Just A thought…Youth Suicide

A difficult topic and one deserving of our attention. Perhaps one way to connect with the young people in our lives is to share our own story with them. Let’s not wait for the conversation, let’s start it. By sharing this message, we can use the power of social media in a positive way and possibly save people a lot of pain.

Just A Thought…3 Sentences To Stop Saying To Children

A simple thought, that if implemented could have an enormous impact on the confidence and wellbeing of our children. The Holidays are upon us and that means lots of socializing. Here’s an idea to keep in mind as we help our children feel comfortable around lots of people and new environments.

Credit: Music and Video edit by Cory at Little Bear Photography

Nanaimo Teens Are “Doing A Thing” & Emotional Intimacy Is Suffering

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, teens, youth, sex, relationships, counselling, communication,Teenagers starting to date has always been a scary prospect for parents. Your teen’s safety, getting too serious, or having their heart broken are just some of the concerns we as parents must manage. Many of us probably wish our teens would not date until they are 18, but besides locking them in their rooms, there is not much we can do to stop them. So what’s it like for today’s teens, right here in Nanaimo?

I work with youth and teens here in Nanaimo and my goal is to both help our young people on their path, while also working to strengthen family relationships as a whole. The latter is the purpose of this piece. My hope is that in reading this, you as parents feel more informed and encouraged to open up non-judgemental dialogue around the subject of relationships and intimacy.

“Doing a thing” is the new way teens are experiencing being sexually intimate. This is the term used when two teens are engaging sexually but without commitment, or exclusivity. One could be “doing a thing” with any number of others.
Now of course this is not the case for all teens. Some teens are not sexually active and there are still some who do date. This is also not something that is just limited Nanaimo. I am however speaking to what is now common place amongst today’s youth.
Teenagers experimenting and playing the field is nothing new but I do not believe it has ever been the norm or standard. Dating the person you are being intimate with is no longer the expectation. The rules have changed. More and more adolescent boys believe they do not need emotional intimacy and more and more adolescent girls are choosing to be intimate in its absence.

This is a very complex topic and there is no one answer as to why this is now the way amongst our youth. It is likely a combination of many factors, influences and failings within today’s society, culture, and family life pressures. One of these factors is certainly the tragic loss of human connection and this I am certain is playing a major role in the choices our young people are making.

This is not an argument for monogamy, nor am I stating it is either gender’s fault, or even that of the parents. Pointing the finger does not further our understanding. I do think most of us would agree, intimacy with another person is not something we wish our teens to take lightly and it appears that has become the case. It is a mistake to think that emotions are not involved in sexually intimate relationships. So what has happened to them? Are these feelings being ignored and pushed down? Are our teens telling themselves to disregard their emotions because this is how their peers are behaving? My fear is that in believing it is better to be intimate without emotional connection or that they do not need it, today’s youth will become unfulfilled adults, not knowing the full spectrum of human experience, or depths of intimacy and connection.

Our teens are the years in which we feel the most intensely, we leap head first without hesitation, we experience all the wonderful and nerve wracking emotions that come with the new relationships, flirtations and crushes of this maturing age. It is a necessary part of growing up or at least it has been until now. We wondered “does he like me”, “will she say yes”, “why hasn’t he called yet”. It is a time of getting to know who we are, what we desire from our relationships and how to care for those we are in relationships with. As much as we all felt heartache or rejection during these years I doubt we would take it back. If it really is the case that teens are not experiencing the emotional vulnerability of connected intimacy then how will these adults turn out?

I don’t have the answers, as I have yet to meet one of these adults. My wish is to simply open up the conversation and ask, what do you wish your teen to know about relationships and sex? When communication has become so detached in today’s world, how are you managing to connect with your teen in the home and discuss their own emotions and feelings? I would love to hear your thoughts, your experiences or comments. Is your teen dating? Do they feel safe to share with you and do you feel comfortable talking with them?

