Not everyone is comfortable with PDA or gifted with the ability to write love poems. Affection and romantic gestures are wonderful, but they don’t necessarily come easily to all of us. Fortunately, there are many ways to show love in a happy marriage that don’t involve public smooching, serenading or romantic poetry.
We’ve talked about Gretchen Rubin before. She’s the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, “The Happiness Project” and we love her down-to-earth advice on love and family. We spotted a video with her on Huffington Post this weekend, which is a segment from the Marlo Thomas show. It’s all about showing love in little ways and we think she has some great tips that prove you can have a happy marriage full of demonstrated love, even if you’re not the mushy or affectionate type.
As Rubin explains it, it’s all about the different ways people experience love or perceive that they are loved.
Different actions make people feel loved in different ways,’ she explains. “Some people love getting work done for them or getting help. Other people want a lot of kind words, while others want a lot of kissing and hugging. So you really have to think about, ‘How does this person want to experience love?'”
This is something that Rubin works on in her own home, and she shared some of the ways that she and her family show love:
*** A kiss in the morning and a kiss at night. Rubin makes sure that everyone in the family gets a kiss every morning and a kiss every night, no matter what.
*** A proper greeting and acknowledgement of someone’s presence are a family policy. As she puts it, there’s no “yelling from the kitchen.” When someone comes or goes, they are acknowledged personally and physically.
We have several of these little traditions and tricks ourselves. For instance:
***Ed knows I really have to have a cup of coffee before I can deal with other people. He shows his love by getting up ten minutes before I do and making the coffee. He fixes my cup exactly as I like it and puts it right on the nightstand on his way to the shower. I start my day knowing I’m loved.
***I know that Ed loves his football. He knows that I don’t care for it and sometimes he tries to pretend he doesn’t feel like watching the game. I pretend that I’m really anxious to go shopping, see a girlfriend or do some gardening, which gives him the day to watch, guilt-free. We both pretend we don’t know any of this pretending is going on.
Even if you’re not the cuddly or demonstrative or romantic type, you can still show your spouse how much you love them. As Gretchen Rubin says, you just need to think about what makes them feel loved. From that perspective, anything can be a romantic gesture. Happy marriages can’t live on flowers and poems alone.
We’d love to hear how you and and your spouse show your love in little ways like these.