I'm thinking about love. How do we show love? How do we receive love? What is healthy? How do we get the love that transcends all space and time (ie: the Notebook kind of love). I was chatting with a girlfriend about this very thing tonight. Now I sit with a glass of wine and I'm feeling philosophical, so please forgive me as I hop on my happy little soap box: I've read that there are five ways to receive and recognize love. The five are: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. I challenge this idea and say that 20% just is NOT Enough in Love! For example: I don't want simple words of affirmation. You're pretty, you're smart, you're outgoing, blah blah blah that's all fine and dandy...but if you cringe when you touch me, I'm not feeling loved. I don't want just one of the five, and I idealistically believe you need a healthy mixture of all of them to have a 100% healthy relationship.
Let's look at some unhealthy relationships first:
-Husband tells his wife she's fat on Tuesday, but on Thursday he's all over her telling her she's the most beautiful women on he world because he has a standing Thursday night 'appointment'
-Wife tells her husband how lazy he is all week, but on Friday night, she takes him out to dinner at his favorite restaurant so she can break the news that she just ordered a new designer handbag on QVC and it cost half a week's salary.
-Husband physically abuses his wife in a fit of alcohol induced rage, and the next morning he buys her flowers and a pretty gold necklace to show how truly sorry he is.
-Wife stays with her husband, even after finding out he is having relations with his secretary, because he treats her well, gives her plenty of spending money, and she doesn't have a job.
-Husband stays with his wife who he hardly ever talks to, because she is attractive and his friends are jealous and curious how he landed 'such a babe'
-Husband stays with his wife, because she has M.S. and needs his help with her wheelchair. He's been cheating on her for years, but just can't leave her since she is so helpless.
In all of the situations above, neither party is truly being authentic. They are each showing love in a certain way, or receiving love in a certain way that might fit into our initial 'mold' of five ways to receive and recognize love...but is that really all there is in life? I guess I want more. I want it all: a man who thinks I'm beautiful and tells me with his words and in the way he looks at me (words of affirmation), a man who can't wait to get home to see and talk to me (quality time), a man who anticipates my needs and helps pay the bills and surprises me occasionally with flowers/jewelry/chocolate (receiving gifts), a man who take the clothes out of the washer and puts them in the dryer or lets the dog out without being asked (acts of service), and a man who can't keep his hands off of me (physical touch).
Does such a man exist? He does...and I refuse to give you his phone number until there is a ring on my finger and I've worn the white dress and such. We've talked about this though. He says that I make him a better man and I say that he makes me a better woman. Which of us is right? We both are. Let me tell you why this is true. I treat him the way I want to be treated - it's as simple as the golden rule - one simple rule to a happily ever after...not five...just one.
I tell him I'm proud of him and his work ethic (words of affirmation), I go out of my way to learn about things he enjoys and I make time to do them with him (quality time), I know he is practical and when I notice a hole in his socks - I buy him new ones (receiving gifts), I happily do his laundry, clean his truck, fix his meals, etc...(acts of service), and I rub his back when he's tired, hug him when he comes in the door, and hold his hand as we walk through the grocery store (physical touch).
This isn't simply about me wanting it all - this is about all of us wanting the basic human need of companionship. It's not difficult, but it does take work and dedication. Simply try to look at things through the eyes of another, walk a mile in their shoes, and treat them the way you want to be treated. Instead of pointing out all the things your spouse did wrong today, look at the multitude of things they did right.