My Own Struggle

IMG_9330The Irish Times Newspaper just published a piece I wrote about my own emotional struggles in Canada, as an Irish Emigrant. I am sharing the piece below and a link to the original piece. I think it’s important to remember that not all emotions and struggles can be resolved and put to bed. Sometimes there is no solution and all we can do is share with others and accept the present moment.

My heart is torn between Ireland and Canada

I never chose to stay in Canada, though I have not chosen to leave either. This is the conundrum my heart struggles with in the background, every day.

Six years have passed since I landed in Vancouver, with two suitcases, packed by my genius compactor of a father, and a one way ticket. “I’ll come home in a couple of weeks if I don’t like it,” are the words that made me capable of putting one foot in front of the other and boarding that plane.

Looking back, I really don’t know how I did it. I think I just had nothing to lose. A perfect storm had gathered of youth, the end of a long and turbulent relationship, and the darkness of the recession.

Now I am married two years, and have a beautiful 7-month-old baby girl. I am happy and I have a pretty wonderful life. But what of my mother, my family? What of my home, where the streets of Dublin feel like mine, and trees in Rathfarnham are scarred with my initials?

My heart is scarred with the loss of my home, while it simultaneously fills with love for my daughter, my family and our life in Canada. Will I always feel this way? Has Ireland forgotten me, and am I grieving for an unrequited love?

The Generation Emigration Facebook page reminds me all too often that I am not alone in my loss. The headlines in my feed stir up feelings that find little resolve. I rarely click on the articles, not wanting to invite in these complex feelings to an otherwise happy day. I am now a counsellor. I help people to work through their emotions and even still, I don’t know what to do with this specific yet elusive ache in my soul.

What I miss is hard to define. I think perhaps I am mourning the future I may not have. As my mother ages, will I not be there? As my daughter grows, will she only know Ireland as the place her mother laments about, after a few too many glasses of wine? My eyes sting as I think of this. Is this reason enough to uproot my life here and return to a country that may have no place for my husband or me?

Life is better in Canada. At least it is better than the Ireland I knew six years ago. I am also better. The me I was back then is unlikely to have much in common with the me now. I left as I turned 24. I had recently ended a five and a 1/2-year relationship, moved home and lost my job in the recession. After moving to Canada, it felt I was really living for the first time.

I also struggled, was depressed, and came very close to packing it all in. In fact, the day I met my husband-to-be, I had called in sick to work and from under my duvet, I had cried on the phone to my mother. She had encouraged me to stick with it. From her own experience living in Canada, she said it would take two years to really settle in.

While everyone at home warned me not to return, my life pushed on and roots were put down. I went back to school, changed careers, married and had a baby. I am now the person I believe I was meant to become. My life has been an adventurous one and my experiences were necessary to get me to the place I am today. For this reason, I cannot regret that moment I purchased a one-way ticket, as my mother and sister watched TV in the living room.

If I do decide to leave again, this time I will have something to lose. It would mean uprooting my life, as well as those of my daughter and husband. I find solace in reminding myself that the future cannot be known. In my early 20s I thought I had it all figured out and my future was very clear. I was very wrong, and thankfully so.

For now I must remind myself to live in the present. My dreams of home do not consume me, and should they ever, I know I have a partner who loves me and would never shut down the idea of beginning a whole new adventure.

See the original here!

Limitless Wellness Open in Nanaimo, BC

12651355_10153617639838884_5975947156127529377_nAfter a brief and wonderful break, Limitless Wellness is back. The office is now located in beautiful Nanaimo, BC. We moved here in May of last year and no more than a week later we welcomed our lovely baby girl into the world.

