Tag Archives: communication

Looking for a Fight

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I’m not sure why, but lately I’ve been begging for a fight. Maybe it is just my confrontational nature. Maybe my inner Lady Thor is getting restless. But I practically yearn for disagreement.

A lot of people hate to fight. They avoid arguments at all costs. I’m not one of those people.

I’m not saying I want to bash anyone’s head in. I’m not saying that I like to be vicious.

What I am saying is this: a fight isn’t always such a bad thing.

It’s amazing how context plays such a huge role in a sentiment. For instance:

“She’s a fighter!”

What do you envision when you read that statement? Does a picture change your perspective?

 

Sometimes a fight is completely uncalled for. Sometimes a fight is okay. Sometimes a fight is absolutely necessary! It all depends. What are we fighting about? What are we fighting for? How are we fighting?

As pessimistic as I am about relationships, I have a confession. Unlike most people, I am actually attracted to a man who is willing to fight with me. I’m not saying that my dream-man is abusive. I’m saying that I’d like a guy with a backbone. I cringe when I hear my friends say that they’ve never really disagreed with their significant others.

Never? Not about anything?

“Well, we disagreed about something once. But we chose not to discuss it. It’s not really that big of a deal. We see eye to eye about everything else.”

Right. Everything else. No other differences of opinion. I believe you – really I do…

Some people fight all of the time about everything. That’s definitely not healthy. But other people refuse to fight about anything ever. I submit the notion that that isn’t healthy either. You see, as evidenced by the picture of the cancer patient above, some things are worth fighting for. I feel like a relationship – if it has any lasting potential whatsoever – is one of those things.

While others look at a couple who always get along and say, “They are going to make it in life because they have so much in common!”

I say, “They obviously aren’t communicating. No two people agree on everything always. Unless someone gets brave enough to disagree out loud – they are doomed!”

So when I’m feeling the way I do – hungry for a fight – it’s not just because I’m hostile or confrontational. I’m wondering if anyone finds their relationship with me important enough to fight for. I’m wondering if anyone thinks my opinion is significant enough to disagree with. If communicating is a struggle, will you give up on me and move on? Or will you exert the effort necessary to understand and to be understood? I’m searching for someone with a bit of self-confidence.

In a man, confidence is a huge turn-on. (Note: I said confidence, not arrogance.) A man is supposed to be the leader in a marital relationship. If a man cannot even stand up to me, how can I possibly expect him to lead me?

Do you value my thoughts enough to consider them and reflect upon them? Do you value your own thoughts enough to voice them if you disagree with mine?  Do you have the self-assurance to stand up to me? Is a relationship with me truly worth fighting for?

Or would you prefer something more surface-level? Let’s not make waves with a disagreement. If that’s what you want, then I suppose that’s okay. But don’t be surprised when I walk away. Cuz I’m looking for a fight.

Translate Love

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A group I meet with weekly is currently studying Gary Chapman’s book, “The 5 Love Languages”. In case you’ve never heard of it, the author teaches that people express and respond to love in 5 basic ways 0r understand love in “5 languages”. He explains that in order to express love to someone effectively, you need to communicate through that person’s primary love language. Quick breakdown of the 5:

 

  1. Quality Time: undivided attention or special moments set aside for me prove that  you love me/distractions during conversation, standing me up, or postponing a date hurt me deeply
  2. Words of Affirmation: tell me I’m beautiful, tell me you appreciate me, openly compliment me in front of others and  recognize your love for me/don’t thank me or compliment me when I do things or make fun of me and I feel devalued
  3. Receiving Gifts: give me a gift “just because” or go out of your way to find me that “perfect something” for my birthday and I realize that you treasure me/forget me or pick up something dumb because you feel you have to and I don’t believe you care about me
  4. Physical Touch: hug me, hold me, pat me on the arm, and I sense your love for me/your aloofness or discomfort at my touch devastates me
  5. Acts of Service: do me a favor, help me with some chores, ease my burdens somehow and I can see that you love me/break a promise, neglect to finish that project you told me you’d do around the house, or shuffle your responsibilities into my lap – those things really bother me

That’s the rundown. If you want to see which love languages apply most in your own life I encourage you to take an assessment here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/love/

Anyway, as we discussed some of these principles last night, I found my mind wandering back to Jamaica… again. There was one man, in particular, that I became attached to while I was down there. As a girl who is not easily wooed by the opposite sex, I kept wondering why this man left such a strong impact on me after just two days together. (They weren’t even two consecutive days together – we saw each other the first Friday my friend and I were there and again the last Sunday.) During our meeting last night, it dawned on me. In the two short days I spent with him, Raul (as my friend fondly nicknamed this guy) expressed love to me through four of the five love languages!

