Follow posts tagged #relationships, #love, and #dating in seconds.Sign up
“Probably to a fault in my own personal relationships I’ve struggled with this overpowering compassion. Just last night I was talking with a friend about an ex-partner who I was with for five years, and then when we broke up I spent two years trying to make it work as a friendship. People told me to let it go, that it was too painful, it wasn’t normal—but to me it felt so profoundly sad that I would completely detach from this person who I had this intense, wonderful relationship with, who knew me so well and who I shared such compassion with even if there were things about our relationship that became wrong or difficult. I witnessed that with my parents’ friendship: when they broke up they had to overcome terrible things between them, but they put those things aside to raise us—at least, they put those things aside in a way that made those things not our responsibility. I grew up with that forgiving compassion around me, and for me, that’s the real struggle, however passionate or hurt we feel. There’s this panic to make it okay, to make the person happy, to be forgiven.”— Sara Quin
Writing Tips 77: Naomi’s Advice for writing Abusive Relationships
I was asked to make a rebloggable version.
1. Be bold, vicious and detailed.
There are different kinds of abuse and they are all damaging to a person. In our current social climate it seems to me that authors and readers have no idea what an abusive relationship is. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen are in an abusive relationship. Travis Maddox and Abby from Beautiful Disaster are in an abusive relationship. Braden and Joss from “On Dublin Street” are not quite there, but they are straddling the line. Christian Grey from “Fifty Shades of Grey” is probably the most terrifyingly controlling man in any book I have ever read and it has nothing to do with the fact that he is into the BDSM lifestyle.
If you are going to write an abusive relationship you have to be aware that abuse has been glamorized and glossed over. Extreme jealousy is now seen as romantic, because “he’s so afraid of losing me.” If a guy isn’t insanely passionate, breaking down doors and watching the heroine sleep then “he doesn’t care enough.” If the guy is trying to isolate the heroine, have control of the way she dresses or where she goes it’s because “he doesn’t want to share me.”
It is scary as hell out there and if you are going to write this kind of relationship you have to go for it 100%. You can not dilute or gloss over how horrible it is. You have to make it very clear that this is not romantic, it is not sweet, it is abusive and this kind of guy may love you forever, but he will probably also destroy you in the mean time
Everyone is different. Every relationship is different, which means that every abusive relationship is also different. Do research. When I was in film school I wrote a short film about a woman who runs from an abusive relationship. I did hours of research on the web. Do you know that survivors of domestic abuse run blogs and websites? These incredible women put all their emotions on the web in the hopes that women who are living through it will read it and be inspired to leave. It is amazing. These stories will break your heart, they will piss you off, frighten you and fill you with conviction. There were nights where I wanted to grab a baseball bat and just go after these husbands. The point is that I found two stories that touched me so deeply, I wrote for hours.
If you have never been in this kind of relationship you have NO IDEA what it’s like. You have no idea, so don’t for a second think that you can come up with these emotions from scratch. If you want to delve deep into the brain of the victim, of the person who sleeps beside their abuser every night, then you have to find their thoughts. You still wont really know what it’s like, but this will give you a better starting point then your preconceived notions of what it means to be abused.
You let her go, it’s your fault. There comes a time when you’re confused about what’s going on in your relationship with your love ones. Days passed, weeks, and you thought of letting go; Thought that maybe it’s the best thing to do; Thought that maybe it’s best for the both of you to walk separate ways. But you’re wrong. You’re still in love with her but you let her go. Now she’s moving on and you couldn’t do anything about it. She doesn’t care about you anymore. She’s happy right now and is better than before, and it’s because she’s without you. So think twice or thrice or maybe six times before you act, so in the end you won’t regret anything.
One sip of Malibu and Coke and I am eighteen again, hurtling through my first year of university. Sitting in corridors with shiny new friends, laughing and sighing and thinking about writing assignments but drinking instead. Those frosty cloudless nights when we stumbled down Wellington hills in strappy dresses and bare limbs, blue-lipped beneath baby stars. Buying $3 Quick Fucks at The Shot Shack on Manners Mall and waking up with holes in our stockings, knees grazed from drunken tumbles we still can’t recall.
