‘The definition of boredom in a relationship is to decide you ‘know’ who someone is, what they want, and what they are capable of.”
People are processes they have seasons. When you are with someone fairly regularly many assume that they know who someone is and what they can expect.
It’s easy to think that because you have a partner, a marriage, or an important friendship that they will always be there. But it’s not always true. The spark that brought you together and inspired the bond can fade over time if you don’t take the time to know what fulfills your person’s sense of being understood and cared for.
Understanding your partner’s unique formula for caring allows you to weather the seasons and inevitable changes while keeping the spark alive regardless of what life brings.
The Five Bonding Formulas
In Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages he shares 5 common ways in which people express love. These love languages are also the way people understand that they are loved. Each person has special actions that denote being cared for and see that they are valued.
Those areas include:
- Affirming Words
- Physical Touch & Activities
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
These languages are often an outcome of how a person experienced in their family that they were acknowledged and important. Most people have a primary language and a secondary as well.
Verbal assurance, compliments, and regular acknowledgment are primary for some people. These individuals best know that they are cared for via words that acknowledge the relationship, regularly remembering the good things that they do, and the accomplishments they have made.
For those raised with the idea that compliments should be saved for only the most special of attainments, this can be unnatural.
For this person keep a list of their ongoing accomplishments and acknowledge them. Be sure to verbalize that these attributes promote admiration and the bond in the relationship.
Physical Touch and/or Activities
Hugs, a pat on the back, a high ‘5’ are central to this person’s sense that they are cared for. Physical acknowledgment, an arm around the shoulder, and /or a desire to do physical activities together (bike, walk, or be sexual (if this person is an intimate partner,) are key to knowing that a bond exists.
For those who received little affection or physical touch, this may be awkward.
Remember to take the time to gesture with touch, reaching out by sitting next to them. For these people, words are not as important as signs of affection via doing activities with them, and simply taking the time to give them a hug.
Acts of Service
Washing their car, caring for their daily details, seeing that they are remembered with their favorite meal is the important denominator. This person best knows that they are seen and important when you find out what acts of service promote an experience that they are special.
If you always took care of your own needs you may not understand that this is important to some people.
Take time to find out what are the things this person most prizes and make time to regularly attend to these details.
What this may look like will be different for each individual. For some quality time may be ‘us’ time set aside where you take no phone calls. It may include doing something you enjoy together like gardening or going to a museum. These people know that they are acknowledged by virtue of having ‘their time’ with you.
If you are accustomed to operating as loner you may not fully understand why a person may crave quality time.
Find out the person’s definition of quality time and be sure there is time set aside to engage in these activities.
Acknowledgment or a sense of specialness for this person comes from small gifts such as a flower, picking up a book,
arriving with an article or chocolates. This person was given small things as signs of connection and caring.
If you were rarely given things you may at first find these small gifts trivial or unimportant.
Make time to notice and pick up small things as you travel through the world. Things as simple as a leaf turning bright red in the fall can be meaningful.
Summing Up the Bond
Spend some time figuring out the language of bonding in your friend, colleagues, or spouse. Make sure to acknowledge them in the way they best receive being cared for. Notice how this simple attention grows the depth and sustainability of the relationship.
This is a situation in which a little effort goes a long way. Make the right difference in someone’s life today.!