By Anna Simone.
One of the key life affirming emotions valued as humans is that of being deeply loved by another, so aim to get very clear on each others’ love language to avoid getting lost in translation! Love was not built in a day. It takes repeated acts of TLC for it to blossom year after year, through all the highs and lows…
Love is such an elusive emotion. It is generally accepted to be the close bed fellow of hate, which ironically inhabit the same small universe called ‘our brain’. But today my question to you is about love which I believe will ultimately save the day. So let me ask you: when do you feel really deeply loved?
Which feelings does love provoke in you? Is it about connection? To be adored? To be recognised and valued, emotionally, physically and intellectually by the other? Damn, that sounds like a lot to ask for, but we know that if these areas of our inner identity are not seen by the other, eventually we develop feelings of neglect which often lead to a lot of hidden resentment or a sense of being alone in a relationship. The statistics show, its women as a majority who break relationships, and I suspect that this happens all too often because of am emotional disconnect that weakens all the other aspects in a couples life.
So the story goes, depending on how we were brought up and experienced love in our childhood, this is typically how we feel loved the most. At the beginning of a new relationship, the brain is high on the love drug, Oxytocin which makes it almost impossible to truly know if you and your new true love are really compatible.
The heightened state of being ‘in love’ usually starts fading after about two years. By which time if a couple hasn’t managed to create a sense of ‘future together’, with a healthy social or intellectual life, the couple’s highly charged passion starts loosing its steam, cracks may start to appear and you begin to look at your partner as though they were speaking Chinese!
So what can we do to increase our chances of long lasting love? In my search for answers I came across an interesting concept, ‘The Five Languages of Love’, which states: each person experiences and expresses love differently, but there are certain universal rules when it comes to how we experience love. They can be summarised in five different behavioural patterns.
It’s important to note: we typically show love in the way we most want to receive it, but that is not necessarily the best fit for our partner, and that is where long-term misalignment can set in. Here are the five love languages we are said to speak:
1: Words of affirmation: Words used to acknowledge and recognise the other person: ‘You are the most incredible lover, ‘You are so considerate…’ etc. Don’t just think it, say it and often.
2: Acts of service: For these people, they feel loved when you do something for them… actions speak much louder than words in this person’s mind and heart.
3: Receiving gifts: It may seem too obvious, but for some, the ultimate love statement is receiving a very thoughtful gift, something physical they can keep and brings them a feeling of abundance.
4: Quality time: This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention. ‘Even though life is very busy, I’m making time for you, because you are my highest priority.’
5: Physical touch: To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than touch, and if you withhold touch, a partner high chances they will eventually feel unloved by you.
The challenge here is to recognise what really matters to your partner, even if it’s not your own instinctive style of affection and love. You have to speak to your partner in their own ‘language’ if you want them to feel loved and seen by you. There is a belief that for every one negative act or comment, it takes seven positive ones to redress the balance. So don’t be afraid to show and share what works for you by creating an environment of positive reinforcement. Love is the greatest glue in a relationship, it overrides some many other issues, so invest in the language of love and love will be your reward!
Never forget in the process of falling and STAYING in love, it all starts with that internal love language dialogue… I love you, je t’aime, ik houd van jou, 我真的爱你, which I suspect is where the real work starts! ‘I love you despite of your imperfects’.
With love from She Dares writing group. This is the first of hopefully many blogs written by group members, if you feel inspired to contribute…. don’t be shy!