Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Recap & 3 Types of Stable Relationships

Remember a few days ago when I discussed how important it was to take care of and love yourself in order to effectively love another (see post here)? Well, before going further, I thought I'd give a little update on how I loved myself on Valentine's day. My valentine's day was definitely the most peculiar, as I spent the afternoon at a funeral. By the time, I was definitely in need of a little self love. I came home and spent a little time sending a couple emails to people close to me, and then headed off to yoga. I spent one hour in a dimmed studio with calming music, focusing on myself, my body, my movements, and my breaths. By the time that hour was over, I felt great. Then I spent the rest of the evening with a great friend, laughing and watching TV. And of course I had a little Skype date later in the evening. Overall, it was a good day, even if it was a much more abnormal. So, that's how I engaged in a little self-love:)

Yesterday I also posted a number of characteristics of love. Like I said, we all have areas of strength, and areas of improvement.
One book we had to read in grad school that I really appreciated was "Why Marriages Succeed or Fail and How you Can Make Yours Last" By: John Gottman (1994). 

There are 3 types of stable marriages or relationships. It's good to know what you and your significant other fall under, to understand strengths and areas you need to watch out for...

-VALIDATING: These couples are excellent at communication. The display ease and calm, and can listen to and understand the other point of view and emotions. They go through 3 phases: Listen & air opinions, attempt to persuade each other, and negotiate a compromise. 
   ---Characteristics: Good friends who value “we-ness”, highly value communication and verbal openness, value displays of affection and being in love. 
   ---Risks: May become passionless, romance & selfhood are sacrificed for friendship & togetherness, forgo personal development, can become enmeshed

-VOLATILE: These couples bicker and are competitive, with high levels of engagement. They fight on a grand scale and have an even grander time making up. There are only 2 phases with this couple, because they skip the validation stage: Persuasion, resolving. 
   ---Characteristics: warm & loving, passion fuels positive interactions, masters at making up, see selves as equal, more likely to interrupt each other, he’s nurturing/she’s expressive. 
   ---Pitfalls: quarrelling can consume marriage, violence in extreme cases, use of humor can hurt the partner’s feelings, they censor very few thoughts. 

-AVOIDANT: make light of their differences rather than resolving them. They conspire to “dodge and hedge” and “agree to disagree.” Instead of resolving conflicts, they reaffirm what they love and value in the marriage, accentuate the positive, & accept the rest. 
  ---Characteristics: Usually very easy to get along with. 
   ---Risks: Don’t address conflict, negativity can overwhelm interactions, become lonely, they don’t really know each other. 

What'd you do for Valentine's Day? How did you love yourself?

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