Why you and your partner love differently

My wife and I have been together for 12 years, and it took me about a decade to realize that she isn't big on taking, posting, or scrapbooking pictures of us.

I always assumed that not only did women enjoy showing off pictures of themselves and their significant other to the world, but they were always inclined to wear the photographer hat in the relationship.

Not so in mine. That task has fallen on my shoulders.

I have found myself taking the lion's share of photos for occasions big and small -- whether at birthday parties or while on vacation. Not only that but I've been diligent in posting them on Facebook and maintaining an album that includes pictures and keepsakes from our different trips, like movie tickets, museum passes, etc.

Eventually, I started taking this a bit personally and brought it to my wife's attention. She insisted it had nothing to do with me and stated she's never been a big picture person to begin with. She's self-conscious about taking pictures and often thinks she looks terrible in them.

I told my wife that until I see her more invested in taking and posting pictures, I am not going to take as many -- and not nearly as often. She agreed it was fair and pledged to make more of an effort moving forward.

It'd be silly to think that her reluctance to take pictures means she doesn't take pride in our relationship. She is simply a more private person who doesn't like others getting in our business. She does show pictures to family members and close friends, but she's not a fan of putting them on the internet for everyone and his brother to see.

Only gradually did I realize that not everyone expresses their love for their partner in the same ways. She cooks for me, surprises me with cutesy things every so often, and gives me warm hugs.

I told her that we should still attempt to get out of our comfort zones every so often to do things that may make the other person happy but may not come naturally. She could work harder when it comes to the pictures, wearing her hair down (which I love but she finds to be a chore), and going with me to exercise. I could take her to more things she enjoys but that I may not find all that thrilling, like painting ceramics, watching musicals, and so forth.

We have to accept that although we may have a lot in common with our partner, we won't always enjoy the same things or meet each other's expectactions. If there's something you really want your partner to do for you, there's no harm in addressing it. But don't expect your partner to go along with it, and even if he or she agrees, it may take months -- if not years -- and repeated prodding to change their behavior in the direction you'd like.

Do you agree that people love differently?

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