The new office is still a home office and I am so grateful to be able to work this way. I very much believe in avoiding the non-personal and clinical feel so common in therapy, rather I strive to create a warm and welcoming environment. Here is a picture of the new office. I am still looking for the right piece of art/decor to finish it off. Got any ideas?

marriage counsellor nanaimo

Just as I started back to work, I received the most touching email from a former client. The message came at the best time and served as the perfect reminder, that the work my clients and I do, is so important. With my clients permission, here is a excerpt from his message to me;

“You truly are an excellent counselor. You helped me through what was the most difficult thing in my life to address. You made me feel very comfortable in our meetings, and that in turn made it possible to talk about the things that had haunted me the past almost decade….I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to meet you, and work through my issues with you. I really have no other words to describe how thankful I am, other than to say you have made an unbelievable difference in my life and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Those on the island are extremely lucky to have you in their corner, and I wish all the best in life.”

As our little one is just 9 months old, I am working part time and accepting a limited number of clients. My current focus is on working with youth and couples. I am just so excited to work with those here in Nanaimo and the surrounding area.

Here’s to living a thoughtful and compassionate life and supporting the community here on Vancouver Island.

4 Reasons Why Those Who Seek Counselling Are Not The “Crazy” Ones

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The stigma around mental health and needing help, is gradually being chipped away at. But the completely misguided notion that those who seek help in their lives are somehow, “weaker”, “crazier”, “less stable”, “less capable”, than the rest of us, still exists.

The truth however is quite the opposite. The individuals I meet in my office, are far more aware, emotionally intelligent, genuine and open than most of the people I encounter in my life.

 

And here’s why:

  1. Through just the simple yet courageous act of seeking Counselling, that individual is accepting they are not happy and they desire to change. That is not the act of a crazy person. It is far more crazy to spend your life in miserable way.
  2. By coming to Counselling, the individual is already aware they and they alone have the power to change. They may not know how or even believe it at the beginning, but they are turning their focus inwards and trying to trust themselves. This is not the action of a weak person. A much weaker person likely turns their focus outwards, blaming the world and everyone in it for how they feel. Projecting their own issues on to innocent bystanders in a desperate attempt to escape themselves.
  3. During Counselling, the individual learns to become more open and curious with themselves. They begin to navigate and process their own emotions and experiences and expose their true selves in the presence of someone else. This is not the skill of an unstable person. I would argue that instability arises when people do not know how to express their thoughts and feelings and instead either push their feelings down or become completely overcome by them.
  4. Those who seek help know that no man or woman is expected to go it alone. They know that human beings can achieve so much more when we work together and support each other. This is not the knowledge of an incapable person. Incapable people are not those who lack a skill of some kind, they are those who are not willing to acknowledge where they need help and reach out to the resources available to them.

 

I’ve always loved the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” but I wonder what comes after that. If we are to go by today’s society, it would probably go something like this, “Tt takes a village to raise a child, but after that you are on your own”.

No one is crazy or we are all a little crazy. Either way, seeking Counselling or support is nothing to be ashamed of, it is something to be proud of.

My invitation today is to consider this as the new proverb; “It takes a village to raise a child and a village to help the adult”.

Indo-Canadians on the Edge of Change

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 2.13.35 PMSurrey is so culturally diverse and as a result I have the joy of working with people of all ethnicities, cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs.

One of the groups I have the privilege of working with is the East Indian community and more specifically young Indian adults in their 20’s and 30’s, all born here, to parents who immigrated to Canada. They are as it were first generation Indo-Canadians.

 

I feel compelled to write about the unique difficulties I am observing in the lives of these young adults. Of course I can only speak of what I have observed and it must be noted that I have only worked with a very small number, comparative to the great number of Indians living in Surrey BC. Within this small group however the stories are strikingly similar and it is this that I wish to talk about in today’s blog.

 

From both men and woman their family stories can be summarised as follows. Their parents had arranged marriages, mostly occurring in India before moving and some happening here shortly after arrival. The fathers have been described as emotionally withdrawn, the bread winners and the authority in the home. The mothers have been described as submissive and obedient, remaining in the home to raise the children and take care of household duties.  Most of the fathers described were alcoholics and both physically and emotionally abusive, the majority of the physical abuse being inflicted on the mother. Most of the mothers described were depressed and many attempted to take their own lives.

