• Strengthening Relationships with Nina Kosubevsky

    As the final piece in our Valentine’s Series, Nina and I wanted to take some time to discuss a very important concept: the way you receive love is often not the way you give it. You may notice that your partner is an excellent gift giver and someone with whom gift giving comes naturally. For you, you may receive love through gifts, so it seems like the perfect fit. Yet, for some reason, your partner’s feels unloved by you, like you don’t value them. If they receive love by words of affirmation, it could be that while you give quality time naturally, words of affirmation don’t come as  easily. As a result, they may feel unfulfilled. Similarly, if your receiving love by physical touch, it’s entirely possible that despite your partner offering quality time exceptionally, that you don’t feel fulfilled in your relationship because you feel like they aren’t showing you the love you need.


    That’s why it’s not only important to not only know how you give and receive love but also how your partners does. Knowing this can help you realize when they are attempting to show you consideration even if it may not be filling your love tank. Knowing how your spouse receives love can aid you in filling up their love tank. Likewise, your partner needs to know both how you give and receive love to help fill your love tank.


    How this can play out in your relationships, any relationship (kids, partner, colleagues, etc), is the next step in helping you understand ways to improve your relationships. With ‘love’ and coupling holidays abundant throughout your year, whether it’s St Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or birthdays, it might be stressful for you to figure out just how to  connect on a deeper level within your relationship. What Nina shared above goes a long way in starting that deepening.

    What are Practical Ways to Apply these Lessons in My Relationships?


    It’s time to get down to brass tacks, as they say. You’ve made it this far into our series. You understand the importance of communication with your partner, you’ve read up on personality interactions with expressions of love, you’ve got a grasp on how your kids show their love, and now you even understand that how we give isn’t always how we receive love. So how do you put that into practice?

    My first piece of advice is to figure out and assess two important elements:

    1/ How do you give and receive love from others?
    2/How does your partner give and receive love?

    Jot them down, and leave room for the next part.



    Once you have that written down, the next step is to think of ways that you might show love to your partner based on their needs. You can also do this activity with your partner together, especially if you’re planning a big date night, a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day or an anniversary dinner.

    As you sit down together, consider: What are the ways you can receive the love you need and give the love you need?

    Here are some ideas you might consider to help you practically apply these giving and receiving concepts to your relationships, especially if you struggle with having different giving and receiving languages:

    • Quality time – Playing a board game together or having a Karaoke night
    • Words of affirmation – Writing a letter on all the qualities you love about your partner.
    • Physical touch – Taking a ballroom dance class together or setting up an at-home spa.
    • Gift giving – Making a gift more about sentimental value and less about monetary value. For instance, if you know they had a favorite childhood toy that they lost, try finding a replica of it.
    • Acts of Service-  This could be something as simple as washing your partner’s car for them or taking their car and filing up the gas tank.


    When it comes to planning something together for a special occasion, things might look different, but can still be practical.

    Here are some ideas that we compiled for you:

    • Quality Time
      • J: Walk along a local lighthouse, beach, or coastal inlet, and spend some time engaged in active listening conversations.
      • N: Plan a private picnic with no phones or other distractions.
    • Words of Affirmation
      • J: Set aside a few minutes on your anniversary or special day to tell each other one thing you love about the other person’s personality and efforts they make in your relationship
      • N: Writing a poem about your relationship
    • Physical Touch
      • J: Find a Romantic Comedy to watch together on the sofa, pop the popcorn, and cuddle up while watching it. Just make sure you check to make sure the movie is a good one!
      • N: After dinner, hold hands, and make sure to always stay connected to each other.
    • Gift Giving
      • J: Who doesn’t love a bouquet of flowers or a jersey from a favorite sports team?
      • N: Make a personalized card shaped like a heart with room for a love letter
    • Acts of Service
      • J: Set up that hammock that your partner has expressed wanting to use, which has been sitting in your garage for six months.
      • N: Make breakfast in bed as a surprise on a special day, combined with doing the dishes; it’s a perfect way to say I love you to someone who values Acts of Service


    As we conclude this series on relationships, it is our hope that you’ve been inspired in your relationships, to think outside the box at how you might show, give, and receive love with your partner or loved ones. The lessons of this blog series is far greater than just in romantic relationships. You can apply them to your family members and friends, as well as your colleagues. You can re-evaluate strained relationships you might be experiencing with siblings. You can change the way you see those with whom you interact.

    As you consider these concepts, if you feel like you’d like further guidance in helping to understand your partner, your friends, and your loved ones, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our trained clinical team is here to support you in your journey and it’s our privilege to serve you.  Our Intake Coordinator will be happy to set up a consultation for you.

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