Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Let me Count the Ways, How Do I Love You?

For couples who have attained a certain stage of being together for a certain period of time, shall we say, less than a decade, having one or two kids, or maybe more, sometimes need a desirable dose of retrospection. Have we asked ourselves, “How do I love my darling?” Or whatever way you address your special loved ones.

When it comes to human behavior, we oftentimes perceive exactly the same things in different ways. As we noticed and observed, the basic modes of perception (although we all have six of them), when it comes to our special loved ones, we primarily use the sense of seeing (visual), sense of hearing (auditory) and sense of feeling—kinesthesia (touch).

For this topic’s sake, let us limit our subject to three categories of perception. Some people are auditory of which they are influenced most of what they hear. Some are visual and they are influence most by what they see. Yet others are kinesthetic where they are impressed most of what they feel.

Of course, all of us operate in all of these levels. Based on experience, for each of us, there is one dominant mode. So, how do we apply these to the dimension of love? Different people express their love in much different ways, as it is only logical to say, different persons desire to be loved in different ways as well.

Let us draw some real-life scenario. The auditory woman may be comfortable if her husband is a silent type and she wants him to keep talking. The auditory man may enjoy background music when he is making love. The visual man adores his wife in attractive attire, while the visual woman may be delighted in the presence of her husband—thus making their home absolutely clean, neat and free from blemishes, solely for making him happy. The kinesthetic man enjoys holding his wife’s hand while they are talking, or when they are walking. The kinesthetic woman needs her mate cuddling her continually. These are illustrations we can practically found how different people wants to be loved differently.

It is undeniable; love is displayed in intimate terms. To reveal an inner measure of a couples’ love, a husband may ask, “Let me see your face … for … your face is lovely,” as a visual expression of her love for him. Or he may appeal to her for an auditory revelation by singing to him their favorite love song. This only showed how we differ in our desires—in a way that people prefer different expressions of love.

“If my spouse is different from me, I should expect him/her to behave like me,” if one partner does say so, a perpetual problem may arise. Let us consider a visual wife and a kinesthetic husband.
After a demanding and taxing day’s work, a husband returned home meeting his wife at the door or at the gate. For a visual woman, she is happy to see him, yet for a kinesthetic husband, seeing is not adequate. For him … feeling is loving. So, he grabs her into his arms with the gesture of kissing her, but she didn’t respond. The husband becomes not only concerned, but irritated which is unlikely.

The husband being relieved to be inside the comfort of his home (immaculately made by his visual wife), throws down his coat, kicks off his shoes, and rest his both feet on the table, musing to himself, “It feels good to be home,” unaware and unmindful of her wife’s housekeeping, and her arrangement of their living room! When her wife made an assessment of the scene, she started to become frustrated and out of control, at least they have now their second unpleasant encounter of the day.

At bedtime, the kinesthetic husband reaches over to hug his spouse. With or without sex, he wants to cuddle her. However, the visual wife doesn’t want to be cuddled and only cares for his presence, not his romance, she moves to the other side of the bed, and the third battle of the evening ensued!
Here is a typical couple who love each other nevertheless; they are interminably in conflict with one another, because each of their dominant perception differs from one to another. What is the solution to such a problem?

Did we try to identify our partner’s dominant perception, whether she or he is a seeing, hearing, or a feeling person? How can we know? Have we done a wise examination of watching and observing our spouse’s behavior, actions and reactions?

Certainly, there is an obvious difference but it is our natural tendency as human being to refuse such difference. Some may try to whisk it away and just hope for a change in our partner’s behavior. Others may try to work it away by putting some pressure on the spouse to change. These attempts may be futile and usually may end up unsuccessful. Lest, have we forgotten the individuality of human being which deserves to be respected? Have we ever considered the dynamic aspect of our perception?

What about the Greek word for love, “agape?” It is the highest form of love—self sacrificing, selfless and unconditional. To apply this, the kinesthetic husband will work in pleasing her visual wife more and above than his “feeling” self. The visual wife will work at pleasing her kinesthetic husband more and above than her “seeing” self.

Wherefore, as each of the partners cross the line of their domestic battlefield, standing on the side of the other, it is only reasonable to meet one another halfway or maybe more, so that the wife will accept her husband’s cuddling—sometimes. On the other hand, the husband will keep his feet or even a foot off the table—sometimes.

How wonderful? In the experience of each partner, the meeting of the “second self” with the “first self” will surely cause the two selves to become one. In the beauty of embracing their love, even though the level of dominance in their perception is really huge, there is peace.

Cognizance, of these three major keys to the heart, the seeing key, the hearing key and the feeling key; you can choose which is the right key to your spouse’s affection. Sure, it depends on who your partner is. Once you’ve discovered and nurtured the fitted-match to each of these keys—first, identify, then accept, lastly, apply the Agape, putting your spouse’s desires over and above your own, then, you can utter to yourself watching your spouse in a distant, “How do I Love You?”


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1 comment:

Pinay Jade said...

When I met my husband, I didn't really know what true love is. But nobody would know it until you feel and experience it.My better half completes me.

Agape is truly beautiful. Thanks for sharing this.