There are three different ways to show love — visual, kinesthetic and auditory. To be able to give the “right” kind of love, it's important to first understand under which category we — and of course — our partners fall under.
Visual people enjoy love that’s shown via gifts. They love seeing actual physical gifts like video montages, doing chores or getting dressed up. It’s easy to brand these people as shallow, but they’re not. They are simply just visual people. Visual people also tend to say things like “I see what you mean,” or “See you later” or have very animated hand gestures in explaining something. They are also the ones who tend to be more aware of how they look or are more fashionable.
Kinesthetic people are touchy people, to put it simply. They value hugging, holding hands and cuddling. Oftentimes, they’re also the types of people who enjoy physical activities like sports, dancing or staying outdoors. An easy way to identify a kinesthetic person is through a handshake. They usually have firm, secure handshakes.
They are the people who are often mistaken as being too flirty because they like to touch, when in reality, they are just being friendly and comfortable. They are the ones who usually greet with high fives.
Finally, auditory people are the ones who appreciate a more vocal kind of love. Auditory people love hearing the words “I love you” from an object of affection. They also enjoy music more than most of us and some may even be gifted with singing or a musical instrument. Here’s the catch: most auditory people are not kinesthetic. That’s why of all three categories, they tend to have the weakest handshakes. This means that unless the person is already very comfortable with you, he or she will shy away from physical contact.
When you (or your partner) walk in to a room, what is the first thing you do? Do you look around the room, at decorations or the people? Or do you go around the room, trying to get a “feel” for your surroundings? Do you immediately notice the music playing or the conversations transpiring?
After identifying in which category you or your partner fits, work on your “loving style.” Understand first that for this to work, it is not about YOUR style that is most important, but your partner’s. Know what kind of love he or she needs and provide that. Imagine that you are visual but your partner is auditory. Over the course of your two-year relationship you’ve been giving gifts because that’s the best way you believe that love is shown.
But, your partner always complains that he or she just wants you to say you love him or her more often. And vice versa; you like to receive gifts, but your partner recited a sonnet and didn’t even dress up for your last anniversary. Communication and observance are key.
How to love a visual person:
Gifts, gifts, gifts! And they need not be expensive! Pick some flowers on your way from work, leave a sweet note by the bedside table or do some chores. You could give framed photos, clothing, letters and cards. Also, be aware of your body language when you are with visual people. Keep good eye contact and dress presentably.
How to love a kinesthetic person:
Cuddle! Yes, these are the people who most appreciate cuddling. Or even just a comforting pat on the back when they feel down. Hold their hands and hug them often, even though this isn’t your style. Doing so will help you to strengthen your bond with your kinesthetic partner. Take your partner out dancing or even just watch a sporting event.
Also, never underestimate the power of texture. Kinesthetic people love touching things, so give them gifts made of satin, or something soft or textured wood or stone — things that are interesting to touch.
How to love an auditory person:
Tell these people how you feel. They appreciate hearing the words “I love you.” They are very sensitive to the tone of your voice, so take extra care when “raising your voice” in arguments.
They may need to talk more often than other people, so just be there and listen if you don’t feel like taking a big part in a conversation. Give compliments, talk about your day and maybe even sing a song if you feel like it. Go to concerts or music festivals or even just to a cozy jazz café downtown.
The bottom line is that we all show our love a bit differently and I hope knowing these ideas will help you to express yourself better. As long as you do these from the heart, you'll be good to go.
Photo via We Heart It