Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean pretty much everyday, B will say something so incredibly sweet to me for no particular reason. Today, during our after-dinner-cuddle, he looked at me in my sweats with my hair all mussed and told me that I am incredibly beautiful. He’s also been known to call me gorgeous and stunning (<– I love that one.) Sometimes he’ll thank me for working two jobs, or tell me I’m a great mom and tell me how proud he is of me. AND I don’t need to fish for it. EVER! He’s a treasure trove of affirmation that I never expected to find in a significant other. It is a key to the awesomeness of our relationship.
When we first started dating I thought his words of kindness were really cool, but figured they would slow down the longer we were together. I was wrong. If anything they’ve increased. I don’t ever wonder if he’s happy in our relationship because he regularly affirms how he feels. As you can imagine this is all new to me. So much so that I wasn’t able to express how I felt unless I wrote it in an email or text. Written communication has historically been better for me. Maybe because I had time to put my thoughts together and I’m less likely to jumble my words when they are inked on paper. Maybe because there is no distraction or interruption from the other person. But his ability to verbally lift me up drove my desire to do the same for him. Slowly I began expressing my feelings for him, sometimes using the same language he used like a baby learning to speak. It felt foreign to my tongue. The more I told him how I felt, the easier it became. Although I am still not as eloquent as he is, I’m secure in the knowledge that he is equally affirmed on a regular basis and know’s how I feel about him.
With my own relationship experiences and those I witness in the lives around me, it’s surprising how uncommon kindness is. In the one relationship that is supposed to be the safest and of greatest support, there is rarely the regular affirmation necessary to build security and intimacy. Instead people mistake “safety” for having a free pass to say what they want when they want regardless of how it makes the other person feel. They mistake “intimacy” for something that happens after the kids are in bed and before they roll their backs to each other as they fall asleep. I wonder how saying a kind thing about one another once a day (without any ulterior motives) would improve the poor communication and insecurities running rampant in so many relationships today.
It’s common sense really. That’s what makes the fact it took me 36 years to fully understand it absolutely frightening. The idea that he/she has to love me because he’s/she’s my husband/wife, father/mother, brother/sister, son/daughter isn’t enough! They love you because they choose to love you. In the same way you can choose to be kind. Not because you are trying to get them to be kind in return, but because it’s the right thing to do. It’s an action of love. Love is a verb after all. And it can be as simple as telling your loved one what you love about them. Try it today.
I’d love to hear an example of how a kind word affected you. Please share in the comments section below.