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He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together.

It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”

-Dave Meurer

ringsMarriage is a sacred institution that signifies the joining of hearts and minds of a man and a woman in a union that is expected to last until death. This institution is most looked forward to by young adults as they desire to share their lives with their “true love”. Let’s pause a bit and look closely at the term “true love”. How true is this love that makes a man do anything to capture the heart of his damsel? Is there such a thing as fake love? What exactly is love in the confines of marriage? How would you define love?

Sometimes, we are confronted with the credibility of our spouse’s profession of love. When two people take vows to cherish and love each other forever, they, at that moment experience a rush of love or feelings that carry them on till a year or so. Research by James Spencer at Brigham Young University (1992) in a longitudinal study measuring marital quality, revealed that universally,  romantic love is experienced in the first year of marriage. After this period, the couple is soon faced with the reality of living with a completely different person from a different background with different interests and preferences. Arguments, conflicts and moments of angry outbursts may be common at this period which may question the veracity of the initial love professed at the time of taking solemn vows.

Does this sound familiar? If you are married I’m sure you can accede to the fact that marriage is not always a bed of roses. There are times of “up” and times of “down”. Times to laugh and cry, fight and make up, criticize and encourage, etc.

Based on a research by Campbell, Weiner-Davis, DeMaria, Harrar et al, Chris Garner proposed 5 stages of marriage which are:

1. The Enchantment phase:

This is otherwise known as the honey moon phase. This phase has been researched to last a year or two depending on when children arrive. It is a passion fueled phase with intense focus on attraction. Couples believe that they will live happily ever after much like the fairy tale stories of Cinderella and snow white. Excitement and euphoria characterize this stage and couples usually share similar interests. They can talk for long hours without getting tired. At this stage, all they want is to be together.

enchantment

2.  The Realization phase:

Feelings of euphoria wear off and couples realize how different they are. It is a time of disenchantment where they realize differences that exist between them. Power tussles, arguments and conflict over minor as well as major issues results. Remember the story of a couple who fought over how to squeeze toothpaste? This kind of scenario often occurs at this stage. Would it be sufficient to state that the love that once existed has gone sour?

realization3. The Acceptance phase:

At this phase, the differences observed are accepted. Each person begins to see the other person and accept him/her without being judgmental; after all it would be difficult to change the other person. Couples at this stage are able to work through the challenges they face.

acceptance

4. The Commitment phase:

Understanding, peace and harmony are characteristic features of this stage. This is a matured stage of a relationship that exists even when problems and conflicts arise. Couples have learnt to understand themselves and work through whatever comes their way through teamwork and cooperation. Each couple knows about the weaknesses of the other but choose to stay or commit themselves to them based on the strengths they have.

5. The Co-creation phase:

Couples who get to this stage look beyond themselves and extend their oneness to others. They are able to work together in unity to bring about impact in the lives of those around them. They are able to contribute their own quota to society by mentoring young ones and giving back in different ways.

With these 5 stages, how would you define love? Is it primarily the passion that comprises the enchantment stage, the intimacy of acceptance phase or the commitment of the commitment stage? The truth is a combination of all 3. This was proposed by Robert Sternberg in his Triarchic theory of love.

So, love basically is a mix of PASSION, INTIMACY and COMMITMENT.

Kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on Love and Relationships.

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Spice Up Your Love! 


couple-hugging-each-other-bench

If you were to think about one special person in your life right now, who will that be? My guess is the one you refer to as your; “Honey”, “Sweet heart”, “Darling”, “Love” “Valentine”, “Sweetie” or maybe some other special names you have coined for yourselves probably in your local language or some other foreign language. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that someone holds you special in their heart regardless of your flaws.

Relationships are powerful and therapeutic. Just think about it, having someone to talk to after a hard day’s work, or having someone who cares about you and how every single minute of your day is being spent. What about knowing that there is someone special who can listen to you when others may seem not to pay attention, or even being able to share your deepest thoughts and feelings openly with someone who understands and is willing to make you a better person.

Love makes life beautiful and being in a healthy relationship adds color to your life. Relationships are like plants which require good soil, sunlight, water and some other nutrients to flourish. A farmer knows very well that he has to water his seeds consistently before they begin to blossom and produce a bountiful harvest for him.  Often time, people only get excited at the onset of their relationship (first few dates) but soon experience some form of dryness or “boringness” in the relationship and may even opt for a new one with a different person with the hope that the “excitement” they seek may be restored again. Sadly, this cycle goes on and on.

Relationships require work and time- by way of watering the relationship (Like the farmer waters his seeds) thereby flaming the embers of love.

Here are some powerful ways to spice up your relationship

  1. Communicate more: in relationships, communication is key. You should be able to talk about EVERYTHING! Nothing should be too difficult to talk about and this should be cultivated at the beginning of your relationship.

If you want be my lover, you have to first be my friend!

Talk openly about the things you are not comfortable with in the relationship as well as how both of you can make things better. Talk about the things you love about your partner and also what you love about the relationship. Talk about things that are peculiar to both of you as well as what applies generally.

Endeavour to study the verbal and non-verbal communication of one another.

