sex again a couple months later, and have been on and off for the last year. A couple weeks ago we started saying "I love you" again, even though we aren't thinking of getting back together in the traditional way. The thing I notice now though, is that there is no guilt, no pressure, nothing negative associated with those words any longer. It's not a lie, it's how I feel. It's pure and honest and it never felt that way while we were a couple.

I know I love those words now, so I guess I just want you to know that a guy can change his minds about this. He may just need a lot of time to let his thinking work itself out. But if this is the only thing that's missing in your relationship, I'd say you're doing pretty well.
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  #16  
Old 02-12-2010, 01:43 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classycaveman View Post
I researched how our brains act when we are developing a new relationship, about infatuation, friendship, serotonin, oxytocin... trying to identify what
And..........
Quote:
We started having sex again a couple months later, and have been on and off for the last year. A couple weeks ago we started saying "I love you" again, even though we aren't thinking of getting back together in the traditional way. The thing I notice now though, is that there is no guilt, no pressure, nothing negative associated with those words any longer. It's not a lie, it's how I feel. It's pure and honest and it never felt that way while we were a couple.
Thanks Caveman for sharing those thoughts.
I think a lot of people may find them helpful and clarifying. It would be great if everyone did the 'homework' as you did on the biological sides and learned about what in poly circles is often referred to as NRE.

And your later quote illustrates nicely what I was saying somewhere about how true, close friendships form the best foundations for deeper relationships.

Great points - thanks again.

GS
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