The opening notes of Fall Out Boy’s Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner instantly take me back to that summer in Wellington, to evenings when you and her would kiss in the kitchen as I stood close by, cut and carved, watching as you served your heart up two ways. But there’s never enough love to go around and I was always the one who went hungry.
Those nights when I had to get out of the house, escape the bedrooms where I binged on bad ideas. Exercise myself back to health. Headphones in at full volume, I’ll be your best kept secret and your biggest mistake, pounding through dark twisted streets, running and crying and sweating all the salt out of me.
Winter is nostalgia. I miss places the way others miss lovers. Driving through Southwest London and getting lost in the fog, the city streets lonely like a beautiful bride, hiding secrets behind feathery white veils. Reaching out the window and turning my palm to the sky, scooping up all the kisses and whispers and wretchedness.
And I always think of Scotland during that part of the day when the light is getting lost but I am found; when the sad souls are smiling, the sun has just started to sink and for a moment the world hovers between afternoon and evening, between happiness and sadness, whole and heartbroken.
The longest relationship I’ve had was with a boy I met in a club that had chandeliers on the ceiling and broken bottles on the floor. I liked the way he smelt. He owned all the Joop colognes. When I first started seeing him I would press my face to his neck and just breathe. He would laugh and test me – which one am I wearing today? – and I’d say the blue one, or the green one, or my favourite one. He wore my favourite one a lot.
I’d just broken up with one boy and I didn’t want another. But he asked me out every day until I said yes. I’ll never be able to smell Joop and not recall that sweet dull disaster of a relationship.
There’s a certain sort of toothpaste that reminds me of Manchester. I left my Macleans in London. His Colgate was sitting on the marble sink. There were mirrors on three walls of the bathroom and I was seeing too much of myself. The back of my teeth were raw; the acidity and agony of a cocaine come-down eroded away all smoothness. I felt fragile around the edges and sandpapery in the centre.
I brushed my teeth and wondered whether I should tell him I was using it. We’d been kissing and fucking and crossing all our limbs, lying in each other’s arms and lying to ourselves, but using his toothpaste felt oddly intimate.
I guess it says a lot about a relationship when something as silly as that feels more personal than having his head between your legs.
But drinking Guinness transports me to murky Dublin, forlorn and content, single and sleepy-eyed and satisfied, sitting in a pub almost too dark to see clearly, listening to accents almost too thick to understand, drinking beer almost too bitter to be as beautiful as it is.
I remember the exact lingerie I was wearing the first night we got together. The way he slipped his finger under the string and pulled it away from my skin, held a moment, then let it snap back. His smirk and the taste of his laugh and the arch of my back and the kissing in the elevator as we went up. The room with the floor-to-ceiling window looking out over Auckland, all the big city lights spread out down below. After, I searched for my clothes in the sheets before realising they’d fallen onto the floor.
They are always pulling away, holding -
and I am always snapping back, bitter and beautiful, deathly and dreaming, salty and sad,
staring out at all the big cities I write about but don’t live in.
The 5 love languages: Giving and receiving love is not "one size fits all"!
Have you ever felt frustrated in a relationship by a partners inability to make you truly feel the love and affection they claim they have? Ever felt your love tank dwindling down to E and wishing your partner could just show you how important you are to them?
Lots of people suffer a fundamental miscommunication in love- not born of ill intent, or apathy but a simple lack of understanding for which ways your partner will most easily and efficiently absorb your love for them! For those of you have have ever said, “Don’t tell me, show me!”, “I know you care, I just miss the romance”, or wished their partner was more proactive in love, this is for you! With a little self awareness and a new understanding of your partner you can both feel an explosion of love that shakes you up inside and wakes up all those butterflies you’ve been missing since the honeymoon phase!
The 5 love languages are, essentially, the 5 ways that a person is most inclined to appreciate in a relationship, keeping them satisfied and feeling cherished no matter how long you’ve been together. Most people have a primary love language and a secondary love language. Which two of the love languages do you identify with the most?
