Hi, I’m Kale. Today I wanted to talk about the ways we show love when we are super busy humans and we don’t have a ton of time.
There are a lot traditional ways of showing someone that you care about them. One of the biggest ones is how much time you spend with them.
Obviously when we really, really care about someone, we will spend every possible waking moment with them, right?
What about when you really really care about two people? Or three people? Or ten?
How do you divide up your time, and show all those people that they are important to you?
In poly communities it is often said that love is infinite but time is not.
This is a way of saying that our love can grow to encompass new people, but it doesn’t mean we magically have heaps of time to spend with them.
Time is a valuable resources,and it is often commodified in non-monogamous relationships.
Spending it with someone is one way to show them you care about them, but luckily not the only way.
The thing about showing people that we care about them is that it is extremely personal.
Sometimes we show our love for people by doing things for them that we would like them to do for us.
If we love getting little surprise gifts, we might shower someone we are interested in presents from Etsy.
If we love getting back massages, we might find often ourselves saying ‘Hey want a back rub?’ a lot.
How we recognize love being shown is also very personal. Sometimes love is being beamed at us and we might not recognize it.
What are the things you love to do for people you care about? When you first get a crush on someone, what are the little signals you send out?
On the flip side, how do we like people to show their appreciation for us? What are the things that make us feel special and cared about?
After we figure out some of the ways we like other people to show their love for us, we can tell them. We can give them specific examples.
You might think that this is going to take away the romance. Aren’t they supposed to just know the things that make our heart beat faster?
Um, nope. We are relationship anarchists, and hopefully we are a little more aware that the world doesn’t work the way it does in movies.
If we ask the people we care about how they would like us to show love, we might be surprised. It could be totally different from the things we’ve been doing.
People will probably appreciate the straightforwardness, I know I would.
For example, instead of always having to accept flowers with a smile, if that’s something you don’t really care about, you could ask for something you really want.
So, there are a ton of ways to show somebody we care about them, beyond spending time with them. Here are a few examples.
Mailing them a letter or a card, even if they just live down the street
Picking them up a tea or a snack on your way over to visit
Tell them how rad they are!
Be actively engaged when you are together and put your phone away
Hold their hand in public
Or don’t hold their hand in public if that’s not a thing they are into
Walk their dog for them when they are sick (or just because)
Do something with them that you might not do on your own but that they are really into
There are also big ways that you can show someone you care about them
Share your life goals or you passions with them
being there in times of crisis, and prioritize them when they need you
Or be vulnerable in front of each other
One thing I would like to loop this all back to is consent, which is a key principle in relationship anarchy.
We can tell people how we want them to show love. And we can ask them how they want us to show love. But it should always come from a place of consent.
What really matters is that we are doing these actions voluntarily. In the end, people have to consent to how they wish to express and receive love.
If you ask someone for ways that you can make them feel special, they might say they love getting cards in the mail.
But if that isn’t something you’re really into, you don’t have to do it. You can ask for other ideas.
It is important to balance finding ways to express our love while not being coerced into doing things we really don’t want to do.
It has to be okay to say - I really do not want to go to your parents house for Christmas, without there being guilt and punishment.
Inside this conversation about showing love, leave space for the word no. Accept boundaries, and find something that works for both of you.
What are some of the ways you like to show, or be shown love? To be a part of the discussion, post a comment, join our Facebook group or follow me on Twitter, all which you will find down below. Thanks for watching, bye!