How to Speak the Same Love Language as Your Partner

How-to-Speak-the-Same-Love-Language-as-Your-Partner_BANNER

Have you ever done the dishes for your significant other, only to have them shrug it off and complain that you never see each other? Or perhaps your spouse constantly craves physical affection, when you’d much rather sit down and just talk? In these circumstances, it can often feel like you speak a different language to your partner. Couple relationships can hang by a thread, because both people feel misunderstood and under-valued by one another.

Would you like to get on the same page? Understand what language your partner speaks when it comes to love? Then this infographic by Tommie Media on the 5 Love Languages can help you out. Based on the premise that every human gives and receives love in five different ways, the primary way you show affection may be drastically different you’re your partner.

Follow the graph below to find out how you best receive and recognise love. It could be Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time or Gifts. Ask your partner to do it to, and you will find out how to best express love to each other. For instance, you may be a gifts person, but they may crave physical touch. So, instead of buying them gifts to show affection, you are now able to show them physical affection and strengthen your relationship of a deeper level. Knowing each other’s Love Language will revolutionise your relationship and help you to reconnect. So go ahead, and see what your Love Language is!

How-to-Speak-the-Same-Love-Language-as-Your-Partner_INFOGRAPHIC

Would you like to get on the same page and understand what language your partner speaks when it comes to love? Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

The Choice to Love

The-Choice-to-LoveThe Easter season brings together many of my favourite things; family, love and chocolate. As I reflected on this time of year and what  I wanted to share with you, the movie Chocolat came to mind. Aside from highlighting my love of chocolate, it also brought together the single most important aspect of this holiday- the choice to love.

Set in a small French village on a hill alongside a river, it is late winter/early Spring. The season of Lent is upon us, a universal Catholic tradition taken very seriously by the small community which is dominated by the Catholic Church. The town clerk resides in a building in the centre of town. In the tradition of his ancestors, he has taken on the self-proclaimed role of over sighting the political, religious and moral life of this town, and symbolises the position of authority he traditionally had in the austere lives of the town folk.

Enter a single mother, her young daughter named Anouk and her invisible kangaroo. Here begins the irony of the tale- an outsider by birth, gender, marital status, family status and religion, sets up a ‘La Choclaterie Maya’- a chocolaterie, in this town during Lent. This space gives people the courage to be themselves, and it gives them the choice to love.

Anyone who has ever felt like an outsider to a group can only admire and applaud the audacity of this woman. She is symbolic of all people who, having been marginalised for their difference, refuses to back down or walk away. For this woman, her decision to open this shop was about survival first of all. Lent or not, she had to provide for her daughter and herself, and all she had was her talent for making chocolate. Who could blame her?

The movie goes on to set up a classic style struggle between the power and authority of the church, encapsulated in the one man, and the courage of an individual who was prepared to stand her ground and stare the ‘devil’ down.

Within the struggle grows another theme: the power of one person to draw together other outsiders. A grumpy, dying old woman cut off from her grandchildren; the grandson who defies his mother's command in order to ‘reconnect’ with his grandmother, the battered wife, the lonely widower, the three spinsters, the unhappy housewife with a passionless marriage, the  husband and the ‘gypsy-king’ or ‘river-rat’ whose free spirit is a reflection of her own.

In this small chocolate shop, the woman’s skill for making chocolate, her keen intuition and her compassion for people, draws this “community of broken people”- the people who didn’t ‘fit in’ or couldn’t fit in, together. Healing begins as new relationships are built and courage is borne.

As I write this Easter blog, I am mindful that we all have our own belief, experience and rituals during the Easter season. Some of us find meaning in the celebration, mysticism and tradition of the Church, others enjoy Easter as an occasion for family and the pleasure of watching them enjoy Easter delights. It may be that opportunity to take a break, a holiday. Whatever it may means to you, I want to invite you to reflect on what I believe is a universal meaning of Easter, and that is the power of love.

Love heals us.
Love changes us into more compassionate people.

Do you feel broken?
Are you trying to fit in but never feel you do?

Do you experience a space where you can give and receive love? WatersedgeCounselling offers such a space where you can bring your brokenness and experience healing. Contact Colleen on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

Love and Relationships: How To Stay In Love

moments_of_love_by_captivatedimages24 years ago I was impatiently anticipating my wedding day. For the previous 11 months, Duncan and I had been in a long-distance relationship and I had all the ‘symptoms' that are typically associated with ‘being in love'; Duncan became the focus of my thoughts as I  craved emotional and physical union.  My thinking about him became an obsession, uncontrollable and involuntary. I became emotionally dependent upon him, experiencing intense mood swings between elation when I was with him and depression when I was separated from him. He was perfect in my mind and could do no wrong.

