He Says: Love Is More Than Words

Dear Receiving too Little;

Are you asking for too much? No. Is he not putting in the effort? Maybe. It might be a lack of effort or it might be a lack of understanding.

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Let’s start with the theory that it’s a lack of understanding. This way I get to use some NLP jargon. A word or warning. NLP (Neuro-Linguist Programming for those who haven’t drunk the kool-aid) is about 60% bullshit and 40% good shit. Take the good stuff, leave the rest.

Communication and Learning Styles

I have an idea of exactly what the problem here is because I’ve been in this exact same situation many times. You said it yourself “I feel that real love should be showing it rather than saying it.” There are four communication styles. Auditory, visual, reading-writing and kinaesthetic or tactile. In any given realm of life, such as romance in your case, people tend towards one of the styles. When it comes to affirming feelings of love it sounds to me like you are a visual person while your partner is an auditory person.

Convincer Strategy

That’s a fancy term for what has to happen and in what format for a person to be convinced that something (such as “he loves me”) is true. He says the words “I love you” to you each and every day and this is probably his convincer strategy for affirming love in a relationship. Thus he assumes that what works for him – his communication style and his convincer strategy – also works for you.

Bad assumption. Your convincer strategy to affirm love looks to be visual cues. As you said “showing not telling”.

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Hints Don’t Count With Boys

When you say you’ve had several conversations with him about this did you really have conversations or have you simply dropped hints? You’re dealing with a boy and boys don’t take hints. You’re going to need to be really clear about what you’re looking for, why you need it and what form it has to take.

Application

Now you know. What do you do with this knowledge? Pass it along to him.

No person is all visual or all auditory or all any other style. People use different communication styles in different realms. It’s not always exclusive either. A person can use a mixture of the communication styles at any given time. Find out what communication style(s) your man uses for learning. Then in that communication style explain about the communication styles, convincer strategy, how this applies to your relationship, what you need from him, and why this is important.

Let me lay one more chunk of jargon on you. Motivation direction. There are two kinds. Moving towards reward and moving away from pain.

You should determine which of theses your partner falls into and apply it when you have this conversation. If he moves toward your presentation is along the lines of this. “If you do this for me you get more sex.” If he moves away it looks like this. “If you don’t do these things for me we are breaking up.” Don’t be that simplistic about it, but that is the general idea.

Be cautions while planning this phase. Using moving towards techniques with someone who moves away will be totally ineffective. Using moving away techniques with someone who moves towards will not only fail to motivate them but will also risk damaging the relationship.

Does all of this sound stupid? Probably so. But I have used this exact process with other people to enhance my relationships and I can tell you it works. Personal experience is my convincer strategy. As the saying goes “If it’s stupid but it works it isn’t stupid.”

Conversation Time

You are going to have to get your man to understand how important it is for him to communicate his feelings of love for you in the ways that are meaningful to you. His ability to do that is going to be critical to maintaining a relationship. His inability to do that is going to be what causes your relationship to fail. It’s that simple. You have to convey to him how important is is that he meets your convincer strategy.

In case it’s not obvious you also have to meet his convincer strategy. From what you’ve told me it sounds like saying “I love you” may be all he needs. Still be sure to check into this and see if you need to be doing something different as well.

If That Doesn’t Work

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If after explaining all of this to him, in depth, in detail, and emphasizing how important this is to you he is still unwilling to put in the effort we can no longer assume it’s due to a lack of understanding. If he isn’t willing to put out (get it, put out? oh…) you need to move on. Harsh but true. You can’t change other people and you can’t ignore what you need to be happy in a relationship.

People who don’t know any better can’t do any better. Once a person knows better it’s a matter of choice not understanding.

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