Improving Your Relationship Just in Time for Valentine’s Day.
Abilene Memorial Health System’s Senior Life Solutions Program Offers Helpful Tips for Seniors.
With the excitement of the New Year winding down, it is now time to start thinking about the season of Love. Many of us have already made New Year’s Resolutions. How about taking time to improve our relationships just in time for Valentine’s Day?
Dr. Gary Chapman is a family counselor, radio host, associate pastor and author of several books, including The Five Love Languages and One More Try. The following information is adapted from the website “Focus on the Family” in which Dr. Chapman has contributed information aimed at helping families thrive.
A “love language” is simply the primary way that you ask for and demonstrate love to your partner. There is a definite value in finding out how you show love to the person you care about the most. Love is a choice. By learning the emotional love language of your spouse or partner, you can work to make them feel loved and appreciated in your relationship. This lays the groundwork for a strengthened and whole relationship.
What are the 5 Love Languages?
Words of Affirmation
These are spoken words that lift your partner up. Compliments, words of appreciation or straightforward statements all serve as encouraging your partner. Examples include “You look great today!” or “Thank you so much for walking the dog”.
Giving your partner you undivided attention. Simply being together and practicing open communication. Examples include taking a walk together or going out to dinner with no phones.
This does not include spending money on a purchase. It is simply something you can hold and recognize that “They were thinking of me”. The gift becomes a symbol of love. Examples include flowers or a special dessert that you know they enjoy.
Acts of Service
These include doing things that you know your spouse would like or appreciate. Being of service expresses your love for your partner. Actions speak louder than words. Examples include emptying the dishwasher unexpectedly or going out of your way for your partner.
This is one primary way of communicating emotional love. For some individuals, being touched helps them fill their “emotional tanks” and feel wanted and needed by their partner. Examples include sitting close together on the couch or holding hands.
You and your partner may have a different primary love language and that’s ok. The implicit value is learning to recognize your own way that you ask for love and honoring your partners need for love as well. Making an effort to express your emotions with your partner is one of the keys to having a solid, lasting and fulfilling relationship. The ways to honor love are limitless. Learning the language of your spouse is priceless.
At Abilene Memorial Health System’s Senior Life Solutions, we focus on the unique needs of older adults suffering from symptoms of depression and anxiety often related to aging and can help you find a way navigate difficult life transitions, especially during the holiday season.
Abilene Memorial Health System’s Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient group therapy program dedicated to improving the quality of life for older adults. For more information, please call 785-263-6805.
Written by – Jenna Kisling, LMSW, Program Therapist for Abilene Memorial Hospital’s-Senior Life Solutions program. She is a Licensed Master of Social Work and is pursuing an advanced credential. Kisling graduated from Washburn University in 2016, and has been employed by Senior Life Solutions, in Abilene, since the program opened in June of 2016.