Had you read  this description of my experience without the knowledge that I was in the throes of romantic love, I would not have been surprised if alarm bells were going off in your head as you entertained the notion that I was a mentally unstable individual. However, I am counting on the knowledge that as a fellow human being,  you will be able to identify with my experience in the context of your own experience of romantic love.

You may also also identify with feelings of disappointment, disillusionment, confusion or sadness when these feelings dissipate.  Why is it that this shift in our emotional state occurs over time? Does it mean that you have fallen ‘out of love', you no longer have anything in common with your partner or have become just plain bored? Should you ‘call it a day' and go your separate ways? Unfortunately, many couples struggle to re-adjust and  the relationship breaks down as a consequence of  ongoing stress. How is it then that some relationships do survive this period of re-adjustment and go on to thrive, so that 20 years later the couple are still ‘in love'? Now we have the answer, thanks to recent research by biological anthropologist, Helen Fischer who has a particular interest in brain systems and romantic love.

 

Falling In Love

Romantic love emanates from the most primitive parts of the brain where other basic needs such as hunger, thirst and  shelter also originate, making it an overwhelming and almost impossible need to ignore. Using brain scans to observe the chemical activity in people who report to be ‘madly in love', Helen Fischer's work discovered that dopamine circuits become super active when you feel intense romantic love. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. It is released in response to rewarding experiences, making you want to do whatever you can to get more of these experiences. Have you ever done ‘crazy' things or taken big risks all for the sake of love?  Have you experienced intense energy and pure happiness that is ‘drug-like' in its effect? This is the dopamine effect  being produced in generous amounts, urging you on to win the prize. Your focus on the object of your affection becomes obsessive as you experience the exhilaration and sheer pleasure of being with your beloved.

 

Falling Out of Love

Why is it then that the heady, obsessive, uncontrollable feelings that are attached to romantic love almost invariably disappear after the initial experience of ‘falling in love'? Why do couples often report that one or both of them have fallen ‘out of love' almost as swiftly as the initial  ‘in love' experience?

Dopamine is quite a temperamental chemical, thriving on novelty and unexpected pleasure and seemingly ‘bored' by sameness and routine. So at the point that the prize is a dead certainty, dopamine production in the brain settles down, as if to say what’s the point of wasting all that precious motivation potion telling you to pursue a reward when, likely as not, the reward will show up anyway? When this happens, your emotions settle so that what was once exciting and exhilarating becomes ordinary and routine. It is at this point that many relationships begin to break down.

 

Staying In Love

So what is the secret to a long and happy relationship? Helen Fischer compared a group of new couples ‘in love' with a group of long-term couples (20 or more years) who reported they were still ‘in love'. Her research discovered that this latter group of couples had the same amount of dopamine in the pleasure and reward centre of their brain as that of new couples experiencing ‘romantic love'. The  one difference was that anxiety, prevalent in the same region of the brain in new couples, was not evident  and instead there was activity in the  brain for calmness, suggesting that in long-term relationships  couples are much more secure in their relationship.

The question is, how does a couple sustain a relationship when dopamine production slows down in the brain? Helen Fischer has done a meta-analysis of a number of studies in happiness and has concluded that only one thing is needed to sustain  a happy marriage – positive illusions (the beleif that your partner is still the smartest, funniest, etc. ) In almost every long-term couple relationship, each partner had an enormous amount of activity in the brain region linked with positive illusions (the region just above the eyes). Meaning that if you can overlook the bad parts of your partner  and only see the good parts, you will maintain a long, happy relationship. You have to train yourself to look at the good. As for dopamine? By learning not to take your partner for granted and deliberately keeping the novel and unexpected in your relationship, your dopamine circuits will continue to be stimulated bringing optimism and elation into your ongoing relationship.

 

And in conclusion

I am pleased to report that 24 years later, despite the ups and downs that are a part of every long term relationship, Duncan and I are still ‘in love' and look forward to celebrating our wedding anniversary shortl.

If you want to grow in your couple relationship, experience wellness and reach toward your full couple potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you or you can make an appointment to see Colleen by booking online now.