  1. Play together: when last did you play like a child? My guess is as good as yours. There is a time for everything, a time to work and a time to play!play The beautiful thing about play is that you get to laugh about the silly things that happen and you also get to break the walls that lie between you and your partner. Take on the challenge to play  hide and seek or any other childhood game you remember as often as you can.
  2. Add some adventure to your dates: Going out on a date? picnic dateDo something different each time. Spice your outings with surprises and adventures. If you do more of restaurants and places that require a table for two setting, try going on a picnic for a change. You have to plan properly for this- here is a tip: make a list of all that will be needed for the picnic and divide it into two parts- one will contain things that you will come along with while the other will be a list of what your partner is to come along with. You can also see a movie together at a different cinema, go site seeing or do some other activities that will thrill you and your partner.
  3. Forgive easily: In relationships, unforgiveness is a major issue that can result in building very thick walls between partners. Learn to forgive each other easily. You will always reap the benefits.

In relationships, the first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to move forward is the happiest!

  1. Be creative: If you are willing to add more spice to your relationship, then you have to be creative. Do something unexpected for your partner everyday and let it become a part of you. Soon, you’ll notice how much more spicy your relationship will become!Lovesign21

Remember that every good relationship requires effort to be successful. Practice the outlined ideas and share with us your experience and some you have thought of as well.

Kindly follow @drmorayojimoh for more wonderful updates on Love and Relationships.

 


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What’s your love language?

love language 1Love has many definitions. However, to some people the word does not even exist or may be thought of as just a mirage. To some, love is seen as a warm feeling of affection towards others, while to others it may be considered as the butterflies in one’s stomach at the sight of a loved one.  Love may also be thought of as an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person. This last definition reveals love as unconditional; that is a person is loved and showed love regardless of who the person is or what he has.

There are many ways of showing the commitment to love. By caring, speaking kind words, being polite, giving, sharing and other displays of love.  Gary Chapman, a counselor has enumerated 5 ways of showing love, which he termed as love languages. These include:

5-love-languages

#LoveLanguage1- Gifts: However inexpensive or expensive, people whose love language is gift giving engage in it and expect others to do the same. They feel most loved when a person surprises them with a gift every now and then. This is quite different from those who are materialistic that is more focused on what they can get in cash or kind from the other  partner. Such individuals appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver.gifts

#LoveLanguage2- Acts of Service: “How can I help you?” and “Let me do this for you” are questions that are ever on the lips of those who speak love through kind gestures. They desire to express love by assisting others and feel loved if they are as well.  Simple acts as such as trashing the waste bin, cooking a meal, arranging the living room, washing clothes etc. are simple acts that such individuals prefer.acts-of-service

#LoveLanguage3- Touch: This language refers to sexual or physical intimacy. A person whose primary language is physical touch appreciates and feels loved when they are given hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face. They see these as a show of concern, care, and love.  More often, such people are also quick to communicate such gestures.hugs

#LoveLanguage4- Words of affirmation: Words they say are powerful. People whose love language is words of affirmation thrive on the positive words spoken to them by loved ones. Words that approve of them,  express acceptance and validation are expected. Compliments, constructive words, kind words, words of encouragements are ways of expressing words as a love language. Saying “I love you”, “You are the best”, “You made my day”, “You look awesome” etc., a million times achieves the desired effect and even more each time it is said.

words of affirmation

#LoveLanguage5- Quality time: Are you always complaining that your loved ones and friends don’t visit you? Are you eager to spend time with your family? Then, maybe your love language is quality time. For people whose love language is quality time, there is a craving to spend  secluded time with loved ones. At such times, they expect undivided and complete concentration of their friends or loved ones at that time.

quality time

So which love language do you speak?

One. Two. Three. Four. All

You may speak more than one, but if you look closely, there’s always one primary love  language that you express and expect.  You may also find out the love language of your spouse, loved one or friend and START SPEAKING IT!

Discover your love language by clicking HERE

 Kindly follow us @drmorayojimoh for more tips this love season.. Show some love today and speak the right language!

 


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The Gift of Friendship

There are big ships and small ships but the best ship of all is friendship!

friends

As humans, we are social beings and as such; we are interdependent on one another. No man is an island. We all need each other, no matter how individualistic some cultures tend towards or claim to be, they still depend on one or more people to survive. Relationships involve being connected or associated with others of the same kind. It could be family relationships, friendship or other forms.

Establishing and maintaining relationships is a major form of socialization found across all cultures.

Friendship is a form of relationship between two or more individuals with common affection, usually mutually benefiting and can be based on some similarities in terms of interest, values, environment or background.

Friendship is often based on mutual understanding, honesty, trust, empathy, compassion, affection, altruism, enjoyment of each other’s company, the ability to be one’s self or express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of being judged. Trust is the most important building block in any relationship. So in terms of friendship, trust is a vital factor in building true and long lasting friendships.

My friend is someone that I can fearlessly lay down my guards with.

freedom to be yourself

Friendship is a vital ingredient to success in life. The people you relate with can either ‘accelerate’ or ‘decelerate’ you in that, the people with whom you associate can aid you to progress or cause you to retrogress in life. Also, you are a reflection of your friend. This explains the popular saying:

“Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”

This is because most of the time if not all, friends share similar values and behaviours.

Friendship also has to do with choice in that, it is not an imposition. You get to choose your own friends. However, you should be mindful about your choice of friends. The people you relate with generally fall under two categories namely: Lifters and downers. Lifters are those that will help you grow and improve, they are also known as adders or multipliers because they “add” to your life and help you become better. On the other hand, downers are those that stunt your growth and bring you down. They “subtract” from your life. This is why it is important to choose wisely.

 

Keep in mind that true friendship involves sharing. It is a “give and take” relationship where both parties are willing to make each other better.

A true friend sticks with you in good and bad times.

 Friendship_quotes_004

Let’s always remember to celebrate our friends in this season of Love and always!

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