The past couple of months I have been reflecting back on my life and relationships to get a better understanding of myself and who I brought into the union and the reasons why they ended. It’s been a fascinating and humbling experience. With extreme curiosity I have been dissecting them using many of the tools of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) specifically Love Strategies. I also had some great conversations with some friends this month regarding this so I am fulfilling my promise to write about it.
So what is a love strategy?
The central idea is that all of us want to feel loved in some way and have different ways (aka strategies) of communicating and receiving it. That being said, can you being to understand how important this can be in relationships?
Let’s take a look at 3 primary modes of communication in this strategy.
- Visual (what we see)
- Auditory (what we hear)
- Kinesthetic (what we feel)
Love Strategies use those three modes of communication. Some people have visual strategies for feeling loved, some have auditory strategies, and others have kinesthetic strategies.
What exactly do I mean? It is broken down like this:
Visual Love Strategy: People with the visual element need to “see” that you love them. Seeing it might mean receiving flowers or gifts, unexpected thoughtful acts(like a special romantic evening or getaway, a day of pampering, etc.). They need to see “evidence” or “proof.”
Auditory Love Strategy: People with this strategy need to hear the words “I love you” a lot, and other forms of verbal love validation.
Kinesthetic Love Strategy: People with this strategy need to be touched in certain ways. It can be as simple as holding hands in public or showing affection in that matter. Kinesthetic does not mean everything has to jump into sex, it simply means they need validation in this manner to feel loved.
Well, you might be saying inside your head “I like all three of those and I need all of them Makayla!”.
Guess what? I agree with you and when we first get into relationships we are firing off all three!! To some extent we need all three and yet there is one above all if it was not met might lead to hurt and conflict.
For example let’s say a couple is enjoying a whirl wind romance and after a couple of months there is some turbulence. They both aren’t feeling appreciated and loved. Amanda is visual and loves to receive love with evidence, she is hurt because Chris doesn’t want to do things together like they used to. Chris is auditory and he isn’t feeling motivated to do anything with her because he isn’t hearing I love you, or words that build him up. Sound familiar?
Why does this happen?
After the honeymoon phase in relationships we tend to settle down into the strategy we like to receive love best. Sometimes our love strategies are very different and in the case of Amanda and Chris their conflict is because they aren’t receiving love the way they individually like.
How can this be solved? Quite easily actually, it’s called communication.
Here are some questions to ask in order to learn your Love Strategy and the strategy of your significant other. It’s important to both execute this exercise in order to learn more about each other. Learning the strategies can definitely improve happiness, harmony and intimacy.
Here are some questions to help elicit strategies and get you started in the communication:
- In order to feel loved, do you need to hear the words, see it through actions, or be touched?
- What is the most important of those three to you?
- What area that if you did not receive it at all, might make you want to leave?
Enjoy eliciting and discovering each others Love Strategy. Love is fantastic and when you can communicate it in such a way where love and intimacy grows, your life and happiness grows as a result.
These strategies definitely would have resolved massive conflict in my past and yet at the same time I learned immensely from them and now have complete understanding and forgiveness using the Love Strategy model.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide in our communication with others” (Anthony Robbins).
Photo Credit© Dee*