My mom once asked me how my partner shows love. I was frustrated with his lack of expression and complaining to her about not really knowing how he felt. I had to think a bit before answering that question, but it made me realize that we all express love in our own ways. Truthfully neither my partner nor I are romantic types, which is good. Having one wanting romance and the other not at all could lead to a whole lot of disappointment! But we both have our ways of showing love. On my part, I cook meals for us, take care of things that he doesn’t think to, build him up when he isn’t feeling confident in some situation and listen when he does feel like sharing with me without pushing him too hard to do so. On his part, he cleans up and makes the bed when I’m out, he *tries* to cook for me on occasion, he supports my decisions, cares for my daughter and my family and stays level when I’m not. He runs errands for me when I don’t feel well and checks in when things are going on. He lets me know that I can lean on him, but is aware that I’m a person who values independence and doesn’t push me to let him help when I don’t want help. In the past I’ve been in relationships where I’ve had an accusation of “you don’t need me for anything’ like that’s a bad thing. I might not need another person in many situations, but that just means I’m choosing rather than depending. So my partner and I show our love mostly by choosing one another as the person to journey with, not out of some sense of neediness, not because we fell into a relationship, but because we looked at each other eyes wide open and chose to love one another. That may sounds less than romantic to many, and yet it was the first time in my life I chose someone, faults and all, with no notions of changing them, with full acceptance. I guess that’s the real key – we don’t try to change one another, there’s acceptance of our quirks and faults and we just kind of ‘fit’. There’s a comfort in silence, but lots of laughs too. There’s a deeply affectionate feeling between us. We allow each other to live our own lives, to have our own interests without feeling a loss or feeling that we have to get involved. We give each other space but support.
As this part of my journey continues I’m happy to have my partner with me. I can’t really imagine him not being around now. He’s part of the family. And I suppose he’s become my best friend.