Have you guys/gals ever dated someone where you just felt so confused about how they showed their affection to you?
Like, you’re all radio-over-your-head-stand-outside-their-window…
And they’re all I-love-you-but-I-will-show-you-by-not-showing-you…
Yeah, me too.
I don’t know if you can tell by my personality, but I’m definitely more of a feeler. I want to tell you how I feel, then I want to show you how I feel, and then if you still don’t understand how I feel, I’m usually open to doing an interpretive dance to really hammer home the message that I have feelings I need to express.
So, this article really resonated with me today. My friend Hilary sends me wonderful reading material like this all the time. You see, I have small feet and she has normal sized feet. We would share shoes, but instead we share knowledge. It’s a fair enough trade-off. Take heart ladies! If you can’t share clothes with your girl friends, just share knowledge… and no, I’m not endorsing gossiping. That’s not okay.
You see, they did these cool experiments with mommies and babies back in the day where moms left their toddlers in a room with a caregiver for a bit. The way the babies responded indicated a certain kind of attachment style. Some of it was nature, but most of it was nurture. You can read more about it here. Basically, if the kid freaked out and was inconsolable, that indicated an anxious/insecure attachment style. If the kid fretted, but eventually cooled their jets, they were labeled as secure attachment. If they didn’t really give a damn if mom left or came back, they were labeled as avoidant.
Then, as we got older and developed into our romantic relationships, these classifications changed. We experienced my nurture and grew into our relationships. People became labeled as secure, anxious-preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant and fearful-avoidant.
The article I read mainly focuses on secure attachment styles. They give a narrative about a couple where the woman is more on the secure-avoidant spectrum and the guy is more on the secure-anxious spectrum. Kind of like the scenario I described above.
While I think the premise behind the attachment styles is fascinating, I also find the underlying theory of Love Languages to be really interesting. The husband, who was more of the touchy-feely partner, got pissed in the beginning of the marriage because his wife wasn’t all into showing her affection or talking about her feelings. In turn, she asked him what was up and they had a dialogue about it. She talked about her upbringing and how she shows her love, which is shown through her acts of service.
As they grew into their marriage, she made more of an effort to be comfortable with the touchy-feely stuff and he began to notice all the awesome stuff she did for him, like make his lunch, plan outings for them, etc.
via Natalie Dee
So, if you’re like me and you feel all the feelings you feel you should really share how you feel and you’re with someone who is like, “Yeah, those feelings. Sometimes I have them on Wednesday…” don’t think your relationship is doomed.
Just recognize that we are all different and we come from different attachment styles, which cause us to have different love languages, and there are healthy ways of handling all of it. It is my strong belief that we don’t get into relationships because they are just supposed to make life perfect, we find partners who enrich us and enable us to be better people and grow throughout our life. You know how you grow? You are challenged to be better and to understand more. That’s how we grow.
About Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA
Hi, I’m Jen. I’m a mental health counselor newly residing in Seattle, Washington. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection as the cornerstone of my professional ideology, along with the healing possibilities of puppies, a good glass of red wine, the smell of a new book, and the importance of travel.