So the following reads for this week will make it obvious that when I mentioned I was dealing with personal issues last week, I was referring to a break up. I mostly write these updates for myself and have used it as a bookmark of sorts when I want to revisit a story or idea. Additionally, this update has always been about what I found interesting at the time of writing. The concepts that currently interest me are break ups and what make relationships work or don’t work. Not every article I read during my research was insightful but I’ll be sharing the handful that helped me.
What I’ve Read:
One of the questions I’ve been trying to answer is: what makes a couple compatible? Is there a line where two people are just too different for each other? Although the title of this article make it seem like click bait, there is solid information in the piece. I especially like the use of the acronym FACES and how they contribute to the components of compatibility.
This blog repeats some of the material from the first piece. However, the different phrasing and key words offer more ways to evaluate each of the factors for compatibility.
Reading these articles brings back a memory from my AP Psychology class in high school. During our lesson on romantic relationships, our teacher had all the students write down five things they want in their ideal relationship. Almost the entire class wrote down love as their number one choice. I distinctly remember that I was one of the outliers because I was laughed at by my classmates. To be fair, love was somewhere in the list of five and I wasn’t the only one who didn’t have it at the top. I can’t remember what was number one, it might have been someone who is a good cook or something else practical.
Without playing too much armchair psychologist on myself, I think the above vignette has to do with my family background. I don’t think I ever witnessed my parents being affectionate with each other, doings things such as holding hands, kissing, or saying, “I love you”. But I somehow always knew they cared for each other and our family. They would ensure that the other person was comfortable and make time to go out for meals and run errands together.
I also know that people change and just because I was raised in that environment, it doesn’t mean I can’t do affectionate gestures. I guess it just doesn’t come natural to me and it’s something I have to work at if it’s the top love language for my (future?) partner.
What I’ve Tried:
After hearing the news, a surprising number of friends asked if I’ve read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I haven’t read the book but was given a seminar on it as part of teacher development day during my time in Teach For America. Basically, the author states that there are five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. And to have a lasting relationship, one must be able to find his partner’s love language and fill their “love tank”.
I had an idea on what my two main love languages were but was curious enough to search for a quiz. The one I found and shared is from the book’s official website. The results showed that my top two languages were quality time and physical touch. And my lowest one was receiving gifts. I always knew I valued quality time but the other two results were a bit surprising. I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want to dive too deep into my past relationship on the open web.
What I’ve Heard:
It’s been a while since I listened to the smooth voice of Ira Glass. This episode popped up in my feed and I thought it was the perfect way to dive back in. After about five minutes, I realized I already heard this episode. However, the stories were engrossing enough that it grabbed my attention through the entire sitting. It made me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one experiencing these emotions. I found solace in the fact that if these people sharing their voices on the radio can make it, then hopefully so can I.