 

From what I have ascertained, these parents arrived here with very little, leaving behind their families and culture. They likely arrived with little English and little education. Given the time, there was no Skype or email and travelling home to visit family was not possible for most. I emigrated to Canada just over 4 years ago and even with all the technology available to keep in touch, it was still a very difficult adjustment. I can only imagine the hardship, loneliness and isolation these Indian couples must have experienced. Adding to the difficulties of emigrating they were also newly weds, setting out on their journey in life with a partner they did not choose.

 

Given these circumstances, it is not hard to see why they might place very high importance on maintaining their culture, traditions and religious beliefs. Their way of life reminded them of home, and perhaps in an effort to remember where they came from, I can see how they may have become even more committed to it. It is also not difficult to understand how their emotional well being was under threat. A new world, new language, no family, a partner you do not really know all combined with the pressure to make a living and survive. Being Irish, I am very familiar with my country’s stories of emigration and the toll it took both on those who left and those who were left behind.

 

Alcoholism, depression and emigration are not new challenges to the health of the family and are not unique to Indians in Canada. What is unique to Indo-Canadians is the combination of morals, values, traditions and beliefs imposed upon them having grown up in a world far different from that of their parents. From what I have learned, social status within the community ranks highly. Male babies are favoured. I have heard of fathers abandoning newborn baby girls in parks, forcing their wives to abort girls, and dressing their young daughters as boys. What young girls wear is strictly controlled. Young men are taught that making money to support a family is their goal. Woman are expected to marry young and give up their careers, and the family is highly involved in their choice of husband. Sex and cohabiting before marriage is forbidden. Once married, women must leave their family home to live with their husband and his parents.

 

These children, now young adults are standing on the shore line looking out on the horizon. They can see another way but to explore could mean leaving behind their home, their family and life as they know it. I am seeing immense internal conflicts in the hearts of these young people all of whom have never shared their stories with anyone but myself. It is no exaggeration to admit they appear terrified at even the thought of choosing something different. They are sad, alone, emotionally traumatized and trapped. All of this is true but for one detail – they are not alone.

 

This new generation of Indians is on the edge of change. I am trying to help my clients manoeuvre within themselves while their social conditioning screams at them from behind. The first step, as it is for anyone, is healing from their past – a challenge even the strongest of us do not venture into lightly. What comes next is where my own fear lies. What happens if these young people decide they want to make their own choices and their own lives? They want to choose a career they love, choose who, when and if they marry, and dress and live how they desire? Most of us are familiar with making changes in our lives and witnessing resistance from the people and world around us. However most of us are lucky enough to have at least some support from family and friends. What happens if the changes we want to make are in direct opposition to the lives of our family, friends, community and culture? This I can not answer, because I have not yet seen it. I can only imagine that it would at the least result in isolation but potentially a very real threat to one’s own life. I have a palpable concern especially for the safety of Indian women should they choose another way.

 

On this edge of change, the options remain, submit to a life they are not fully in control of or take a leap and hope for something better. My clients are beginning to explore, something I imagine their parents never had the opportunity to do. They are taking the first steps down a new path and are seeking help. I am helping them to heal, to learn about themselves and begin to make their own emotional wellbeing a priority.  These efforts they are making, no matter the end result, will no doubt make a difference for the better in their lives and the lives of the families they will create.

 

What can you or I do? We can extend our love and compassion to all ethnic communities, letting go of all judgements, knowing we do not know their stories or the extent of their struggles. Their is nothing perfect about any culture, the western culture very much included. I greatly admire so many Indian beliefs and traditions and know our own culture could learn a lot through embracing many of them. I believe as a community, we can make a choice to not reject what we do not know or understand, and we can support each other through our openness to conversation across cultural boundaries. We can remind ourselves and each other that nobody is alone no matter how different our stories may be. I am in the early stages of exploring the idea of creating a support group for Indians in Surrey. My wish begins with the desire for these individuals to have a place to meet and support each other as they navigate their lives. From this place, they can begin to build confidence, gain self esteem, heal through the commonalities in their stories, and at the very least – no longer feel alone.

