What if your partner never says they love you or verbally shows their affection?
With Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo and Reid Mihalko and http://www.ReidAboutSex.com.
Reid: Our microphone’s showing.
Cathy: Oh, no.
Reid: Sorry. Sorry about that. Magic! Movie magic!
Cathy: Someone wrote in and said, “I have an anonymous question for you”, and we have a video on that that we’re gonna shoot again. Anyway, someone wrote in and said, “This isn’t really a question about sex but you guys (are extremely brilliant, bright and sensitive) seem to answer questions about relationships and love so I thought I’d ask anyway.” So, flattery does work.
Reid: Use it in your relationships. Alright, next video.
Cathy: “I’ve been together with my boyfriend now for a year and a half and he never says he loves me or even likes me. Whatever I said, he says…First time I asked him about it, he said he felt something along the lines of love is a bird and you get to let it sit in your hand, free to go up whenever it pleases, it’s happy. But if you hold the bird down, it’s unhappy and wants to run away. Anyway, he’s not flirting with other people but I’m very confused coz I want to know that he loves me and he never says those things. What can I do?” This is Reid Mihalko from http://reidaboutsex.com/
Reid: Cathy Vartuli from http://theintimacydojo.com/. Buy the book – The Five Love Languages. We’ll see you later. Bye.
Cathy: She gives us very heartfelt question and that’s what you’re gonna do?
Reid: Well, it has the answer.
Cathy: She even flattered you.
Reid: You know what, flattery? It doesn’t work on me, man.
Reid: Answer the question, Cathy. You know the answer.
Cathy: So, one thing I would suggest is I do love the book – The Five Love Languages. You might be expressing his love in a way other than verbally. And, I also like the idea of writing down some ways that he shows you he cares. Like, is he always home in time for dinner? Does he bring you flowers? Is he showing you he loves you in other ways? Some people are not verbal or they have traumas around verbal expression, and they may not want to ever express that that way. But the five love languages is a great way coz if he is non-verbal, you telling him that you love him, may not land on him as impactfully.
Reid: It might land on him but it sounds like, she’s looking for him to say it back.
Cathy: Right. And he may not be able to at this time or ever. You have to decide if that’s gonna work for you. And if you’re both able to watch the…read the book or watch videos on the five love languages, you might realize how important it is. You can ask him anyway and let him know in a way that he might hear differently.
Reid: I mean, odds are verbal appreciation is not his lead with how he shows that he cares and I mean, the silly analogy that comes up for me is like, you know, people who love dogs or cats, right? I don’t think your cat has ever verbally said that it loves you.
Cathy: No. She just said something when she wants to be petted.
Reid: Yeah and you’re not saying it being like, gosh, you know, my relationship with my pet would be so much better if they could speak English and tell me that they love me. That’s a weird analogy. And yes, our expectations for people, you know, for human beings are different than our pets. But we have, we feel loved and we’re loved, you know, we have joined our life from lots of things that don’t verbally express the phrase “I love you”. So for me, as a nerd and as a geek, like that phrase, okay, what does that mean to you? What’s the need you’re trying to get met? And you know, like I get wigged out when people like during sex say that they love me. When it’s the first time we’ve ever hooked up. And I’m just like…But, people in ecstatic states will say all kinds of things. And often I feel like it means that they love what’s going on and it just comes out as love you or it’s erotic to say I love you, or whatever things are. We make things mean a lot and that’s okay. Human beings do that.
Cathy: Well, if you’re feeling really, really good, you might love the person in the moment but that’s another thing to ask him. Does he think that if he says he loves you that it means forever and ever till death do us part? Does he feel like, he then be obligated to never leave or could it be an expression if you can define that? That might help. He might feel like, it means I’m committing forever with his analogy about the bird in the hand kind of thing. And if you could redefine it say, in this moment I love you very much. That might allow me to express it.
Reid: Maybe. And you know, I don’t know. I mean, it’s probably a level language thing. And also some people are just weird in a good way about like, saying I love you just gets me into more trouble. So past relationship stuff. If they’re already feeling you know, cagey – bird reference, cagey about talking about this, you trying to get them open up about what I love you really means to them on a deep soul level, might be impossible and you’re setting yourself up again for disappointment about not getting some sort of intimacy needs met. Look for how you can get your intimacy needs met or if there are already being met in other ways, make your list like Cathy said. And then, have a different perspective and maybe less attachment to the phrases I love you.
Cathy: And realize that he may never change that and you may never change your need for it. So, as Reid says, it’s better to find out now and scare them away or run away if the relationship is looking like it’s going long term. And, you need to have that expression to feel fulfilled than something to really consider.
Reid: And, if you have a good relationship like everything else is pretty good, and you want to end it because they won’t say I love you. I mean you might have…
Cathy: It depends on how important it is to them.
Reid: Well, you may want to unpack some things too. I’m just saying. Like, to end a working relationship because your partner has a thing about saying I love you…
Cathy: It just depends on if it’s a bottom line for you or not. Is that something you need to have in your relationship? So, something to consider.
Reid: Yeah. And I… that’s an interesting bottom line. I’m not saying you’re allowed to have it. I’m just saying, great relationship like it sound like, my partner has a challenge around saying I love you so I’m gonna end the relationship.
Cathy: I’m not suggesting she end the relationship. I’m saying that if it’s a bottom line, if it’s a big deal, then it’s something to at least consider.
Cathy: Coz then you’re opting in like, okay, I opted to stay with this guy who never says it or I chose to find something else.
Reid: Yeah. Or get a cat.
Cathy: I hope this helped. Probably change your mind about how bright [inaudible 00:07:12]
Reid: You were so sweet with your email.
Cathy: It’s like you’re sensitive.
Reid: We’re so sorry! You gotta [inaudible 00:07:16] snarky day.
Cathy: We hope this helps. Please leave comment below. What would you do if your partner wouldn’t say that I love you?