Until you understand yourself, you will not be ready for love.
Love is messy, full of ups and downs, love is not a magical highlight reel, and love is the one thing we need most in the world. Then, why is it so hard? Imagine, waking up one day and having your best friend tell you she does not love you or imagine going to Las Vegas to get married, and six months after you are divorced! Wow, love stinks, yeah, yeah. Or maybe love does not stink. Throughout this blog, we will uncover our deepest desire: love.
We will first dive into the basic techniques of becoming a better lover. We will then shed light on a few benefits that true love provides. Finally, we will look at a few of my concerns. Let us begin by learning how to become a better lover by speaking your partner's love language.
The Five Love Languages
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
Quality time is spending peaceful time talking or doing activities together. Your connection begins to deepen by sharing time with one another.
Example: Taking a walk together, watching a movie, cooking, or working out.
Acts of Service
Actions speak louder than words. Acts of service are something you do for your partner to ease the burden of responsibilities on them. This act of love helps you feel valued. “Let me do that for you!”
Example: Cleaning the house, preparing their food, or helping with their laundry.
Words of Affirmation
“I love you!” “I appreciate you!” Hearing kind and encouraging words helps your partner thrive.
Example: “You are special to me.”You look amazing!”
Touchy people; enjoy hugs, kisses, and pats of the back. This form of appropriate physical touch shows warmth, safety, and love to your partner.
Example: Massage, head rub, or cuddling.
Your partner blossoms from the thoughtfulness and effort behind receiving a gift. Gifts are symbols to your partner that show love and affection.
Example: Flowers or surprise them with something they wanted.
I can personally relate to learning how to speak my partner's love language. My top two love languages are quality time and acts of service. It is easy to forget or take for granted that our partners might be different. In previous relationships: I tried to give my partner what I wanted for myself. Instead: of listening to her wants/needs and learning how to speak her love language. I missed out on consistently reminding her that, “I loved her” and that physical touch was something I needed to be more intentional about.
We have to teach each other how we need to be loved. If we want a relationship to last, we must be willing to be each other's students.
Attraction vs. Connection
It is pretty easy to be attracted to someone; it is hard to be connected to someone. In today’s world of online dating, I can swipe left or right based on looks. I can read someone’s bio showing me they like Mexican food, humor, and are honest, that is great; those are qualities—however, do you look at what you need? How do you want to be cared for? What makes you feel loved?
There are five motivations for connection:
Physical Attraction- appearance, style, or presence.
Material- accomplishments, power, or profession.
Intellectual- how they think, have conversations, or ideas.
Emotional- understand your feelings and increase your sense of well-being.
Spiritual- they share your deepest goals and values.
The first three motivations do not correlate with long-term relationships. However, chemistry can be strong throughout the first three. The last two show compatibility and can provide a long-term game with one another. When we learn how to be emotionally invested in one another and share the same values, our relationships can soar to new heights.
What are the scientific benefits of love?
Longer Life Expectancy
Increased Self Esteem
Love is medicine. It is the one thing we long for most in the world. Whether you are dealing with a bad breakup or you are happily married. The following sections will hit home on what is truly needed in a healthy long-lasting relationship.
Love is a commitment that is not swayed by emotional whims and changing moods. It is a decision to love even when it is not easy and even when we are not in the mood. It is not I will scratch your back, you scratch mine; that is a transaction. Learning how to love is a lifelong adventure, you are never truly done (on yourself or your partner).
In the best relationships: you find new in the old, new ways to spend time together, serve together, grow together, and you get there together. Any couple who says their relationship is perfect and magical is full of shit because it is not. To love someone long-term means you don't run away when life gets messy and painful. It means deciding there’s no one else you'd rather weather the storms with; there is no one else you would rather heal with.
It takes a constant effort to continuously choose your partner every day. In today's world, if we are unhappy or we have a bad day, we can just swipe left; it is easier to give up. You must learn how to fight for each other; there will always be conflict. Remain selfless in the face of the highs and lows.