Turn out the lights and wake me when it’s over. An immense loss with a little revived gratitude

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My next piece of writing was going to be a short piece poking a little fun at the first trimester of pregnancy. The joke being that women are often advised not to share news of their pregnancy until the 3 month mark, not just because of the risks but also to save friends and family from the constant moans, groans and emotional outbursts that ensue. The serious message was going to be about the importance of sharing with others what you are going through, the good, the bad and the ugly regardless – and especially regardless of the risk of losing a pregnancy. My first 3 months of pregnancy were lonely enough being confined to my bed; I can only imagine how awful it would have been not to tell anyone the reason I seemed to have fallen off the edge of the world.

My circumstances have since changed and so I feel called not only to share my own experience, to be vulnerable as I encourage my clients to do but to also draw our attention to what seems to be the trendy, sometimes even fashionable condemning of modern medicine. So now I will do all that I feel I can do and that is to share. Share my current struggle in hope that it may help to heal both myself and others and touch on a revived awareness that my present life has provided.

I became pregnant in July of this year. The questions followed of where I would deliver and how. I wanted some amount of control and believed in my own ability to deliver a baby without medical intervention. Women have delivered babies without the help of doctors since the beginning of our kind so there is no reason I couldn’t. I am also aware that many women died in labour or lost their babies before medical advances and that some still do. My partner preferred the idea of delivering at home, away from the interfering cold hands of doctors and their instruments. I wanted to share his confidence and yet felt frightened to be without a Doctor. I was bouncing back and forth with the dilemma of the all western medicine way or just going with nature’s plan and trusting both nature and myself.

Thankfully I did not choose just one way and met with my doctor regularly, intending to deliver in a hospital without pain medication. I was opting for a mix of complementary techniques and modern medicine. For the first 3 months I was more sick than I could ever have imagined. I was one of the unlucky women who had all day nausea along with a slew of other uncomfortable and painful symptoms. My body told me everything was OK. My hips expanded, my belly bloated, my breasts grew, I gained 4 pounds, looked like a pubescent teenager with the break outs on my face and all things pointed to a healthy pregnancy. We were picking names and painting the nursery. I do not follow the rule of thumb of keeping it a secret until 3 months had passed and so we had already told close friends and family. I was having dreams about the baby that just drew attention to my natural insecurities at the prospect of motherhood. I frequently asked my partner if he thought people could tell I was pregnant. I was envious of those women with the big bumps and looked forward to mine. The first 3 months were tough and knowing the risks of miscarrying I was just wishing each day away until we could fully embrace and celebrate this pregnancy. I held my belly and spoke to it and my partner kissed it goodnight. I was reading my parenting books and having wonderful conversations with my partner about the kind of parents we wished to be and wearing maternity pants! My counselling practice had suffered and our wedding date had changed to accommodate our new person and sometimes I felt just a little too lucky to have such a wonderful man in my life and a baby in my belly.

At 14 weeks and 2 days (past the 3 month mark), we went in for an appointment with our Doctor. She was trying to hear the heartbeat as she could not find it the week before. With no heartbeat found, she sent us for an emergency ultrasound the same day. The technician began moving the gadget around my belly and taking what sounded like photo snaps. She wasn’t saying anything yet and so with my inherent impatience I said “What are you seeing”. My partner had a smile on his face and his phone ready to take a picture of the little him or her on the screen. The technicians face looked worrying and I said “Is there nothing there??” and she replied “I’m afraid not”. I exploded in tears with a rambling of pleading sentences “but how, but how” is all I remember. My partner said in a voice I can not forget “I’m sorry??” as though he thought his ears had failed him. I stared at a black and white image of a dark bean shaped hole where a baby should be and sobbed and wailed like a little child in need of her mother’s arms.

