Blog“And You Show It”

October 8, 2023by Frank Love0

In my previous blog, “The Superpower of Support, Part II,” we discussed the value of supporting our partners even if their goals did not align 100 percent with our own. In this blog, I want to talk about a different kind of loving support — affirmation.

It Is Important To Affirm Our Partner

Do You Affirm Your Partner?

“I see you.”  “I see your efforts.”  “I see that you love me.”  “I see that I matter to you.”  Has anyone ever said one of these or a similar statement to you?  Wait.  More importantly, have you ever made a statement like this to anyone else?

A Special Affirmation

I celebrated my birthday recently.  I was blessed to do so in several ways.  I received text messages wishing me a happy birthday.  My daughter flew home from school to spend the weekend with me.  My family came by and we had dinner together.  It was great.  I appreciate and appreciated all of the expressions of love that I received.  Yet, there was one gesture that stood out.  I was told that I was seen.

Some background: I live within an outstanding community of people.  My community is made up of generations of families interwoven into one another’s lives.  My parents’ friends–my aunt and uncle (who is now deceased)–had daughters with whom I grew up, and consider to be my own sisters. My father and uncle were very close friends.  My aunt and my mother are also very close, and I have the luxury and privilege of also considering my aunt and uncle’s grandchildren my niece and nephews. We all know and love one another–even when we get on each other’s nerves, and perhaps wrong each other. This is only one of the many relationship luxuries my family and I enjoy within our community.

This same aunt and my uncle were at the hospital when I was born.  And over the course of the past 51 years, I always get a “Happy Birthday” phone call in the early part of the day from my aunt. She’s also likely to be at whatever celebration my family puts together later that day.  She has been a stalwart presence in my life, and I love her.

This year, she called me and we participated in our normal dance. She wished me a happy birthday and blessed me with the prayer that my next year is my best year.  We reminisced about her presence at the hospital when I was born and the stories of that time.   As we wrapped up the call, she told me that she loved me.  I responded, noting that I love her too.  I expected that to be the end of the call.  But she blessed me with words of appreciation that blindsided me.  She said, “and you show it.”

Me:   That means so much to hear you say.  Thank you.

Auntie:  Thank you.  And you do.  You check on me to see if you can help me.  If there is anything that is needed, if you can do it, you will.  And I know I can count on you.

What I heard was, “I see you; and I appreciate you.”  It meant so much.

Do I Deserve Affirmation?

It meant a great deal to me because I actually do the things that she noted.  I do them because she is important to me.  I do them because I can.  I do them because I want to.  I do them because of how I was raised.  I do them for many reasons.


Effective Affirmations Reflect How We Want to be Perceived

After knowing me for 51 years, it is safe to say that my aunt has a sense of who I am.  It is this knowing me that (consciously or unconsciously) led her to speak to how I want to be perceived and ultimately affirmed.  


Affirmation in Relationships

What does any of this have to do with relationships?  Often, many of our relationships are on autopilot.  We may love one another.  We may spend time with one another.  We may even appreciate one another.  But do we affirm one another?


Affirmation: Examples

Affirmation in a conversation with anyone can be accomplished by accurately (or close to accurately) paraphrasing or summarizing what our partner has said to us.  When done, it can convey:

  • I am paying attention.
  • I care about you.
  • I care about what you are saying to me.

Affirmation in our everyday co-existence with our partners can be executed by:

  1. Noticing the efforts that our partners are making–particularly those that matter to them and reflect how they wish to be seen in their environment.
  2. Accurately mentioning to our partner what we see them doing in a general way (from No. 1).
    • I see you working to make your parents’ lives easier.
    •  I see you working to give your children enriching experiences that you did not have.
    • I see you working to improve your overall health.
  3. Supporting what we have mentioned that we see happening (No.2) with two specific supporting statements.  Here are a few examples:
    • I see you working to make your parents’ lives better.
      • You go by their home and go for neighborhood walks with them each day.
      • You take them to the grocery store so that they have food.
      • You cook for them.
      • You call them every morning.
    • I see you working to give your children enriching experiences that you did not have.
      • You save and take them on vacations.
      • You take them to museums often.
      • You make sure that they are occupied with nurturing activities such as dance and baseball.
      • You make sure that they spend time with extended family members.
    • I see you working to improve your overall health.
      • You are jogging every day.
      • You have eliminated sugar from your diet.
      • You are eating a lot of vegetables.
      • You are buying healthy groceries.

My aunt affirmed me and I appreciate her doing so.  She made my birthday richer.  And I affirmed her too, by telling her how much her statement meant to me.

How Can I Affirm My Partner?

Moving forward, let’s continue to share with our partners how we feel connected to them.  

  • I love you.
  • I appreciate you.
  • I care about you.

In addition, let’s also pay attention to them and affirm their actions, particularly those that appear to have great deal of meaning to them.  


Thank You

In the spirit of affirming, thank you to all of my sponsors.  I have been asking my Frank Love family to support me and my work. By signing up to contribute at least $2 per month, you help further my efforts toward inspiring each of us to create a loving culture in our relationships.  Your support has been encouraging and affirming.  The value that you see in our relationship is evident to me.  Thank you. 

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

In my next blog, “Count the Stripes,” we will talk about how to organize decision-making in loving relationships.

Watch Frank Love’s presentation “The Act of Caring.”

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Become a sponsor of Frank Love and his work creating a loving cultures in our relationships with a monthly contribution of as little as $2. Sign up today at Patreon,com/FrankLove.

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Each week, Frank Love hosts Zoom support group meetings that assist women and men as we work to create a loving culture in our relationships. Calls occur from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST and can be accessed by visiting FrankWeeklyCall.com.

  • Tuesdays – Black Women: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships
  • Thursdays – Black Men: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships

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Frank Love coaches individuals who are in (or wish to be in) a relationship toward creating a loving culture in their family. He is also the author of Relationship Conversations You Don’t Want to Have (But Should Anyway) and 25 Ways to Be Loving. To schedule a free consultation, contact Frank at Frank@FrankLove.com.

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