At some point we've all probably heard that men either don't express love as much as women or that they do it differently. Some popular books certainly support this, but we wanted to find out what the research had to say. This is what we found out. How closely does it fit with your experience?
According to a team of scholars in Texas, the following are some common ways of showing love in a relationship and which gender is most likely to do them:
Acts of affection, such as hugs, massages, cuddling, etc. are common ways for both men and women to show love for their partner. The next time your partner wants to kiss you, it is most likely how they're saying they love you.
Pop culture may have gotten one thing right. Men show love for their partner more through initiating sex than women do. So women, the next time your man wants to have sex, keep in mind that he is trying to show his love, and let that guide you in your response. However, women may not actually equate sex with love. So men, don't feel like your partner does not love you any less if she rejects a sexual advance.
Withholding Negative Behaviors
Withholding criticism or other negativity in relationships is a common way for women to show their love for their partner. This often goes unnoticed because their partners don't even know that they are withholding these thoughts, but according to the research, men, your partners are probably doing this without you realizing it.
Men who are more in love with their partner are also more likely to want to include them in activities. Whether the activity be specifically couple-centered or just one that can be done together, a man's desire to involve his partner is a good indication that he is feeling in love. Women, if you are not interested in a particular activity, you may find that suggesting another option rather than rejecting the time together may help your man feel more appreciated and understood.
When men do housework with their partner, it is just one more way that they are showing love. They may still not do chores as much as the woman (who may also be doing it to show her love), but reaching out to help is a great sign that they do care. Men, if you want to show more love to your partner, consider helping in the housework even more. Work with them and you will show that you are as much in love as ever.
So, how do you show your love? Do you and your partner break out of this mold? How are you different? Of course, not all men and women show their love in these ways, but think about what your partner may be trying to tell you next time they do one of these things. Most importantly, this shows even more that not everyone shows love the same way.
This article was originally published on Relate Institute. It has been republished here with permission.
The Relate Institute is a not-for-profit organization that revolves around the aim of distributing the Relate Assessment - the most comprehensive premarital/marital assessment available - to as many couples and individuals as we can reach. We believe that all may benefit from assessing personal strengths and weaknesses as relationship partners, and work to help make relationship success a reality.