The most famous love stories in history


"Act as if it were impossible to fail."

Dorothea Brande

Do You Love Me? Connection Without Shortcuts
Saturday, 23 February 2008

"Do you love me?" Why do we ask this again and again even though we know that in reality there is only one right answer to this question? Sometimes the answer comes with a smile or a kiss, other times it comes after a pause or a sigh. Sometimes it's enthusiastic and other times it's dry and mechanical. Sometimes it's convincing, and often it's not. The problem is that when we ask this question, the other person has no choice in giving us the answer.



What do we mean by this question?What is love? Is it just an affectionate, warm, "mushy" kind of feeling? Or is it a sense of deep care for one another?

Often, when we ask this question, we hope to experience a sense of connection with a person we love. We want to see the sparkle in his or her eyes and feel our hearts open to each other. We hope that if we hear "yes" in return, our connection will be restored and we can go on.

But this quick fix rarely works, especially when our partner feels there is no choice in answering this question. In any situation in which we don't have a real choice, our actions are not likely to come from the most joyful and loving place inside of us. Sadly, the strategy we often use to meet our need for connection is often not an effective one.

Nonviolent Communication, a powerful communication method pioneered by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg helps us to become more aware of our needs and to find better ways to meet them. So instead of asking "do you love me?" we can express to our partner how we feel and what our needs are.

For example, you might say "I feel a little distance between us and I would like to have more connection." Or, "I feel a bit lonely and I want some closeness and affection." Expressing our feelings and needs helps our partners to understand what is going on for us in that moment, while the question "do you love me?" does not offer any information about our inner experience.
We also need to learn what actions or strategies work best to meet our needs for connection and make a request. In other words, we need to offer our partners some specific ways for this connection to happen.

When we put our full awareness on our needs, the images of how to meet these needs will readily come to mind. You could request that your partner tells you something specific and special. You may ask, for example: "Would you be willing to tell me one thing we did together last week (or last year) that you enjoyed the most?" or "Would you be willing to tell me one thing that you really appreciate about me or one compliment on how I look today?"

Or you could request to spend a few minutes talking about what attracted you to each other when you met, or what you most enjoyed about your day together. You could spend time planning some fun things to do together tomorrow, next week or next year. You could read poems to each other; have a glass of wine on the front porch; listen to music that you both enjoy; dance salsa in your living room, or talk about your dream house in the mountains. Strategies like these only take a few minutes each, but the payoff might be a memory you cherish forever.

There are many ways to meet your needs for connection with a person you love and care about. If you release your innate creativity and make a little effort, you will easily come up with a number of wonderful strategies that will bring you closer to each other. The quality of connection that you will create by tuning into your needs and following your heart will be much deeper than any connection that could result from asking "do you love me?"

The truth is, quick fixes rarely work. There are no shortcuts to connection. But if you put the energy into your relationship, the payoff will be the quality of connection that you will deeply enjoy.

About the Author

Inessa Love, Ph.D., is a trainer in Nonviolent Communication (NVC), also known as compassionate communication and she offers workshops and coaching for individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Inessa is an editor of a monthly newsletter Connection Times: Communication Successes and Challenges. Subscribe for FREE and learn how to transform conflicts and adversarial relationships and create genuine and satisfying connection in any area of your life.



< Prev   Next >
Copyright 2023 AmO: Life Beauty Without Limits....