Vail Valley relationship column: What behaviors say ‘I love you’? |

Vail Valley relationship column: What behaviors say ‘I love you’?

Neil Rosenthal
Vail CO, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado

Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series.

What behaviors represent love to you? What words or actions mean “I love you” to your partner? In order to answer those questions, you must know what matters the most to you in a relationship, and you must know what touches your partner’s heart.

Take this quiz regarding behaviors which mean “I love you,” modified from Pat Love in her book “The Truth About Love.” Rank the following relationship behaviors on how important they are to you using the following scale:

Not important Somewhat Important Very Important

1 2 3 4 5 6

1. Physical affection.

2. Sexual touching.

3. Having sex.

4. Being excited about sex.

5. Pleasing one another sexually.

6. Keeping romance alive with gifts, cards, gestures.

7. Having fun with my partner.

8. Getting along well on a regular basis.

9. Being able to share my feelings with my partner.

10. Being able to talk openly with my partner.

11. Having my partner support me.

12. Putting effort and energy into the relationship.

13. Seeing my partner put effort and energy into the relationship.

14. Feeling close and connected.

15. Feeling that we’re good friends with each other.

16. Trusting my partner to be faithful.

17. Trusting my partner to tell me the truth, and to include me in on personal information, feelings and decisions.

18. Getting financial support from my partner.

19. Getting a permanent commitment.

20. Spending time as a couple with friends.

21. Spending time as a couple with family.

Scoring: Add the total scores for items 1 through 6, which relate to chemistry. Place your score for the chemistry items here: _______.

Now add your total scores for items 7 through 15, which relate to compatibility. Place your score for compatibility items here: _______.

Finally, add your scores for items 16 through 21, which relate to commitment. Place your commitment score here: _______.

Now look at the columns below and circle the range for your scores:

Chemistry Compatibility Commitment Range

25–36 37-54 25-36 High

13-24 19-36 13-24 Moderate

1-12 1-18 1-12 Low

Based upon your score, how can your partner best show you that s/he loves you? What words or behaviors best say “I love you” to your partner? What insight can you gain from your scores? I will address this subject in next week’s column.

Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the Denver/Boulder area, specializing in how people strengthen their intimate relationships. He can be reached at 303-758-8777, or e-mail him from his Web site,

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