It is very common to have two completely, and often times, polar opposite communication styles in a romantic pairing.
There will be the communicator: Needs or wants regular text messages, phone calls, and is the social butterfly of the couple. Usually the one to send out the Holiday and Birthday cards, and keeps the social calendar for the couple/family. Not necessarily the organized one, but does receive reassurance that everything is going well through reciprocated energy. In the communicators eyes, send a text message, get one of equal content back.
Actions more than words: This person in the relationship will consolidate text messages. For every few that that receive, they will respond with one. Their need is in receiving, as in actions speak louder than words. Chances are, they are great when it comes to career and business, but fall quite short in their personal and romantic sector. They tend to show how they feel via action, not words nor communications. Action is a form of communication!
There are definitely combinations and hybrids in between, but there is usually a distinct difference in the coupling when it comes to styles.
The communicator needs to hear that they are loved and cared for by their partner/spouse. This need is so powerful that it can build up some pretty deep resentment, if over time, their needs are not met. This can be followed by a growing fear, anxiety, and uncertainty that they are loved and valued. The less their romantic partner gives, the greater the resentment, anger, and then keeping track of "I did this and you did that" occurs.
The action person in the relationship may not understand the neediness of the communicator. In their eyes they have said I love you, and everything is okay once that week, so surely they MUST know how I feel about them. They can get frustrated and begin to flag in their efforts to demonstrate their love through action, and not have that validated. In fact, they may feel that the communicator is all words, and not meeting their currency in the least! They want to see they are loved, for that is what they offer out. Saying I love you to the action oriented person, is less meaningful that picking up their favorite latte and bringing it home to them.
How to bridge the gap:
Accept each other as you are, for they are the same person with whom you grew to love! While you were in your courtship and dating phases, you both put your best energy forward and actively tried to meet the other's needs. As you became more comfortable in the relationship, you began to demonstrate your style and your currency (what makes you feel validated).
Your romantic partner has not really changed, they are showing what they are needing in the form that they offer it out to you.
If you would like to identify your and your partner's currencies this book is a great read:
The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary D Chapman, Moody Publishers
Embrace the fact that you are different and that these qualities attracted you to one another!
Entering the relationship you did not have the unhealthy expectation to "change or mold them" to what you wanted.
These differences can make your relationship more dynamic and keep things fresh and interesting.
Schedule a time to talk about what you are each needing, set the time for 10 -15 minutes each, where you each express what is meaningful to you and how you most appreciate the it being expressed. Try letting the ACTION oriented partner go first, for they will lose interest the quickest in the process. Really listen to one another without interruption.
Make the agreement that you will both do your best to ensure that each of your needs is being met a certain number of times a week or an overall percentage of the time. Now follow through with this new understanding.
One of my families favorite sayings:
"Love shows up!"
Specifically, you may not understand your partner's currency of love being demonstrated through action, but it IS a perfectly acceptable form of love.
You may not understand why the communicator needs consistent reassurance through phone conversations, text messages, emails, cards, and letters, but again, it IS a viable need or desire.
Have the message that resides between you be "We embrace our differences and accept one another unconditionally."
When they do meet your need, let them know how much it meant to you, with the most appreciated form of reciprocity.
In my own family tree I am the communicator, my partner represents Action, my kids represent shared experience as in travel/time spent together/receiving cards and gifts ( I have 3 kids!). My Mother was Communication, my Father Action,
my sibling being active (as in sports). We have more than one currency, but we each have one dominant one.
Let us each celebrate the differences, and make the most of them. We might even learn from each other and grow!
Thank you for making SBP blog part of your day. You are respected and appreciated. Please feel free to share it with those in need of hope and healing. It is freely offered and joyfully shared.
I love you and I believe in you.
In Divine Celebration of our Differences,