How do you love? Couples Counsellor & Psychotherapist Candy Newman Asks The Big Question

So how do you love? It seems like a very simple question, but when you are asked ‘how do you love?’ by someone it evokes an answer that will be totally unique to your own self. Everyone is different when it comes to addressing their role in a close relationship, and therein lies a potential issue that could possibly cause problems for you and your partner if you both have different needs in a relationship.

Counsellor, psychotherapist, and parent coach Candy Newman, working in North London, looks at some of the factors behind ‘How do you love?’ and offers insights into how our own personal needs affect the way we behave in our close relationships with other people. Candy also offers couples counselling as part of her practice.

She tells us about the causes and benefits for people seeking couples counselling which addresses the question ‘How do you love?’, “All individuals have different family histories, different personal characteristics and different assumptions about what a loving relationship should be like. These differences impact on relationships. You may find yourself reacting to your partner in ways that surprise you. You may begin to feel differently towards your partner than you did at the start of your relationship. Couples counselling is an opportunity to make sense of the complexities of being with another individual. It allows you and your partner to build trust and honest communication with another.”

How do you love? And how that feeling affects close relationships

how do you love by candy newman 01.Image source /

One of the most painful problems that people come up against is feeling unloved in their closest relationships. Many things may contribute to this: difficulties in communication, misunderstandings and unchecked assumptions, lack of quality time for sharing, or inability to prioritise the relationship over other life demands.  It has also been proposed that people express their love in different ways depending on who they are constitutionally.

The founder of formative psychology, Stanley Keleman, argues that we each experience and interact with the world differently and hence we give and receive love in different ways.  Keleman describes three constitutional types:

  • mesomorphs express love through action and movement, are loyal and energetic.
  • endomorphs show love by being receptive and empathic towards loved ones, by being patient and taking care of others.
  • ectomorphs love others by  gathering information about them, by being intuitive and sympathetic, but need more time to be on their own.

Each of us has a mixture of these types but a tendency towards one of them. If we do not take the different ways we love and want to be loved into consideration we will expect our partners to be just like us. And we will feel angry when they are not.

The different ways all we love and want to be loved in relationships

how do you love by candy newman 05.Image source /

For example: 

“I want her to do more with me. I do all these things for her but she does not appreciate it!”

“I don’t need him to do all that stuff. I want him to sit with me and talk? ”

Or perhaps …

“ Why does she want me to be with her so much? I need more time on my own. She doesn’t seem to be interested in anything I want to talk about! ”

According to our constitution some of us value time alone and independence over community and intimacy, some of us value competition and action over family togetherness or a need for solitude and introspection.

If we have a better understanding of our partner’s ways of loving we become more appreciative of what s/he offers us. Anger and criticism turns to acceptance and appreciation.

“My partner loves me but she needs  some time alone.”

Candy Newman on the benefits of couples counselling

how you we love by candy newman 08.Image source /

Candy asks couples the question about ‘How do you love?’, “Are you and your partner having difficulties? Maybe you’re going round and round in the same argument; maybe you are not feeling heard or understood by your partner. You might be feeling the challenges of beginning a new relationship, starting a family or wanting to improve or possibly end your long-term relationship.”

In couples work each partner has the opportunity to let the other know how s/he likes to love and wants to receive love in return. With greater self-knowledge and acceptance we are more likely to ask for what we want and negotiate what is possible. 

We are also more likely to have realistic expectations of our loved ones and to value them for who they are and what they offer to our relationship.

For more information on Candy Newman’s work with couples please get in touch via her website or take a look at her profile on Hq Therapy rooms.

Read More Therapy Articles