This is not a normal miscarriage; it is called a molar pregnancy and is very rare. The majority of women with a non viable pregnancy will either miscarry naturally or at least have some obvious warning symptoms before the 3 month mark. Basically the cells split off as they are supposed to but they only developed a Placenta. An embryo, from what we know right now, did not develop or if it did it was only there a short time. The placenta became like a tumour, multiplying and growing far bigger than it should. It sent my hormones through the roof which now explains why I have been so incredibly sick. I have since had surgery this week to remove everything from my uterus. I could not go home and stay hidden under my duvet. Instead my partner and I had our days filled with waiting rooms, needles and finally a hospital stay. Unfortunately I lost a lot of blood in surgery as a result I am anemic and exhausted. Bouncing between my physical and emotional struggles and seeking anything to distract my mind while I recover. We must now wait for the results of a biopsy to make sure what they found is not cancerous and my blood will be monitored for at least six weeks. We have been told we cannot try for another baby for a while and when we do we will be monitored closely. Had I lived in a third world country, or turned away from all western medicine, or even just lived a 100 years ago or less, this pregnancy would likely have killed me. Had we not had the technology to listen for heartbeats or ultrasounds to see right into where the baby should be then It would likely have gone unnoticed. The placenta would have continued to grow and eventually spread to my blood and other organs. One could say “well that was mother nature’s way of eliminating me”, but when it comes to your own life and we can no longer look on from afar, there is no question that I will do whatever I can to survive, just as humans always have. I have a rediscovered gratitude for medicine and for our unique unrelenting curiosity as humans.

This is a loss for us and a terrible shock. I am truly grateful for the support of friends and family and know that nobody can go through this alone. We must now readjust, and somehow replace the space in our head that was so completely devoted to thinking about our baby and our future. How this is done I have yet to figure out. All I know right now is that I still wake each morning, even though all I want is to turn out the lights and wake when there is a baby in my belly and happiness in my heart. The space will be filled again and I am confident we will have a healthy baby some day but for now we must focus on my health. My message to other women or couples is not to negate their loss just because it is common to lose pregnancies. Your body, mind and soul must grieve. Do what you feel is natural for you and let nobody, including society, try to tell you how you should do things, what is the best way, and how you should compose yourself. What is natural and best is not putting yourself in one box or another, it is simply doing what feels right for you. You are human and already have the innate will to survive within you. Let this guide you.

My love goes out to all other women, couples and families who have experienced any type of loss and hope that my sharing, encourages yours.

I am still Limitless!

Wedding Bells & Nice Smells Does Not Make A Relationship

126098_v1Life revolves around the relationship we have with ourselves the world and the people we love. Nothing is more important and we know this. We know how bad life can feel when our relationships are struggling. We need for our lives to not go unwitnessed. For someone to share our lives with and to know we were here once we have gone.

There are dating websites, personalized fashion experts, bars, restaurants, makeup, cologne, perfume all designed and used to help us find a partner. Whether they are successful or not, people will spend thousands of dollars in hope that it will help. When getting married, there are an overwhelming amount of vendors, planners and suppliers only happy to help you spend $10,000 and upwards for your special day.

We are happy to seek help and spend enormous amounts of money in search of a partner in this life and in celebration of finding one, yet some how most of us don’t seek help for our actual relationship. In fact it goes further than this because there is a stigma to seeking this help. There must be something wrong with your relationship if you need counselling, right? It’s actually the opposite. Seeking support is a sign of an aware couple who are committed to staying together. Look at the divorce rates. 40% of Canadian Marriages end in Divorce. I think most of us could make an educated assumption that far more than 40% of people do not seek outside help for their relationship. We don’t invest half as much energy, thought or money in what is actually the most important relationship in our lives, next to the one we have with ourselves.  Are we to think we can do it alone? That it’s ok to need help for everything else but with relationships, we’ve got that covered?

