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Opposites Attract (Not without a challenge): A Journey into Love Languages

In almost every way my fiancée and I were different when it came to how we’re mentally and emotionally built. I was upfront with emotions especially in regards to her, family and friends and she was reserved. I was eager to communicate to solve problems and find compromise and she tended to bottle her feelings or ignored them until she exploded. In the early years of our relationship, we often fought about how our relationship should work. Admittedly, I came into my relationship with immature ideas. I was still stuck on the puppy dog phase of love where I wanted to spend every waking second with her in person or over the phone and she relished in her alone time.

Years ago when I was ranting to my friend at work about a fight my fiancée and I had and she told me about the idea of love languages. Being young and foolish, I didn’t put much thought into it. The hard way isn’t always the best way but it was the road I was on. But, with time came wisdom and desire to grow. What really put us to the test was my being unemployed. It was one of the bigger tests in our relationship. We were living together, sharing finances and terrified that things wouldn’t get back on track. Tense situations like unemployment can either make or break a person and I chose to benefit from it. Money makes every couple edgy and we were no different. However, instead of pointing fingers and worsening the situation I chose to really think about what we both needed in terms of the foundation of our relationship: our love for ourselves and each other. I revisited the love languages model and started to apply some of what I was reading to my everyday behavior.

Further research on the basic understanding of the love languages was needed and I came across The Five Love Languages by Larry Chapman. With a very generic internet understanding of the book, I was able to get further detail on each language. Chapman’s explains the five languages in great detail. His version of the Love Languages presents five languages: Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Affirmations and Receiving Gifts. Instead of having just one love language Chapman explains that each of us has a primary and a second love language to fulfill our figurative love tanks of emotion needed to thrive. Makes sense that you need to feel love and love yourself to fuel your relationship. He also details experiences of uses of these languages with his name protected patients and how they applied them to their own relationships.

After reading the book, I was able to pick out her love languages rather easy after applying my knowledge of her past and my knowledge of what made her happiest in the present day. Without going into too much detail about her past or our present together, I concluded that she fell under the languages of Acts of Service and Quality Time. Once the conclusion was reached I started to apply them accordingly. I began to do things without her asking, I began to put my phone away (more often, because I’m not going to pretend to be perfect) when we were spending together. I began to thoroughly pay attention to our interactions and saw a noticeable difference in how we operated. Fights were far and few and communication was at an all-time high, an accomplishment indeed! With a lot of trial and error, I’d like to think that we’ve found some sort of clarity on how we need to be loved and how we need to love each other.

I’m not saying by any means this is a cure-all to anything. Sometimes love just isn’t enough. Also, you don’t necessarily have to be in trouble to enjoy a little light reading on the betterment of your relationship. To me, it’s interesting to find the little blanks you might miss in your relationship because ego and self-interest get in the way. I definitely recommend it.

Truth be told (Self-care Post)

I’m pooped. This week has successfully kicked the living shit out of me and I’ve reached my usual posting days and I’ve drawn a huge blank. Working, living, and planning a wedding I knew would from time to time would not be conducive for a muse for writing but I don’t want to give up. This page is centered on the different aspects of my life, my mental health journey and how I choose to handle it so I decided to go with the truth. Truth be told, I am pooped. This week has been long and busy and self-care is needed.

My self-care began Wednesday when I got home to my fiancée and I was able to vent, eat a big thing of my favorite soup and watch our Wednesday shows. Self-care isn’t just one routine for me. It’s a process that is situational. Sometimes I want to be alone and watch wrestling, sometimes I want to call my best friend in Boston and just check in. No relief to a stressful time looks the same.

I invite you to let me know what your self-care routine looks like. I also encourage you to make sure that something resembling self-care is being done. Too often we got wrapped in our daily lives and put ourselves on the back burners. We cannot be useful in any situation unless we have a ‘full tank of gas’ mentally and physically to do so. People forget to sleep, eat or just rest in general. Life is full on going rhythms sometimes the need to stop is more paramount than the need to continue.

I hope to return to full swing next week because I am enjoying this two-day posting schedule. Despite, not making an official commitment to anything I am making an unofficial commitment to myself. I’ve attached an article from Psych Central in regards to this topic. I realize I’m not a licensed anything to be preaching so in efforts to fact check myself and ensure credibility stays pertinent, have a look!
https://psychcentral.com/lib/how-clinicians-practice-self-care-9-tips-for-readers/



The 2018 Annual Attitude of Gratitude: Bloggers Flood The Internet with Positivity!

I almost missed this! Thank you to Dawn from Tales from the Motherland for the January 31st extension. The end of the year brought a ton of chaos for me. I was let go from my job of 4 years. It was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing for fresh perspective but a curse for the financial worry that came with the loss. 4 years was gone in an instant, igniting every job related insecurity I’ve had bottled up. October to December brought two months of soul searching, bad temp jobs, and finally a new job to settle into. January has been the light at the end of the tunnel so I am happy to be able to share positivity with the blogosphere. Please visit Tales from the Motherland to have a look at Dawn’s entry in this beautiful movement and use the instructions in her entry to write your own. Without further ado, please enjoy my list.

  1. Family – they are the foundation for everything.
  2. Routine.
  3. My dog.
  4. A clean house. Marie Kondo isn’t lying, clutter makes you crazy but maybe you don’t have to thank your things.
  5. Clean water to drink, shower, and cook with.
  6. A warm bed filled with love and comfort.
  7. FaceTime/Snapchat/FB to keep in touch with my parents and family out of state.
  8. My fiancée.
  9. My education – for success and for expression.
  10. A job that appreciates and wants to invest in me.
  11. My cell phone.
  12. Coffee.
  13. Take-out.
  14. A good sale at Old Navy.
  15. Professional Wrestling.
  16. Nerd culture.
  17. Comic-Cons and soon to be Wrestle-Cons.
  18. Friends, both digital and lifelong.
  19. My imagination.
  20. My DVR.
  21. A steady TV program line up that I love.
  22. Autobiographies.
  23. Time well spent in good company or alone.
  24. Public transportation.
  25. My anxiety – It’s a weird perspective but it’s brought a lot of positivity to light and forced me to highlight the /good/ in everything.
  26. Being able to legally marry the love of my life.
  27. Cheap rent.
  28. All the self-help outlets I found this year.
  29. Being able to explore downtown Manhattan.
  30. Video games with good stories.
  31. My Fitbit versa forcing me to walk more.
  32. Having my parents’ home in Pennsylvania to escape to.
  33. My growing knowledge of technology.
  34. Good people to learn from.
  35. A roof over my head to shield me from the elements and keep me out of danger.
  36. My childhood on 61st.
  37. Working in retail this year and remembering the perks of making friends.
  38. Twitter.
  39. Instagram.
  40. Freedom of speech and expression – it’s a gift, believe it or not.
  41. The ability to freely think and the encouragement to do so.
  42. The news.
  43. The DARE book.
  44. The places I’ve traveled to.
  45. The places I will travel to.
  46. Boston Gay Pride every year.
  47. A good relationship with my mother.
  48. Sweet and savory foods, can’t choose one.
  49. My struggles.
  50. Being able to make this within the deadline and join a very talented group of bloggers.

This is the first year I’ve made 50 within the 15 minute timer so I’m very proud of that. Shutting myself up and keeping it simple has always been a struggle but I’m glad I did!