General Examples of Being Loving

We all share the goal of being more loving to our partner, but most of us don’t have a clue what that would look like. Here are some situations people had and how they could be more loving.

If you want to do an activity with a friend, it is more loving to give your partner options.

  • “Sweetie, I’d like to see Brian for a few hours this week. Is there a particular night that’d work best for you?”
  • “I’d like to go see my dad on Friday or Saturday night. Would one of those nights work better for you?”

Sharing what you like is more intimate than simply requesting your partner do something.

  • “I really enjoy being physically close to you when we watch TV.” is better than “You should sit by me more.”

If you have something difficult to talk about, sit face to face and touch each other. The moment that you don’t want to keep touching your partner, or that they stop touching you, the conversation ends. The only reason you’d stop touching each other is if you’re upset, and if you’re upset enough to not touch, you’re upset enough that you’re better off not talking right then.


  1. Victor and Lisa had been fighting. Victor recognized his responsibility in the situation. He reached out a few times verbally and physically to Lisa, but she didn’t respond. He was talking about how hard it is to keep trying when nothing’s working. I showed him how he didn’t have to be hostage to Lisa’s anger.

    “Lisa, I’d really like to be closer to you. I’ve done the things I can think of to help make that happen. It seems like it’s too soon for you. If you know something I can do, I’d love to have you share it with me. (Pause) If not, I’m going to leave you alone for right now, because I feel like my efforts are bothering you. I’ll come back and check on you in a bit, but if you think of something I can do before then, come find me and let me know, because being close to you is what’s most important to me.”

  2. Samantha knew that Glen was done with his meeting at 3:30 and that hehad a three-hour drive home. At 6:00 she realized she was irritated that he hadn’t called her. She’d been doing some work in Real Love and realized that she could be just as responsible for them speaking, so she called him. He’d had a great meeting and was pleased with how things went. Samantha wished he would’ve called her to share that at 3:30. She took his not doing that as evidence that they weren’t close, and she was right. Rather than complain to him about that, I helped her see how she could make a request.

    “Glen, I’d really like to feel closer to you. I’d like to know when things are going well for you. It feels good when you call me to share your successes and wins. I’d love to hear about those moments when the feelings are fresh for you, too.”

  3. Brandon was learning about the Real Love principles and trying to do things differently with Elle. He was sharing his frustration, that his increase in affection hadn’t yielded results. He said, “Sometimes, when I give Elle a hug, it feels like she’s distracted.” He wanted her to be different. Rather than expecting his partner to be different to give him what he wanted, I suggested that he start asking her what she’s thinking about when she seems distracted. That is a way he can show he really cares about her, and she’ll have opportunities to share with him her fears that are distracting her.

    “Hey, Babe, I noticed that you seemed a bit distracted when I just hugged you. I’m curious if something is on your mind. Is there anything you want to talk about?”

  4. Amy’s adult daughter, Connie, lives 2,000 miles away. Connie occasionally requests her parents watch the kids for a week, while she and her husband go on vacation. Their apartment is rather small, so when Amy and her husband come, they have to pay for the plane tickets and a hotel room. They are getting close to retirement and need to be saving more money. Amy is afraid to talk to Connie because she’s so critical, especially around money. I helped Amy see what the truth was and what she could tell Connie.

    “Connie, Dad and I love the opportunities we have to come visit the kids. We feel it is a privilege to be with our grandkids and that you all trust us to care for them when you are gone. However, we’re both planning on retiring soon, and need to make some changes around how we spend money. We’d still be delighted to watch the kids, but if you need us to babysit, we need you to pay for our flights.”

    It’s a good idea for Amy to talk to Connie soon, hopefully before she asks they visit again. Doing it now helps Connie to know what’s coming rather than an abrupt change.

  5. Jose had been learning about Real Love for the last six months. Despite doing many things differently, his wife, Maria, still wasn’t interested. The other day, Jose saw Maria yelling at one of the children. He wanted to know what he could do. I suggested he use something like this.

    “The other day I noticed you talking to Sam. It seemed like you were upset. I don’t blame you. I often get upset with the children, but lately I’ve been making an effort to do things differently and it seems to be helping. I would like it if we could work together on doing it differently. The thing our children need most is to be loved. When we’re frustrated or upset at them, we aren’t capable of being loving. Nothing we can tell our kids is more important than “I love you.” If we can’t communicate that, I don’t think it is worth it to keep talking to them, no matter what we’re trying to teach them. If you’re willing, I’d like to make an arrangement with you. If you ever see me being irritated when I talk to the kids, you’re welcome to take over. If you come over to me and touch me on the shoulder and start talking to the kids, I’ll know that you are “tagging in” and I should go cool off. Would it be okay if I did something similar with you?”

    I then pointed out to Jose that Maria really got to choose what she wanted, and as important as loving his kids is, loving his partner is more important. And what if Maria doesn’t want to do this? Then Jose would wait three weeks or so, and the next time he sees her talking to the children while she’s upset, he’d wait a day or two to talk to her about it again.