If our relationships are to survive then we must invest in them and seek support when needed. This is where Couples or Marriage Counselling can help. We do not come into a relationship as a clean slate. A relationship is a marriage of two family systems, a merging of what we could call two foreign languages. Unless these languages can be translated, understood and formulated into something unique for the couple then trouble will inevitably follow!

Conflict is a normal part of healthy relationships. Effective communication is key if you are to learn and grow from conflict and not let it destroy that loving bond with your partner. My work with couples starts here, using fantastic proven tools for communication and putting them to use to resolve all present and future issues.

I take a unique approach to helping because no couple is the same. My Couples and Marriage Counselling sessions involves a tailored approach of both individual sessions and couples sessions.

Whether you choose Counselling or not, my message is simply to remember to invest in and nurture your relationships.

Make your relationship Limitless!

Do you know your Love Languages?

Love Languages blogHow do you know your partner loves you? How do you know your partner feels loved?

Or perhaps you are single and think your past relationships have not worked out because you felt your partner didn’t love you enough or vice versa.

But if you do not know what actions make you feel loved then it’s pretty difficult for the other person to figure out. Nobody is Psychic, not even the love of your life 😉

Not Feeling loved is not the same as not being loved. Trouble in relationships often shows up in statements like:

“You NEVER say you love me”

“I don’t know if he/she even loves me anymore”

“You don’t appreciate me”

“I do so much for him/her and they take it for granted”

and so on…

Many of us do not realize that we each feel loved in different ways. There are many ways to show someone you love them but for each individual, there are  always one or two ways that worker better than the rest.

Think of it like having a huge ring of door keys and one door. You can fumble around trying to find the one that works, or you can take the fun quiz below and save yourself and your partner a whole lot of awkward fumbling and tumbling over one another. (and I don’t mean the fun kind of tumbling and fumbling!)

The Five Love Languages Test 

By Dr. Gary Chapman 

There are 30 Questions in total. Each numbered question has two statements.

Read each pair of statements and circle the one that best describes you. 

1. A. I like to receive notes of affirmation from you.

E. I like it when you hug me.

 

2. B. I like to spend one‐on‐one time with you.

D. I feel loved when you give me practical help.

 

3. C. I like it when you give me gifts.

B. I like taking long walks with you.

 

4. D. I feel loved when you do things to help me.

E. I feel loved when you hug or touch me.

 

5. E. I feel loved when you hold me in your arms.

C. I feel loved when I receive a gift from you.

 

6. B. I like to go places with you.

E. I like to hold hands with you.

 

7. A. I feel loved when you acknowledge me.

C. Visible symbols of love (gifts) are very important to me.

 

8. E. I like to sit close to you.

A. I like it when you tell me that I am attractive.

 

9. B. I like to spend time with you.

C. I like to receive little gifts from you.

 

10. D. I know you love me when you help me.

A. Your words of acceptance are important to me.

 

11. B. I like to be together when we do things.

A. I like the kind words you say to me.

 

12. E. I feel whole when we hug.

D. What you do affects me more than what you say.

 

13. A. I value your praise and try to avoid your criticism.

C. Several inexpensive gifts mean more to me than one large expensive gift.

 

14. E. I feel closer to you when you touch me.

B. I feel close when we are talking or doing something together.

 

15. A. I like you to compliment my achievements.

D. I know you love me when you do things for me that you don’t enjoy doing.

 

16. E. I like for you to touch me when you walk by.

B. I like when you listen to me sympathetically.

 

17. C. I really enjoy receiving gifts from you.

D. I feel loved when you help me with my home projects.

 

18. A. I like when you compliment my appearance.

B. I feel loved when you take the time to understand my feelings.

 

19. E. I feel secure when you are touching me.

D. Your acts of service make me feel loved.

 

20. D. I appreciate the many things you do for me.

C. I like receiving gifts that you make.

 

21. B. I really enjoy the feeling I get when you give me your undivided attention.

D. I really enjoy the feeling I get when you do some act of service for me.

 

