GOD this felt familiar.
Because, okay, if you know me at all you know that my husband is one of those incredibly supportive, embarrassingly thoughtful, kind, attentive, always-anticipating-my-needs kind of partners. It is how he shows his love, by always trying to imagine what I need to make me happier and making sure I have it or can get it. He loves me very much, so I have an incredible life that is made much more so by his efforts, and I am very lucky.
But there have still been times in our 20 year partnership when I haven’t felt properly prized, because (a) I am a pretty princess, let’s face it, but less judgmentally (b) it’s just… that’s not how I feel it. I feel it when somebody is giving me overt attention, in ways that make me flush with pleasure and squirm in my belly. And I can know that he does these things for me, that he has built a life with me and treasure that for the gift of love it is, but I still need presents on Valentine’s Day and compliments and whispers in my hair.
It’s just… how we are. There’s no point in trying to judge, or change; there are better ways to handle this. How your partner shows love and how you experience love are not always the same thing, and it takes time and negotiation and experience and communication to both understand what your partner is giving you but also what your partner needs, and how you can make those sync up.
All of which is to say: god I am so Kurtlike that it continues to be kind of embarrassing.