I Love You Too!
Within most relationships, one person is the primary initiator, and the other is the responder. For example, in the area of affection, one spouse says, “I love you,” and the other spouse responds by saying, “I love you, too.”
The initiating spouse will reach out their hand first, and the other spouse responds by accepting the other’s hand.
This dynamic is mainly because of people’s temperament enhanced by their environment and potentially learned behavior.
Will this change?
It is essential to understand this will always be the case. The initiator will mainly initiate, and the responder will generally respond. Trying to change these defaults may cause an immense amount of stress, anxiety, and conflict within the relationship.
However, there can be movement on behalf of the responder to gravitate towards the center. The responder needs to learn to initiate more than they usually do.
Even if both spouses are naturally responders, one still initiates more than the other.
Temperament will determine the extent of the dominance of the initiator and the responder. For instance, the initiator could do so 80% vs. the responder initiating 20%. Or, it could be 60% vs. 40%, etc.
What should I do?
In the 80/20 example, it would be beneficial for the responder initiating affection only 20% of the time to minimize the gap between them and their spouse who is initiating 80%. In most cases, the reason for this is that the dominant initiator will begin to wonder why the other rarely initiates affection. If there is no change, what will naturally happen is the initiator will start to back off. A big reason for this is they will at least subconsciously begin to distrust the other. If there is no communication, the responder will be confused, and the relationship, without intervention, will turn cold.
If you are the one that says, “I love you too,” be more aware. Say, “I love you,” more often, and let the initiator say, “I love you too.” Push past the discomfort and you will both benefit and feel like winners.
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