22. C. I feel loved when you celebrate my birthday with a gift.

A. I feel loved when you celebrate my birthday with meaningful words (written or spoken.)

 

23. D. I feel loved when you help me out with my chores.

C. I know you are thinking of me when you give me a gift.

 

24. C. I appreciate it when you remember special days with a gift.

B. I appreciate it when you listen patiently and don’t interrupt me.

 

25. B. I enjoy extended trips with you.

D. I like to know that you are concerned enough to help me with my daily task.

 

26. E. Kissing me unexpectedly makes me feel loved.

C. Giving me a gift for no occasion makes me feel loved.

 

27. A. I like to be told that you appreciate me.

B. I like for you to look at me when we are talking.

 

28. C. Your gifts are always special to me.

E. I feel loved when you kiss me.

 

29. A. I feel loved when you tell me how much you appreciate me.

D. I feel loved when you enthusiastically do a task I have requested.

 

30. E. I need to be hugged by you every day.

A. I need your words of affirmation daily.

 

Add Total Number of Answers Here: 

A. ____ Words of Affirmation B. ____ Quality Time C. ____Receiving Gifts D. ____ Acts of Service E. ____Physical Touch

Now you know where you scored highest! Stay tuned and tomorrow I’ll post the breakdown of each of the Love Languages. Then instead of hoping someone else will meet our needs we can just go ahead and ask for them.

You are Limitless and so is your Relationship!

Here is the breakdown, explaining each of the 5 Love Languages

Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.*

Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are powerful communicators of love.
Encouraging words: “Encourage” means “to inspire courage”. All of us have areas in which we feel insecure. We lack courage, which often hinders us from accomplishing the positive things that we would like to do. Perhaps you or your spouse has untapped potential in one or more areas of life. That potential may be awaiting encouraging words from you or from him.

Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.*

This means giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television together. What I mean is taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out to eat and looking at each other while talking. Time is a strong communicator of love. The love language of quality time has many dialects. One of the most common is that of quality conversation – two individuals sharing their thoughts and feelings. A relationship calls for sympathetic listening with a view to understanding the other person’s desires. We must be willing to give advice, but only when it’s requested and never in a condescending manner.

Here are some practical listening tips:
Maintain eye contact when your spouse is talking.
Don’t do something else at the same time.
Listen for feelings and confirm them. Ask yourself, “What emotion is my spouse experiencing?”
Observe body language.
Refuse to interrupt. Such interruptions indicate, “I don’t care what you are saying; listen to me.”
Quality conversation also calls for self-revelation. In order for your partner to feel loved, you must reveal some of yourself, too.

Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.*

Almost everything ever written on the subject of love indicates that at the heart of love is the spirit of giving. All five love languages challenge us to give to our spouse, but for some, receiving gifts, visible symbols of love, speaks the loudest. A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or, “She remembered me.” A gift is a symbol of that thought. Gifts come in all sizes, colours and shapes. Some are expensive and others are free. To the individual whose primary love language is receiving gifts, the cost will matter little.

There is also an intangible gift that can speak more loudly than something that can be held in one’s hand. Physical presence in the time of crisis is the most powerful gift you can give. Your body becomes the symbol of your love.

Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.*

People who speak this love language seek to please their partners by serving them; to express their love for them by doing things for them. Actions such as cooking a meal, setting a table, washing the dishes, sorting the bills, walking the dog or dealing with landlords are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love. I’m not saying become a doormat to your partner and do these things out of guilt or resentment. No person should ever be a doormat. Do these things as a lover.

Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.*

Holding hands, kissing, hugging and sex – all of these are lifelines for the person for whom physical touch is the primary love language. With it, they feel secure in their partner’s love. “Love touches” don’t take much time, but they do require a little thought, especially if this isn’t your primary love language or you didn’t grow up in a “touching” family. Sitting close to each other as you watch TV requires no additional time, but communicates your love loudly. Touching each other when you leave the house and when you return may involve only a brief kiss, but speaks volumes.