Learning about myself Throughout Life

 

Introduction:

My name is Alyssa Martinez. I am twenty years old, about to be twenty-one on January seventeenth. I enjoy reading books, even though the only books I read are romance novels and watching television shows. I took this course to broaden my understanding of relationships and everything that goes into making them strong and long-lasting. I wanted to learn more in-depth about them as well as learn about myself.

The three concepts I will be addressing below are adult attachment styles, love languages, and love styles. These three concepts are what stood out to me the most in this class and I believe they taught me the most about myself. I learned so much in this class that it is hard to put it all down, but the main thing I will take away is how many things in our development as children impact our relationships as adults. Also, that having knowledge and the mindset of wanting to work on things with greatly assist you in improving the quality of your relationships.

Adult Attachment Styles:

According to our textbook titled “Intimate Relationships: Across the Lifespan” by Abdul Khaleque “attachment is a theory that provides important concepts and constructs for explaining intimate relationships in childhood, adolescents, and adulthood” (Khaleque, 2018). It is not a general theory of relationships but how human beings respond within relationships when hurt, separated from loved ones, or noticing a threat. Attachment is provided by any consistent caregiver who meets the needs of an infant in terms of loving and caring for them. All infants become attached, however individual differences in the quality of the relationships remain significant. Our attachment styles as infants follow us into adulthood and impact our relationships. Although there is a difference between adult and infant attachment styles. The four adult attachment theories are secure, avoidant/dismissive, preoccupied, and avoidant/fearful.

The first adult attachment style is secure attachment. Secure attachment is developed when all needs are met as infants and throughout lives into adulthood.

When I first took the survey on attachment styles and received a result of anxious-preoccupied I was a little skeptical. However, after learning about the different attachment styles adults can have I realized that it did match me. People with an anxious-preoccupied attachment style have a negative view of one’s self, but a positive view of others, they often feel as if people don’t care about them as much as they care about others, and often go through great lengths to keep people in their lives. Learning about this attachment style and looking back on my own relationships showed me how I do have this attachment style.

In my relationship I go through great lengths to make sure my partner is always happy even if it means sacrificing my own happiness. Especially when we are arguing. I do not like confrontation especially with those I really care about, because I am afraid to lose them. This fear causes me to give in arguments just to make the other person happy. Another thing I do often in my relationships is ask for constant reassurance. I often feel as if my boyfriend doesn’t care about me or love me as much as I love and care about him. I ask him all the time if he loves me? If he is sure? It bothers even myself that I ask these questions all the time, I can only imagine what it does to him. However, he is very good at being there for me and understanding.

Like I explained above attachment style comes from infancy and travels into adulthood. My attachment being insecure streams from a history of inconsistencies with my parents. My mother and father both worked hard to provide for my brother and me. I admire them greatly for that, however they were very permissive parents and I could never really tell if they truly cared or not. In my own opinion it makes sense that I question my boyfriend so much in our relationship. My attachment to my dad is very avoidant I would say.

 I don’t trust him, nor do I trust his motives on certain things. He has failed me in the past and this has impacted my attachment style. However, even though I trust my mother more than my father I don’t put much faith her either. I don’t rely on my parents or family at all. I tend me be very dependent on my boyfriend though. I put a lot of my weight onto his shoulders. Another thing that comes from having a pre-occupied attachment style. People with pre-occupied attachment style tend to dependent on their intimate partners in a relationship more than a person with a secure attachment would.

Love Languages:

Love languages was discovered by Dr. Gary Chapman. According to Dr. Gary Chapman “Unhappiness in relationships is often since we speak different languages” (Newell 2018b). Many people don’t realize that we feel love in different ways. There are five different ways that people feel love and they are words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, receiving gifts, and quality time. Words of affirmation is exactly how it sounds. You show or feel love through words. Your partner telling you they are proud or that they love you. Acts of service means that you feel or show love through doing something for your partner. For example, if the house is dirty and you know you’re partner usually cleans, 

if you clean the house it would make your partner feel greater. Saying “Oh I can help you with that or let me do that for you” can go along way with your partner if their love language is acts of service. Physical touch is another love language; however, it doesn’t always have to mean something sexual. It can be holding hands or a back rub. A sexual relationship is only one form of the love language physical touch. Receiving gifts was probably the hardest love language for me to understand, because I assumed it meant you always wanted your partner to buy you something for you to feel love. However, that is not what it means at all. It doesn’t have to be material items it can be a simple love note or a flower picked from the garden can show your partner how much you appreciate them and love them. The last love language, but not the least is quality time. Quality time is the act of spending time with your partner or taking the time to share meaningful conversations between the two of you. These are the ways in which we show our love and feel it as well.

If your partner doesn’t understand that the way you feel love is different than the way that they feel love it can cause unhappiness even without your knowledge. When I took the survey on love languages I learned that I have two main love languages which are physical touch and words of affirmation. Physical touch doesn’t always have to be sexual. It can be holding hands or a back rub. A sexual relationship is only one form of the love language physical touch. I enjoy holding hands with my partner or just keeping in physical contact when we are in proximity. I think I do this, because I love to know that he is there. Although according to Dr. Jane Newell’s lecture on love languages 

it is important to understand your partners love language, because they can be “irritated or annoyed by physical touch even if it’s the way you feel, and show love the most” (Newell 2018b). I know that my boyfriend doesn’t always enjoy being touched or gets irritated sometimes. The second love language I received is words of affirmation. Words of affirmation as I explained about is showing love through words. For example, telling your partner how proud you are of them or I love you. Those are two of the phrases I enjoy hearing the most from my boyfriend.

