| July 14, 2014

There have been numerous books written on how to love your man or how to love your woman. The concept of loving is so individualized depending on how a person was raised, religion, cultural influences, communication and sexual intimacy.

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Understanding how you need to feel loved and then expressing that to your partner is what the five steps to loving is all about. Learning how to communicate to your partner about what makes you feel loved in your relationship is the best way to feel loved. 

Do you know what makes your partner feel loved? 

When a partner wants to express their love to the other partner, instead of directly asking what makes that person feel loved, they oftentimes will do what they think might symbolize love.

READ: 3 Magic Words Your Partner Needs To Hear Right Now

Example: Someone may feel loved by their wife cooking dinner for them, but does not tell her that. So she rarely cooks dinner. Because of this, he feels like she does not love him. Let's say a woman gets in an argument with her husband. Instead of apologizing, the husband gives her money and tells her to buy herself something nice. This just makes her even angrier, but he thought it was loving.

Five exercises that you and you partner/spouse can do with each other to be understand the other person's love language. 

  1. Write down ten ways that you feel loved. It can be intimacy, communication or time together. Whatever it may be, take the time to think about it and share it with your spouse. 
  2. Have your partner/spouse do the same thing.
  3. Read the list to each other. Take turns and be open to listening to one another.
  4. Don't judge or feel like what you have been doing is wrong. Take this time to learn something new and move forward in a positive direction.
  5. Pick five things from each other's list and practice how the other person wants to be loved. It could be that they want a kiss or a hug every night. Or they would love a massage or to be caressed in a certain way. Maybe during love making they want you to slow down and add more touching or kissing. In one example from a couple I counseled, the husband wanted his wife to tell him that she loved him and wanted him during sex. 

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The point to this exercise is to open the doors to better communication with your partner, because no one is a mind reader. Don't assume that you know the other person — ask them first! This will create better communication between you two and you will avoid the unnecessary issues that come with not knowing how your partner wants to be loved.