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I look at my beloved with a big smile on my face – and I feel so much love for him. People often look at us and comment on how “cute” we are because we are in love. Cute doesn’t seem like the right word for a couple our age, however, I understand the intent of their message.

I find that the chemistry we have and the love we feel for each other isn’t as common with couples as I thought it was. It certainly exists – but it is not consistent. So I did a little research and started to ask some questions about the challenges to expressing love. This is what I discovered.

  1. Couples hold grudges. They are upset at their partner and they hold resentment inside. When they feel like that – they refuse to express their love. In healthy relationships, partners don’t intentionally try to upset each other. Relationships have highs and lows. It is in the low moments that we forget to just love.
  2. Couples get upset easily. Oh my goodness – the majority of people take others’ comments personally! Most times, the other person’s comments have nothing to do with their partner. My partner has a philosophy – he asks himself – “is this situation going to bother me in a year from now? If not, then let it go – it’s not that important”. I love that concept. Even asking yourself the same question about your partner – will this bother me tomorrow, or next week or next month? Let it go and just love.
  3. Couples get busy. Even for the couples who have healthy and happy relationships – they get busy and don’t spend enough time together. When they do have some spare time – they are tired. Working at relationships takes work. Make yours a priority. That means including your relationship in your list of priorities. Yes, schedule time or make time – even if it’s 30 minutes – for each other. Make time to just love.
  4. Couples are judgmental of each other. This was the most common barrier I found. People blame each other, point out every mistake, complain, make their partner feel guilty or label them – you are lazy, etc. They fail to accept their partner for who he/she is. My partner loves his sports teams, wildlife shows and Forensic Files. I love the Weather Network and storm watching! We give each other space to pursue our interests, we support each other and are there for each other to pick up the pieces when they fall. We make it safe when there is a problem. We just love each other – no matter what.
  5. Couples don’t know how to express love. According to Dr. Gary Chapman of The Five Love Languages, we all have our own way of how we want love expressed. If I don’t know what I need from my partner, how can I expect him to know? It’s also up to me to observe how he shows love on his terms – which may be different than mine. Everyone needs to know they are loved. To just love your partner is a beautiful thing – to express it takes it to a new level!

When you see your partner next, stop what you are doing, smile, give him/her a hug and regardless of what has gone on in your day – don’t forget to JUST LOVE!