Love is a verb, not a feeling, rather an act. Staying in love demands commitment, accountability, intention, patience, communication, creativity, grit, and awareness. It requires all of us to mature past our comfort zones and level up our EQ. It means that instead of diagnosing our partner or running away at the first sign of strife, we take a breath, step back, and see our role in whatever dynamic is not serving the relationship.
Presence & Attention
It is so important that we continue to do the small things and we continue to make our partner feel appreciated. It is so important to show up for your partner every day. Love is about making sacrifices for the other person. I have learned over time that I have to challenge myself to be more attentional in my relationships: things like laughter, putting away my phone, or talking late at night in bed. I must show love through my presence and attention. Those little things, ultimately end up being big.
Why is love harder today?
Seeking more happiness works against you
Romanticizing about what they could be + selfishness
The absence of communication ends up creating confusion and people give up
People do things for the sake of social media + compare relationships to others
Most people stop doing the things that make themselves feel centered, healthy and happy once they are in a relationship. However, it is when we are in a relationship that we must commit to doing those things even more.
We tend to long for the honeymoon phase when we are first falling in love. However, love is kept alive by creating more new memories and by continuing to learn and grow together. Happiness is built by habits. When we strive for the next big thing, we set ourselves up to be unhappy. Instead, be where your feet are. A happy relationship requires two happy people.
2. Potential + Selfishness
See people for who they are, not where you want them to be. Instead of focusing on the kind of partner you want someone to be, work on becoming the person you want to be in that relationship. Create a standard for yourself, that's a powerful shift.
Selfishness is a huge problem--- we become afraid, we see our partner as the enemy, and we become obsessed with how we don't feel loved….and never think enough about how we are not meeting our partner's needs/love. This is something we were not taught.
The same situations will keep arising with any partner you have. Do not chase that six-month high, eventually; you must say, “This person is good enough, and I am willing to work with them. And you know what I have my own shit to work on as well.”
3. Absence of Communication
4. Social Media
Honestly, one of the biggest reasons I feel love is more difficult today. I cannot go on my Instagram and not see a picture of a girl half-naked. We are more worried about doing something for social approval, or to look good; than the moment that is right in front of us. We tend to worry and compare our relationships to others; instead of enjoying the similarities and same vantage points, we have in life.
5. Trauma Bonds
One of the scariest things to think about is the fact that your romantic partner chooses you because they remind you of the love they did or did not receive. We pick our partners and we are drawn to each other because we have similar wounds. Attraction is about similar wounding. Ultimately, the pain someone is causing you; or anyone is coming from a place of them being unloved. Sometimes, their pain is bigger than their ability to love you.
But, what about me? I have been drawn to this person and I choose to stay in the relationship, even if I know it will not work out. Why do I feel the urge to want to help fix or change someone? If your pattern is to rescue lovers from their problems, you will inevitably provoke their resentment. Is that the caretaker mentality instilled in me from my mother? Why do I push people away and crave that attachment once they are gone? Why do I fear the loss of a person and feel anxiety?
Our pain is rooted in the past; we strive to get away from it. I previously had a relationship where one person would yell; the other person would be numb/passive, we both coped with our trauma in different ways. The deep work comes from being aware of these patterns. I must stop repeating the patterns and looking for redemption from my past wounds. I need to address them. My efforts must be focused on healing those wounds and then looking for something healthy.
The question becomes: What do I want? What do I feel? A lot of that work can come from detaching and shedding that layer of my previous identity. The irony here is that love and connection heal trauma.
Love all starts with self.
-Understand how to communicate with one another
-Figure out what you are willing to tolerate
-Appreciate the person
-Continue to be sexy
-Deepen emotional intimacy
-Spend time apart or with friends
-Pain is what motivates us to change
-Live your life fully; you will meet someone living their life fully
-Believe in your worth---someone is searching for you in every person they meet
-Learn from the situation
They say writing is healing. Just like every good coach I steal insight from the best in the business. Here's a list of resources you can draw more information from:
-Think Like a Monk, Jay Shetty
-Huberman Lab Podcast
-The Ed Mylett Show- Dr. Frank Anderson
-The Holistic Psychologist