Whether it’s because you’re in the wrong relationship, or the right relationship that’s been left unattended, sometimes people take love for granted. But there’s no real relationship without love, and not feeling loved in your relationship really hurts. I’m not saying that love is all there is to a relationship. In fact, in a lot of cases, love is the “easy” part — it’s compatibility and longevity that take work. But love — and feeling loved— is essential. It’s the only thing that’s going to push you to work through the hard times. And more than that, you just deserve it.
Now, counterintuitively, if you’re not feeling loved, it’s important to do an internal check first. “In my coaching practice, I see far too many women and men blame their partner for not making them feel loved, happy, or complete,” Monica Parikh of School of Love NYC tells Bustle. “The simple truth is that it’s each person’s obligation to fill their own emotional tank —through friendships, hobbies, fulfilling work, physical exercise, charitable acts, and creative artistry. Once you tend to your own emotional needs from a variety of sources, you tend to become much less needy for your partner.”
That’s why it’s so important to be happy before you get into a relationship. But, that being said, it’s still important that you feel loved in your relationship, too. If you’ve made yourself happy and you still don’t feel good about your relationship, it’s time to look at the relationship. Here are seven things you can do if you don’t feel loved enough:
1. Figure Out Your Own Love Language
Different people have different ways of demonstrating — and receiving love. Firstly, figure out what makes you feel loved, whether it’s affection or spending quality time with your partner, and what you feel you’re not providing to your partner, by discovering your Love Language. It’s good to have specific things you need in your relationship, because you don’t want to just vaguely criticize them if you’re feeling unloved — it might make them feel attacked.
2. … And Your Partner’s
What is your partner’s Love Language? Are there any ways they may be trying to show their love, but you aren’t acknowledging them? Some people find it really difficult to say “I love you.” If it comes easily to you, the fact that your partner only says it occasionally may not seem like a lot — but it could be to them. Try to see things from their perspective.
3. Talk To Your Partner
Once you figure out how you and your partner both feel and express love, you’re ready to talk about it. Like I said, use specifics and also stay positive. Mention the things you like, rather than just the things that are missing, and talk about how things make you feel rather than accusing. And of course, always listen.
4. Go Back To Square One
You got into a relationship for a reason — there was love there, or at least affection there once. Now, you might not always feel like you’re in your honeymoon period and that’s OK. Relationships settle into a different kind of love. But rekindling the beginning of a relationship feeling is a great way to inject some love and romance back into your relationships. Go to the places you were most romantic, share favorite memories of the early days of your relationship. You can get some of it back.
5. Invest Time
But also know that it might not happen overnight. You really need to make each other a priority, if there’s any chance of getting those amorous feelings back. Depending on how long you’ve been in a relationship— and how long you’ve let your love lie dormant— you may have grown farther and farther apart. You’re going to have to work on it to get it back.
6. Keep Making Yourself Happy
What Parikh said is so important, you need to make sure you’re happy with yourself before blaming your partner for everything wrong in the relationship. But more than that, you have to keep working on yourself when you’re working through your relationship. You’ll feel better, plus it’s the only way to keep yourself accountable and not rely on solely the relationship. It’ll help both of you.
7. Admit When It’s Just Not Working
There’s no point in being in a relationship that isn’t making you happy. It’s normal to have rough patches, of course, but if you’ve really stopped making each other feel loved, I really think that— no matter how long you’ve been together— it’s healthy to consider calling it quits. Make sure you give it your best shot, but sometimes you really do just fall out of love with each other, and it’s not necessarily anyone’s fault. Don’t be scared to say when it’s not working.
Originally posted on Bustle