Sometimes the differences in how we express love or wish to receive it are obvious. Such obvious examples include the difference between the cool (some say “icy”), calm, collected NT and the warm, expressive, sometimes scattered NF. The NFs usually welcome human touch and give it freely. However, the NTs shun almost all expressions of warmth through physical touch and do not offer it. This is true from childhood through adult. Therefore, it affects how you relate to your children as well as your partner — and casual acquaintances as well.
How Your Partner Prefers You to Express Your Love May Surprise You
In romance, the desires and expressions of love can vary greatly, even within a temperament. For example, the ESFJ has markedly different needs than the ISTJ. And the ENFP is more outwardly oriented in love than the INFP. Each letter will have something to say about how we love and want to be loved. Partners are often dumbfounded to learn that their spouse wants to be loved in a different way than they themselves do. Love also means something different from one type to another. An introverted lover wants something different out of love than an extroverted lover.
Without love, all types wilt. But some wilt much more quickly than others. Understanding a person’s love needs and how they express love makes for a stronger bond between lovers. Intimacy is more meaningful and transforms the simple touch into a meaningful encounter for some, but not for others.
To Successfully Express Love, You Must Understand
Love depends on understanding and the more we understand, the closer the bond. We will not willingly and meaningfully give ourselves to those who do not understand us. Out of understanding each other’s type comes respect and acceptance that makes each partner feel at home in the other’s love. Is this a benefit? More than that! It’s a treasure!
How do you like to be loved and express love?
Are you sure your partner wants to be loved the same way you do? What would your relationship be like if you expressed your love the way your partner wants to receive it, and vice versa? This is a topic you need to discuss. If you truly love your partner, you want to understand and love them in the way they want to receive that love. The rewards are invaluable.
Neither partner should feel guilty or inadequate because they prefer to receive their mate’s expressions in a different way than their mate. That preference comes from how we are made on the inside (our temperament and our type), not some arbitrary “right or wrong” way to express love. The only wrong way is the expression that does not respect and honor the preferences of the one to whom you are trying to express your love. Wow your mate with your understanding!
Start by discovering how each of you is made.
Once you know your two-letter temperament and your four-letter type, discover what those letters mean. Learn how the two of you differ by reading about each of your temperaments in INNERKINETICS.
From this better understanding of each other, you will discover better how each of you prefers the other to express love. You will also be able to anticipate what is needed, even without your partner having to tell you.