Tag Archives: marriage

Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Gonzalez :)

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

-Dr. Suess

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The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

So… I’ve been putting off reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman for a while. I know… I know… It’s been on the best seller’s list for ages, it’s helped about a trillion couples save their marriages, and even my boyfriend has read it.

Yep. Boyfriend. Reading about love. Hope springs eternal, ladies…

But even after all that, I still felt trepidatious about picking it up. The boy had explained the principles of it, we’d discussed what our own “languages” were, and I’d even taken the online quiz on Chapman’s website. So I didn’t need to read the book, right?

Wrong.

Although the whole thing felt rather girly, it was a rainy Sunday, and as good a day as any to start a new book. Talking about feelings has not been my strongest trait in recent years, and while I felt strange reading a book about love, I pushed past my discomfort and decided to tackle this whole “language” BS.

And I finished it in two days…

Chapman’s book is a quick but powerful read. He details five different ways that people express love to others, and how they need love to be expressed to them in return. The five ways are:

Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, and Physical Touch

  • Quality time is–you guessed it!–spending time with each other. And none of that “Well, we’re sitting next to each other for two hours every night watching American Idol!” crap either. This means real QUALITY time. Talking, laughing, joking, doing things together. You know… stuff you did when you still liked each other.
  • Words of affirmation are verbal expressions to your partner to make them feel good about themselves, and make them feel secure in your love. This can be anything from, “Wow! You’re such a hard-worker! Thanks so much for cleaning up around the house today!” to “Man, you are super hot and I can’t wait to get you home!” Basically, it’s complimenting your mate and showing your appreciation of them.
  • Acts of service are doing things for them, especially if you don’t really feel like it. No one really wants to vacuum the house every week, but if that’s what’s necessary to make your spouse feel loved, then by golly, that’s what you had better do. (I know it makes me feel loved when I don’t have to put my own air in the car tires… *hint hint*)
  • Receiving gifts is another language. Obviously this one entails making or buying objects for your partner to demonstrate to them that they were on your mind. They needn’t be expensive, but they should be thoughtful.
  • And lastly, physical touch. This means that your mate feels most loved when you are rubbing them, holding their hand in public, massaging them, and having sex with them on a regular basis. They express their feelings for you through the act of intercourse and without it they may feel left out in the cold (even if you are using some of the other languages on them.)
                        The good news for us, is that these are all relatively simple things to do. If we just take notice of our partners behavior, translate that into a specific desire, and then meet that desire–we would all be much happier. Chapman also relieves us in acknowledging the fact that most couples don’t speak the same language, but can readily adapt to learn new ones if necessary. Phew.
                           And don’t say anything, but I really got a lot out of this book. It helped me understand a lot about myself and I learned new techniques to use in my own personal relationships. These can apply to others in your life, not just your spouse. ( Except maybe the sex part…) The book is targeted at married couples, but really anyone in a relationship—or looking to be in one–could definitely benefit from reading it. I can see why this book has been a best seller for so long…
                         The only comment I really have as far as criticism is that some of the phrases Chapman suggests for the Words of Affirmation chapter are terribly scripted and cheesy. They sound like something June Cleaver would say to Ward. It’s better to think of your own, anyway. It makes it more personal to the both of you. Also, this book is also listed in the “Christian Living-Relationships” section of the book store, and while Chapman refers to Jesus a few times, he doesn’t get preachy about it at all. Some people might not like it because it has some religious ties, but if you take it for what it is, I feel you can get much use out of The Five Love Languages. 
5 of 5 stars

The Love Spell by Phyllis Curott

I put a spell on you… And now you’re mine… 

Now that Halloween’s coming, I guess it’s appropriate to do a review on the erotic memoir of a Wiccan High Priestess. The Love Spell by Phyllis Curott chronicles her journey through life (and the 80’s, ugh…) trying to find what we all want, true love. The only differences between her adventure and ours, however, is that hers is peppered with spells, potions, and magic and ours is peppered with Haagen Dazs, sloppy kisses, and awkward text messages.

Curott starts her story by discussing her loneliness. She is sick of dating dead end men, having one night stands, and generally being unappreciated by the opposite sex. She starts becoming star struck by images of James Dean, long since dead but still arousing to her. Somehow, she sees him as “a working class man with the heart of a poet.” She is entranced by the way he wore his heart on his sleeve, and always expressed how he was feeling in any given moment, without reservations about what others would think. She is drawn to him, yet heartbroken, because he is not of this realm anymore.

Curott ends up joining a coven and earning a true group of friends, most notably a mentor named Nonna. Nonna is the warm maternal figure that should be a part of every woman’s life. She is there to guide Phyllis through her search for love, and there to pick her up when things don’t go exactly as planned. Especially when Phyllis decides to take matters into her own hands and casts a love spell, asking the universe to send her the man of her dreams.

Enter: Derek, a tall good-looking man who is compatible with Phyllis not only physically, but also on a mental and spiritual level as well, which–I can imagine–may be a hard thing to find when practicing a religion outside of societal norms. She can’t believe it– her spell worked! Curott feels an immediate spark between herself and Derek, and it doesn’t take long to find out that he feels the same way.

But will things work out for the new couple? Will Phyllis get the happy ending she’s always dreamed of– with a soul mate by her side and a baby on her hip? Or can nothing–not even magic–hold two lovers together if they just weren’t meant to be?

And what’s the deal with James Dean?

I have to say, this book surprised me. I put off reading it for quite a while because I was worried it was going to be some gushy BS romance novel–which I hate! All that quivering thigh, bodice-ripping just irritates me. But The Love Spell was quite different. I really enjoyed watching Phyllis’ inner turmoil, as well as seeing what a great female support system she had. The whole book made me feel proud to be a woman, which is an uncommon feeling to get from reading a story. I really liked the mythological aspects that were thrown in there, like Dionysus (her proclaimed “daemon,” or spiritual lover) and especially the famous tale of Isis and Osiris. I’ve always found those who chose the pagan path of worship to be interesting, and Curott offered a behind-the-scenes look into some of the ceremonies the covens have and what really happens during magic-making events.

I was a little put off by the first few chapters of the book. It was hard for me to get into because of the long solid blocks without any dialogue. I understand that a memoir revolves around someone’s inner struggle, but for a while there wasn’t a lot of action. Also, the whole “hearing the voice of James Dean” thing while standing at his grave was a bit hard for me to swallow. Maybe I’ve just been deadened by society to that sort of thing, but it seemed a little (highly)…unlikely… When read as a regular fictional novel it’s great, but when you remember that it’s supposedly a true story, it’s a bit hard to buy.

Plus the whole unprotected-sex-with-strangers-because-it’s-the -80’s thing just made me cringe…

But for sure, read this book. For anyone interested in learning more about the occult, wanting to practice making your own love spells/potions, or just in need of a little femininity boosting– this memoir’s for you. And as Alice Hoffman said in Practical Magic,

“There’s a little witch in every woman.”

4 of 5 stars