I have talked to my boyfriend about love languages. I even had him take the same survey, so that we can understand each other better. His result of the love language survey was quality time. According to Dr. Jane Newell’s lecture it can be as simple as staying home or going out, but the point is to focus all your energy on your partner and spend time with just them. Since my boyfriend and I live together and spend most of our time together I tend to think of quality time as our date nights where we go out to eat or go to the movies, put away our phones and enjoy each other’s presence. Majority of the time I can cancel plans or say I want to stay home and work on homework, because school is stressful so taking the time to spend time with my boyfriend makes him feel like I care and love him. I can tell my boyfriend’s love language really is quality time, because after a date night he always seems the happiest and I like to think it’s because I took the time to go out with him and put in the effort to spend one on one time with him.

However, I am not the only who has learned something from this survey on love languages. After I explained the results and showed him mine. He has started to understand more how I feel love. He tells me that I am beautiful, he loves me or he’s proud me etc. more often than he used to in the past. Understand these love languages has strengthened our relationship. We both are communicating with each other better to make sure we are both feeling and showing that we love one another.

Love Styles:

Love styles was classified by sociologist John Allen Lee. He classified six different kinds of love styles. Love styles are the way you express and experience love. The six love styles are Eros, Ludus, and Storge, which are the primary love styles. The secondary love styles are Pragma, Mania and, Agape.

Eros is passionate love and is based on intense chemistry or attraction. When thinking about Eros love style I often associate it when the love portrayed in movies. Ludus is called the game playing love, because people who have this love style often view love as a game. Relationships that are high in Ludus tend to end quickly. Storge is the friendship love. It is called friendship love, because the love grows slowly out of deep friendship. Storge love style is based on a strong commitment and mutual interest to each other. 

Pragma is a practical kind of love, because people base relationships on business. For example, who can provide them with the most either it be money or the best genes. Mania is an obsessive love style. People with this love style tend to be extremely jealous or possessive. This can be dangerous when people have a great deal of this kind of love in their relationship. Agape is a selfless love. People with high levels of Agape love will sacrifice anything for their partners. Each person doesn’t just have one love style but has a variation of each love style in their lives.

When I took the survey to find out what love style I had. I found out that it is just not one love style, but a variation like I stated above. I received lows scores in Pragma, Mania, and Ludus. I received higher scores in Eros, Agape, and Storge. The high levels in Storge make sense to me, because my boyfriend is my best-friend we had a wonderful friendship before we started dating. Growing up together certainly helped with that. We knew each other quite well before dating. The high levels of Eros make sense, because of how deeply I love my boyfriend and how deeply rooted my attraction to him is. I believe the high levels of Agape stream from my pre-occupied attachment style. I tend to be a person who is always sacrificing for others. I often give in to people, because I feel like I am going to lose them, but in the case with my relationship I sacrifice to make him happy. I want to be sure that he is happy, because when he is happy then I am happy.

Although I scored low levels in Mania, and Pragma it doesn’t mean they don’t exists in my relationship at all. Mania is a love style associated with jealously and possessiveness. I experienced jealousy even though I love my boyfriend and trust that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me or hurt our relationship it doesn’t mean I don’t get jealous from time to time. It’s hard to eliminate the jealously all together when I still have insecurities about myself. Again, that ties into my attachment style with the fact that people with a preoccupied attachment style have a negative view of self. Having this negative view of self, causes me to be jealous of other girls my boyfriend may interact with.

 Although it is not strong, and I hardly feel it most of the time. The insecurities and jealously do pop up occasionally. Pragma love style is the business type of love style. Although I didn’t pick my boyfriend based on how well he could provide for me or how well he would fit into my family. I did think about how the kind of kids we would have. I always look to the future when I have a boyfriend. I do not date guys for fun and games, but rather for someone to build a life with.

Reference:

  • Khaleque, A. (2018). Intimate Relationships Across the Lifespan: Formation, Development, Enrichment, and Maintenance. ABCCLIO. Pg. 91.
  • Newell, Jane (2018a). Communication and Intimate Relationships: Love Languages. Friends & Intimate Relationships. University of New Mexico
  • Newell, Jane (2018b). Attachment Style. Friends & Intimate Relationships. University of New Mexico
  • Newell, Jane (2018c). Attraction and Intimate Relationships: Love Styles. Friends &Intimate Relationships. University of New Mexico.
  • Lind Seal, K. & Doty, J. (2016). Attachment. In T. Mendenhall, E. Plowman, and L. Trump (Eds.), Intimate Relationships: Where have we been? Where are we going? (2nd ed., pp. 13-26). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing.
  • Khaleque, A. (2018). Intimate Relationships Across the Lifespan: Formation, Development, Enrichment, and Maintenance. ABCCLIO.
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Learning About Myself throughout life. (2021, Oct 13). Retrieved October 26, 2021 , from
https://studydriver.com/learning-about-myself-throughout-life/

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