“If they loved me they would know” seems to be one of the biggest and most harmful romantic myths that is still alive and kicking (us all in the butt). It is the unfounded belief that, if we have truly found “The One”, the proof that they are “The One” will be that they know exactly what we want and need all the time without us having to tell them. While there are many wonderful people out there that you can have a great relationship with, not one of them will know what you need all of the time, or even enough of the time, without you having to ask.
There are many reasons for this. Firstly, each person has their own particular needs and desires around love and intimacy and, secondly, those needs and desires change from day to day depending on our mood, what is happening in our lives and emotions and as we ourselves grow and change. Often, we try to show people we love them by offering them what feels like love to us instead of asking what the other person wants. At the same time, we wait around, patiently, then impatiently, then angrily and resentfully, wishing our partner would give us what we want without having to ask.
To really get the kind of love you want and to give your partner the love they want, you need to Teach People How To Love You and learn how to love them. You want to tell and teach them gently and kindly how you like to be connected with when your sad or angry (holding you, listening, reassurance) and what kinds of things let you know they are loved (words of appreciation, gestures, touch, sex) and you want to ask your partner what they need as well. You will need to be very specific. For example, “I need you to be more emotionally available” is not specific enough. You will need to say, “I need you to sit down in front of me about this close to me and look in my eyes. It would also help if you placed a hand on my knee.” Don’t expect that you will only have to tell them once and, if you feel like you have already told them a million times, notice what voice you are telling them in and how you are looking at them (or not looking at them) when you tell them. If you are angry or hurt when you are telling them, their brain probably is not in a place where they can learn because they are anxious and triggered themselves.
This does not only work with our intimate partners – you can get so much more of what you need in every area of your life if we are willing to patiently, persistently and gently teach people how to love you. If you need help, let us know, we are always here!!!