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More Than One Type of Romance

Romance is a feeling of excitement, mystery, or appreciation associated with love or desire. When we think of romance we may already have a picture-perfect idea of what we would find most enjoyable. It is easy to think that our preference for romance surely applies to everyone, and that everyone would find it enjoyable, when in reality there are a variety of ways people enjoy receiving romance and affection.

We have a tendency to show affection in ways we would like to receive it. Perhaps we notice our partner looks exhausted after a long day and so we draw her a warm bubble bath and light some candles because we know that we would feel very loved if our partner did that for us. We could ask them what they want or need, but the element of spontaneity and surprise are often perceived as an amplifier to romance. An important question you may want to discuss with your partner could be ‘is the element of surprise worth disappointing my partner with something they didn’t really want?’ If the answer to that question is yes, perhaps the giver is receiving more from the situation than the receiver, and focusing more on the giver’s gratification than the receiver’s.

Valentine’s Day is our prescribed day to show love and appreciation for partners. Saying it out loud sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? Whether you believe that Valentine’s Day is a corporate-inspired holiday designed to make us spend money or just a day to go the extra mile to show your affection to your partner, chances are you will want to show some sort of appreciation for your loved one. One of the most effective ways of showing love is to know and understand your partner’s primary love languages.

The five love languages break down romance into five categories. These five categories describe the type of affection people prefer to receive. By extension, we may project these preferences onto our partners by assuming they want to receive love in the same way we do. That’s why it is so important to have a conversation about their love language. You can even take an assessment to figure out you and your partner’s love languages. Further information can be provided by your counselor during your counseling session.

The five categories of love languages are physical touch, acts of service, quality time, gift-giving and words of affirmation.

Physical touch
People with the primary love language of physical touch feel the most loved when getting a hand squeeze or cuddle from their partner. This can be achieved by cuddling, sexual intimacy, kisses or even nose rubs – anything that physically joins them with their partner. The physical sensations reassure them of their partner’s love and affection.

Acts of Service
Individuals who prefer acts of service deeply appreciate when their partner does something for them. These acts can range from taking out the trash, cleaning their car, drawing them a bath, or otherwise providing assistance. These acts are the most meaningful form of love for these individuals because they realize just how precious time and resources are, and how impactful it is when someone shares these.

Quality Time
People who prioritize quality time find the most meaning out of spending time with their partner one-on-one. This can vary by watching a movie, playing video games, having a picnic, exercising or just having an intimate conversation. The most important thing is that whatever you’re doing you’re doing it together, or at least fairly close by.

Gift-givers love giving and receiving gifts as symbols of affection. They put a lot of thought into what they want their gift to represent, whether that is something hand-made or something a lot of time, resources or money went into. Often times individuals with this primary love language aren’t materialistic, but appreciate the effort put into the gift.

Words of Affirmation
Individuals with the primary love language of words of affirmation place a lot of value on what is said and how it is spoken. Their partner may assume that giving them a long hug means ‘I love you’, but hearing the words means so much more to them. Hearing that you love them and the reasons why you love them makes their heart soar with appreciation.

You may be looking at this list and thinking, ‘well shoot, I enjoy receiving affection in all of these ways!’ which is a normal response. Chances are you like receiving gifts as well as getting hugs. Discussing this topic with an Orlando psychotherapist in addition to taking an assessment will help you identify which two love languages you appreciate the most from these five. This type of dialogue can help open up deeper communication with your partner.

If you are struggling with effective communication or showing love to your partner please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mental health counselors.

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How to be present

Mindfulness is one of those mental health buzz words people like to throw around without a lot of attention to what it is or how to practice it. Continue reading

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Can You Hear Me Now?—The Personal Side

I have to believe that a higher power imbues all good therapists with a heightened ability to listen well—especially to the people we are so honored to call our clients. I truly love listening to the stories of my clients, sharing in their journeys and listening hard to determine what type of healing they need in their current life season. And while I am sure I fall short at times, overall I like to believe that I am good at “listening to” my clients and meeting them in their circumstance—whatever that pain or struggle may be. Continue reading

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Can You Hear Me Now?—The Practical Side

Remember the commercial with the guy who always said: “Can you hear me now?”? As I sat down to begin this blog this line is the first thing that came to my mind. I have been wanting to do a two-part blog series on communication and conflict resolution. However, as I sat down to begin writing about effective communication, I remembered that listening is the most important step in learning how to communicate well with others. Listening well and responding appropriately allows us to connect with others, not only intellectually, but emotionally through the medium of language. Continue reading

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Breakups and The Grieving Heart

When we consider the word “grief” we may think immediately of death and loss. The idea of associating grief with the end of a romantic relationship can be new to some people. Because the person we lose is still on this mortal plane, walking amongst us, means grief just isn’t possible, right? We only grieve those who have passed; those we can no longer talk to, play with, or see. Continue reading

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Recovery is defined as “a return to a normal state of health, mind or strength”. It’s a term used to describe the process of becoming well again-whether that illness be physical or mental. The steps to becoming healthy can be difficult and the process usually varys from person to person. It’s important to recognize, too, that recovery is not always point A to point B, with a continued upward climb in between. The line looks a little more like the sharp up and down lines we see on heart monitors on television -only on slow incline. Continue reading

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Just One More Thing—The Personal Side

At the beginning of last year, I met a friend for coffee and we began talking about the upcoming year and some things we would like to see take place during it. Her list mostly included stopping or letting go of things. Mine was much different. I had a list of books I wanted to read and 12 new baking recipes I wanted to try—1 for each month. There were some things I wanted to “take away” but there were even more things I wanted to “add.” Continue reading

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Just One More Thing—The Practical Side

I have said it before and I will say it again—I don’t believe in “New Year’s Resolutions.” I do believe in dreaming, planning, trying new things and working hard to form new habits. I believe in lifestyle changes that emerge from thinking critically about the kind of life you want to have and mindfulness that results in awareness leading to long-lasting life-style changes. Continue reading

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Plugging In: The Mental Health Benefits of Video Game Communities

10 years ago the attitude toward video games took a negative shift. People began blaming video games for children turning violent due to one study that correlated violent behaviors with violent video game use. Setting aside for a moment that correlation data does not equate to causation and there is still no defining evidence that links video games to violent behavior, for 10 years we have been ignoring the positive mental health benefits of video gaming. Continue reading

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Radical Acceptance

Imagine the person who causes you the most aggravation in your life right now. Maybe it’s a loved one who, despite your best efforts, continues to make bad decision after bad decision. Perhaps it’s a friend who is always calling and complaining about their lives, but never takes your advice. It could be a co-worker who is always getting promoted or praised, even if you don’t think they deserve it. Now imagine how it would feel to simply accept that person for exactly who they are in this moment. Stop yourself from thinking about how to change them or what you need to do to “help”. Chances are you’d feel a little bit lighter and that knot in your stomach would be a little bit smaller. Continue reading

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