Raul was braiding my hair within the first twenty minutes of meeting. 🙂

His friendly introduction started the process. My friend and I passed a restaurant and he called down to us from the balcony, inviting us to stop. We passed by, but returned a short while later to eat lunch. He approached us with a smile and asked if he could join us. Within seconds he not only welcomed us to Jamaica, but he was talking openly with us about our trip and about his culture. Quality time.

This restaurant had a couple of water slides and water trampolines. We went for the slide into the ocean. After exploding out the slide into salt water, we climbed up onto a trampoline to lay down for a while and catch our breaths. More time to talk. He began to emphasize how much he liked me. He exalted my smile. He told me I was beautiful. He went on and on about how nice I seemed to be – which he could not always expect from tourists. In contrast, he claimed that many tourists are rude to Jamaicans. Words of affirmation.

After some more play in the water, we climbed onto the dock to relax. Raul left me for a few moments as I laid down in a lawn chair. A lifeguard came and put the rest of the lawnchairs away. When Raul returned, he sat at the end of the chair by my feet. It didn’t take long before he pulled my legs into his lap so he could rub my feet. I watched him in awe as he caressed my feet so tenderly. I thought about stopping him – how could I accept such an act from an almost-stranger? Was I using him? But I never could say “no” to a good foot massage. I decided to delight in the special treatment and he continued. Physical touch.

My friend and I left him, but agreed to think about hanging out later that night. We did end up spending more time with him and we met more friends of his later on. After a fun night together, he and his friends offered to walk us back to our hotel. We had been by the beach, so my feet and flip-flops were covered with sand. He looked down and then asked us to wait. He went for the shore and came back with a cup of water to clean the sand off my feet so that it would not irritate my skin as we walked back. My friend stared at him with her mouth wide open as he hurried back and forth from me to the ocean until my feet were completely clean. Acts of service.

Those were four specific instances that Raul expressed love to me in our first day together. I could list countless other gestures if I took the time. I highly doubt this man’s ever read the book. But he is fluent in the languages of love.

Take the Hint

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“So what’s your favorite dinner food?”

I looked at the man questioning me. There is only one possible reason he wants to know. I didn’t dare respond.

He asked again, “Seriously, what kind of food do you like? You like steak?”

“Uh… I like to fast, actually. Yeah,” I offered him the lamest answer I could come up with. I have already refused invites for coffee, dinner, bowling, and a trip to the movie theater. By no means do I lead this poor man on.

“Oh, you like fast food? Like Burger King or McDonald’s?” he enthused.

“NO!” I started to panic. “No, not fast food… I meant I like to fast – as in, I don’t like to eat.”

I would say ANYTHING to get out of this situation – to cause him to give up and move on. He ignored my hesitant and completely non-informative reply by asking again in a different way. I looked at the seven year-old boy sitting nearby. He had been watching our exchange in silence.

I realized he could be my scapegoat. I smiled at him and said, “What do you like to eat?”

Before he could respond, my interrogator jumped in and countered, “I didn’t ask him! I want to know what you like to eat. I have something up my sleeve.”

Here’s the thing: He’s a very nice man. But he hasn’t a chance in the world. I’ve denied his offers countless times. He cannot take a hint.

I’ve told him I am not interested in a relationship. I turn down each and every date. Recently I turned down yet another dinner invitation – I think it was the fourth one. He asked if I would change my mind if he sent flowers to me at my workplace. I looked him in the eye and declared the gesture would not help. I would still not date him. He shook his head and mumbled something about, “All I can do is keep trying…”

I was flabbergasted. Or you could give up….

How do you react to a man who does not back down after you have blatantly rejected him several times over? I’ve already admitted that he is a nice guy. He is very sweet. I really don’t want to become vicious toward him. Unfortunately, bold and honest rejection is completely ineffective. I have never before met someone so willfully oblivious to my lack of interest. I’m not sure what else to try. Some suggest that I take him up on one of his offers. I cannot bring myself to do that. I believe it would only encourage his pursuit all the more.

In the meantime, I remain polite toward him. And I avoid flirting or anything that could possibly be misconstrued as flirting at all costs. And I pray that the perfect woman will bounce into his life and take his mind off me completely. And quickly.

Anyone else got any ideas? Why won’t this guy take the hint?