How do you know someone loves you? No really, how do you know? Can you remember a time when you felt totally loved? When was the moment you knew for sure? What did that person do to convince you?
I’m guessing you came up with an answer along the lines of (a) it was the way they looked at me (b) it was what they said and how they said it or (b) it was their kiss, touch or some physical contact.
When we are in a relationship there are three things that tell us if someone is deeply in love with us. If your attempts to show love to your partner aren’t working so well, you need to figure out which of these three things your partner prefers – you need to work out their love strategy.
Visual Love Strategy
Visual – taken places, bought things, looked at with that special look
People who enjoy being taken places, bought things and looked at with that special look in order to know they are totally loved are have a visual love strategy. They enjoy gifts (flowers, chocolate, perfume, lingerie etc) and being taken on holiday, for a day out, and going out for dinner in a beautiful restaurant. They love it when their partner looks at them that certain way.
Auditory Love Strategy
Auditory – special tone of voice or special words
Those people who have an auditory love strategy are interested in the tone of voice and the special words their partners say to them. Not only do they need to hear ‘I love you’ daily, but they love that tone of voice that makes them weak at the knees. Pet names, in-jokes and private languages make them feel loved and adored.
Kinesthetic Love Strategy
Kinesthetic – touched in a certain way or a certain place
People who have a kinesthetic love strategy are all about touch. It is the contact of skin on skin, holding hands, an arm around them, a hug while they are peeling the potatoes as well as full-blown kissing and shagging.
Finding out which one of these strategies applies to your partner is the hard part. If you ask the question, everyone will say ALL THREE THINGS are important. And they are.
So try it on yourself first. What is your love strategy?
If you had to give up seeing, hearing or touching, which one would it be. I know it is hard, but you have to let one go [or I’ll shoot the kitten]. Eliminate one of the things you would miss but you could live without if you were forced to and still know your partner loved you.
For me, if you forced me to lose one of the three, it would be the visual strategy.
Now it gets really tough. No-one voluntarily drops one of the remaining two. So you have to be brutal with yourself. Instead of trying to decide between the two, put them in order of importance.
If you couldn’t hear your partner’s voice for three months (you were deaf or she had laryngitis) but she could still touch you, would that be bearable? If you couldn’t feel the touch of your partner for three months (he was working away) but could speak to him on the phone every night, would that be bearable?
Apply this formula to the two strategies you have left (you get the idea right?)
OK … phew … hopefully you never have to make that choice!
So here is how it works in practicality. My love strategy is kinesthetic (I bet that comes as no surprise) and my boyfriend’s strategy is auditory.
To kindle the flame of passion and desire in our relationship, my boyfriend has to make sure he touches me lovingly during the day. I thrive on kisses, hugs, and all types of physical contact. If he were to forget, I would feel out of sorts, probably without knowing why. No matter what he said or how many flowers he bought me, I would miss his touch. (And it makes him working away difficult for me).
My boyfriend on the other hand thrives when I tell him how much I love him, what an awesome person he is, how handsome he is, and use my most intimate sexy voice. He survives much better when he is away because we still talk on the phone, but I get in trouble if I sound bored or distracted because he needs to hear the love in my voice.
So try it out with your partner. It won’t be easy to get to the bottom of it but when you do, make sure you fire their strategy every day.
Give a gift or a note to the visuals and look deep into their eyes with love.
Speak those special words to your auditory partner.
Touch your kinesthetic at least once a day.
Eliciting your partner’s love strategy only takes a few moments every day, and the reward is they will know without question that you love them. If you figure out your own needs, don’t be afraid to ask for them to be met.
Tell your partner what you need to feel loved and watch your passion grow and flourish together.
Have you figured our what your love strategy is?
Leave a comment and tell us all which type YOU are – visual, auditory or kinesthetic?
28 thoughts on “Why your attempts at love are failing (and what to do about it)”
I thought I was kinaesthetic, but it turns out I might be auditory. I am REALLY sensitive to tones of voice and the WhatsApp voice messaging feature is my favourite part of owning a smartphone.
So if I put on my Stage Management voice and read the phone book out loud, that’s likely to do it for you?
…are you offering? 😉
Definitely Tactile but followed really close by visually hence my work… At first I thought visual but no.
How we perceive love might be different to what we gravitate towards in the rest of our lives?
I’m pretty much auditory. Then again, hardly anyone is speaking to me these days.
Oh dear, that doesn’t sound good 🙁
I really really love your phrasing. I really really needed to read this. And now reread 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, Carla ♥
This is fascinating. REALLY made me think. My husband has been traveling a ton lately, and clearly the thing I’m missing most is his voice and all the ways he says things – whether he’s tender or funny or silly – that just can’t come across on the phone. It’s funny because he’s not here right now to “test” the theory, but the things you said were really illuminating and, actually, uplifting.
I’m pleased this resonated with you.
Great piece Katie! Even after 24 years of marriage had to think long and hard about this. I’m glad I did though it gave me a totally new insight.
I’m glad to have uncovered something new for you after 24 years 😀
Yes, this piece is amazing and stimulating in its presentation–really makes you think and question. I’m very auditory–I need to hear that my husband loves me and I think he’s more kinesthetic. Possibly all the years he was traveling and I depended on his phone calls to close out my day and just make me feel good contributed to that. And as a writer, words just mean so much to me from the people I love.
You’ve made a great connection between hearing and writing. I can see why words matter to you.
Wow! I think I really need to figure this out. I’m visual, I think… My husband, that’s hard. Thanks, wonderful post.
Thanks for your comment Anita. Let me know when you work your husband out 😉
The fun part is doing more of the things he loves without telling him and watching the positive effect it has.
Interesting. I like how you put this. I’m visual. I haven’t figured out what my imaginary boyfriend is yet. We just started dating.
Best comment of the day ♥
This is brilliant! I knew we all had different ways of loving (and, it follows, of expressing love), but I never imagined they could be catalogued and explained so easily. I will begin experimenting 😉
Guilie @ Quiet Laughter
Thanks for reading, lovely Guilie x
I know I am kinesthetic. No amount of gifts could replace or show love better to me. I believe my bf is also. This is very hard on us, he works out of town and right now 1100 miles away. We speak a lot and exchange a lot of loving words. Somehow this has made us stronger but we have also had more arguments than ever.
Long distance relationships are tough – especially for kinesthetics. Hang in there ♥
Definitely kinaesthetic! Love being touched, sometimes words can feel like a touch too, but strong hands , yes please!
I’ve never thought about this…but I just had a lightbulb moment…
Do you think (before we work out our partner’s strategy) that we might actually be using OUR OWN strategy to show love?…I’ve just realized I’m definitely kinaesthetic, and for that reason, my way of showing love is to touch, hug, rub against his shoulder etc during the day…BUT what if that’s not his love strategy?…
I’m going to pay more attention to how he shows love, that might be the way he needs it shown to him.
Apologies if I’ve ranted or confused the issue ❤️
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