Relationship is complex – no matter a lover, a friend, a family member. The way we ‘speak’ and ‘listen’ to the other can serve to connect us and bring us closer, or it can serve to separate us. I believe that individuals speak different languages, that words and behaviours have different meanings to each individual. From there I postulate that a healthy, successful relationship has individuals who know themselves, their desires, irritations and the like, and are able to communicate these preferences to others in a “Non-Violent” type of way. These healthy, successful relationships have individuals who have the ability to understand and effectively act on the expressions from another. They have dedicated themselves to the practice of learning why a person speaks the language they do, and learning and practicing how to respond effectively. These essential pieces, when practiced to the best of our ability, will lessen the complexity and mistakes we make when communicating within our relationships.
That said, language can be very complex to understand and difficult to express, especially in the realm of “The 5 Love Languages”, (physical touch, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, acts of service). As Dr. Gary Chapman speaks of, our individual love language is a huge part of the connection/separation equation I mentioned. Knowing and jiving with your partners love language will bring you both a lot of joy, and help you to experience a lot of love for each other. It will deepen your connection. Sound good? In this light, when seeking a romantic relationship, it would be a good ‘interview’ question, for dating sites and those first inquiring types of dates where we are getting to the bones of a person’s values. It is, in fact, a good exploration for any stage of relationship~!
On the flip side, separation occurs when there is too much polarity between love languages, especially primary ones. This can be detrimental. For example, my primary form of love language is TOUCH. My partners is Words of Affirmation. I like words of affirmation too…. But the kicker is that the least important or meaningful expression of love for him is Touch. This translates in our relationship that he can feel irritable when I touch him, especially when he’s feeling ‘low’. Touch is not what he craves or thinks he needs. As Touch is a deep expression of love for me it is my ‘go to’ response to someone feeling down. As this doesn’t work for him, I want to find something else inside me that will feel authentic, yet work to support and connect to him in a way that speaks to him.
At this point, I essentially have to resist myself to serve the relationship. Touch is the expression I prefer in just about every situation, up, down, sideways, you name it. In fact, I like a lot of touch – you might consider me ‘touchy-feely’. If I want to feel loved, above all else, I will seek physical touch. It can come in the form of sitting with me, massaging me, cuddling me, groping, kissing, hugging me, laying with me, making love with me, yearning for my touch…. you get the idea. To fill my ‘love tank’ in this manner enables me to be the best lover/friend/family member/citizen in this world. I want very much to be the best I can be in this life, so I’m quite motivated to experience a lot of touch.
The struggle between my partner and I goes deep for me because I come from the belief that we will die without Touch. Here’s an important tip within the blog – touch is healing on so many levels, for so many things that ail us. For example, babies spending their first few days/weeks in an incubated environment must be touched regularly and often to ensure they will thrive. Babies die without touch. As we grow up and become adults how does this change? I believe we all die in some ways without touch. All people who feel they don’t get enough touch, I recommend a prescription of regular massage, attending cuddle parties, or ask for support from trusted friends/family/lovers to receive and experience the touch you need. I take this advice myself.
Touch from my loving partner is the connection I most crave and want. You can imagine that we are quite challenged to speak this important love language with each other and to connect on a daily basis. I feel rejected most of the time because he is Not Touching Me and I know he doesn’t want my touch when and the way I like to give it, so I avoid touching him. He isn’t getting his love tank filled in the way he wants either, mostly because I feel shut down about all this and withdrawal in order to protect myself. In this crucial love language and experience of life, I feel empty and sad more days than not.
So, how do we get around this? Talk it out in therapy till our budget is blown? Practice acceptance and ‘deal’? Move on? Open Marriage (which often just leads to divorce)?!
Experiencing this great disharmony in my life, as a professional coach, you can imagine I seek endlessly for healing and clarity. Lately I’ve discovered, studied about, and attended a Harmony Integration Coach Training and have been working hard at giving and getting sessions in this incredibly profound work. There has been a huge improvement in how I feel about myself, the relationship, and him. Part of the work I do is to remove the charge out of the negative experience I have in relationship so I can choose from a centered place. I have successfully removed negative emotions that limit me and my relationships are definitely improving. The freedom I experience now is so invigorating~!
This work also gives me true understanding of where he is coming from which is hugely insightful and helps to build authentic compassion for him. Being centered, grounded, with no negative charge around, say, the rejection, helps me to choose clearly as to how I want to respond; how I want to move forward. Every couple will benefit from seeing a coach or counselor about improving their ability to connect and grow together. First and foremost, however, we must work on and heal ourselves in order to develop to our full potential.
It makes sense, right? If you want to achieve a goal:
- To learn to love yourself fully and completely.
- To learn to know yourself and express yourself authentically.
- To experience the relationship you’ve always wanted.
- To take your ability to love and connect to the next level.
- To embody love and to live free.
In the words of Abby Bordner, “it’s incredibly powerful to have the support and guidance of someone who knows how to get there… Your chances of success are much higher. A coach is someone who will help you identify your goals, make a plan, guide you and hold you accountable. It’s valuable beyond measure.”
Many people attribute their success, health and happiness to their work with a coach. What goals could a coach help you achieve this year?
Be in touch.