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YOUR ONE AND ONLY

This game is comprised of two distinct stages: infatuation and love. If you've played this game before then you probably have a good understanding of what infatuation is in the beginning stages of getting to know your partner. Strong, magnetic, starry-eyed, volatile, full of emotion, and sex (or not, for all you pious folk out there) that regretfully... does not last. Give it 2-3 years and most couples end up back on earth with real problems to solve.

 

That's when you either choose to love one another or to go your separate ways. And according to Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages), each and every one of us has a gas tank for love and emotional satisfaction that needs to be filled with the right type of fuel, or the happily ever after just might turn into a happily never again.

 

Almost everything that's written about love revolves around the spirit of giving first and receiving later, therefore choosing to give without expectation of reward or reciprocity is the way to go.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Finding your one and only is obviously the first step in this process, albeit a fairly difficult one. With too many blogs, books, and dating services to count, I won't go into the mechanics of achieving this goal. However, I would suggest starting with common interests and activities.

THE TANK

Recognizing that we all have a reservoir for emotional support and love is the first achievement. Understanding that the need to be accepted, loved, and significant are one of the most powerful human needs, that absolutely must be addressed in order to live a balanced life. When this "tank" is empty, children act out, adults cheat and relationships go sour.

THE FUEL

Gary calls the fuel "Five languages of love" and we all have at least one if not two main, native languages that we grew up with and understand as THE way to express one's love. Discovering what language you, and more importantly, your spouse speak is critical.

1. WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

Kind, loving, and honest, positive words affirming your loved one's past deeds or encouraging future endeavors. Skip the trash talk, but don't sound fake. being genuine and sincere is what matters.

2. QUALITY TIME

If you hear things like "I need attention and for us to spend time together" as your partner's main request over and over. It can be talks, diners common activities, or walks, but they require your undivided attention and initiative.

5. ACTS OF SERVICE

Do the dishes, mop the floors, take out the trash, take the car to get serviced, paint the house, etc. Of course, your partner is more than capable of doing these too, but they need you to do things in order to feel loved.

4. PHYSICAL CONTACT

That which I am resides in my physical body. To touch my body is to touch me. To distance yourself from my body physically is to distance yourself from me emotionally.

Important note for the male readers - this doesn't just mean sex. :)

3. RECEIVING GIFTS

A process that's fairly self-explanatory and as old as the neanderthals themselves. Big, small, cheap or expensive, flashy or plain, purchased or handmade - matters only a little. The act of giving is what counts.

IT'S NEVER EASY

But it is simple. When you discover your partner's fuel, you must willingly choose to give it to them in the form that they require. Do so regularly and amazing things will happen. By now you've also figured out that it probably won't hurt to become multilingual!

NEVER TOO LATE

Erm... refer back to the diagram by Michelle Rial to be extra sure, but this method has the power of turning around even the most exhausted, post-divorce, or post-cheating relationships.

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