It’s February! The month for all things love, romance, and relationships! There will be roses, chocolate covered strawberries, balloons, date nights, etc. Although these displays of affection are indeed wonderful gestures, this week I want us to focus on a more meaningful approach to love! Let’s talk about The Love Bank!
Therapists all over the world use this term, “Love Bank” and one therapist in particular, Dr. William F. Harley, Jr. is credited with having coined the term. What exactly is The Love Bank???? Per Dr. Harley’s definition, there lies within each of us a Love Bank that keeps track of the way each person we are connected to treats us. Every person we are connected to has an account and the things they do either deposit or withdraw love units from their accounts. In romantic relationships (as well as any other relationship) The Love Bank is your emotions' natural way of encouraging you to spend time with those that make you happy (or to not spend time with those that make you unhappy).
In romantic relationships, how are “credits” and “debits” established in your Love Bank? Love “credits” are added to your love bank each time a person does something that makes you happy. Love “credits” are often based upon meeting the 5 basic needs of men and women.
Ladies, want to add credits to your partner’s Love Bank this month? Let’s get to it!!! The 5 most common needs of men are (per Dr. Hartley….and a TON of research):
- Sexual Fulfilment – Yes, he thinks about it 10x as much as you do! It’s normally on his mind throughout the day! When his sexual fulfilment is met…..LOVE BANK CREDIT!!! But, guess what…. When he is denied of that sexual fulfilment (because you have a headache, you’re tired, the kids are sleeping in the room, you are working on things from work, etc.) without intention, you are making a LOVE BANK DEBIT from his account.
- Recreational Companionship – Most men absolutely want their partner to participate in the recreational activities they are interested in. Now, that does not mean you should attempt to be involved in every recreational activity your spouse finds enjoyable. However, I encourage to pick at least one recreational activity you can enjoy along with your partner. I guarantee it to be a huge LOVE BANK CREDIT!! But, if he continues to request for you to join in recreational activities and you keep saying, “No….you go ahead.” Don’t be surprised when he stops asking. LOVE BANK DEBIT
- An Attractive Spouse – The male need for physical attraction is at the top of the charts! He is not seeking a perfect modelesque physique, but HE does need to continue finding you attractive. Do you remember the small things you used to do to keep him attracted and coming back for more?? Don’t quit doing it!! Guaranteed LOVE BANK CREDIT!!! Yes, we have children, pregnancy weight, changes over time, but that by means suggests we stop caring about our appearance. No matter how much our bodies change, if we continue to care about our physical appearance, our partner will, as well. If you stop…..most definitely a LOVE BANK DEBIT
- Domestic Support – Yes, ladies…..he absolutely wants a peaceful home. A place he WANTS to come home to. No man desires to leave work and enter another battle zone. If you can grant him a peaceful, maintained home…..LOVE BANK CREDIT. Keep meeting him at the door with complaint after complaint about the kids, bills, etc. (there is absolutely a place and time to discuss this in a loving manner…just not when he gets home) LOVE BANK DEBIT
- Admiration – Your partner desires for you to be proud of him. He desires your admiration and adoration. Do you want your partner to feel as if he can conquer the world, express admiration for your guy! “He knows I appreciate him!” My question….when was the last time you verbally stated it?? A little admiration can go a long way. Show him…..TELL HIM how much you adore him and appreciate him….GUARANTEED LOVE BANK CREDIT. Keep up the attitude of “He already knows how I feel. I don’t need to keep telling him.” Guess what…. Someone else will and that will be the ultimate LOVE BANK DEBIT!
So ladies, I encourage you to be intentional in making Love Bank Credits into your partner’s Love Bank. It can be challenging to find time to make Love Bank Credits, so don’t think you have to tackle all of these at one time! I encourage you to pick just one to improve upon over the course of this month. Enjoy the journey and feel free to share if you find it works for your relationship! Until next time…..stay focused!!