Words of affirmation: Do you find yourself missing love notes like the ones you got early on in the relationship? Do you especially adore the idea of having a song written about you, waking up to a sweet text message everyday, or just melt when your partner looks you in the eyes and sincerely explains their affection for you? Your love language may be words of affirmation. Without kind words, supportive declarations, and a constant stream of verbal validation, those who have this love language can feel their self esteem and confidence wither away quickly. If hearing genuine, thoughtful words is what makes you feel the most cared for your partner needs to be especially careful using hurtful or criticizing language, as words of affirmation lovers are prone to taking these things especially hard and hold onto harsh words for a long time. If your partners love language is words of affirmation, try expressing your love in these ways:
- Write them a poem, letter, etc.
- Text them often! Leave voicemails! Make sure they hear your voice just checking up on them and saying sweet things regularly.
- Build them up in moments they are down. Remind them often of their positive attributes, accomplishments, and the fact they are adores by you.
- Verbally acknowledge them when they acknowledge you. If they say “I love you” avoid responding with a nod or a “you too.” Make sure you reciprocate with thoroughly.
- Write a list of things you like about them.
- Bite your tongue when your temper flares. These people require a lover that doesn’t have a sharp tongue!
Quality time: Do you feel especially hurt when your partner makes plans that don’t involve you? Does the idea of a day with your love all to yourself and no one else make you feel ecstatic? If you love one- on-one time, planning things to do as a couple, and need to know you are incredibly high on the priority totem poll of how your partner spends their precious time, your love language may be quality time. Those with this love language love to be directly involved in their partners day to day activities, relish in the intimate conversations had together, and feel a healthier bond the more time they have together with little distractions. If your partners love language is quality time you must make sure they feel included and know that you thoroughly enjoy their company and getting to know each other better, no matter how long you’ve been in a relationship. Its important that folks with this love language not be made to feel ignored, half-listened to, or put on the back burner. Try these if your partners love language is quality time:
- Look them in the eyes and practice active listening when they talk to you. Put the phone down, the laptop down, and truly pay wholehearted attention.
- Ask how their day was everyday like clockwork. They need to know they are an integral part of your daily concerns.
- Never forsake date night! Also, think about planning a vacation of road trip together.
- Let it be clear that you know your time is well spent when its spent loving them and learning about who they are.
- Don’t exclude them in your plans- they will feel heartbroken and slighted. You need time with your friends, but don’t make your lover feel your time with buddies and her/him have to be so compartmentalized.
Acts of service: Does is make you feel so cared for when your partner does you a favor without having to be asked? Do people who are helpful, demonstrative, and take a high amount of initiative in showing you their affection make the greatest impression on you? If you feel loved when your significant other helps change your cars oil, has your morning coffee already made, drives you on an errand, gets the car when its raining, always carries the groceries, or does something to make your life easier, your love language may be acts of service. For those with this love language, hearing the words “I love you” is a lot less convincing than showing that love through initiative and willingness to bend for their lover. To these people, nothing says, “I adore you” like a partner who takes note worthy initiative in taking pressure off of your shoulders in any way possible. If your partners love language is acts of service, keep this in mind: They will hear you say “I love you” a lot more loud and clear if you say it while you help with the dishes instead of watching them do the chore alone. Try these to make them feel loved:
- If they ask you to do something do it with willingness and not seeming disgruntled. For folks with this language its all about wanting to help, not being forced or nagged.
- Surprise them frequently with little things that make their day less stressful.
- Unexpectedly take care of a chore, errand, or task you know they’ve been dreading.
- Don’t forget those little romantic gestures that thrived much more during the honeymoon stage.
- Notice the favors they do you as well…don’t let them go unappreciated! Those who have this love language are usually very demonstrative in love as well.
Physical touch: Do you love holding hands, being hugged, and forehead kisses? Do you feel neglected if you place your hand on your partner reassuringly and they do not reciprocate? Does physical intimacy always make you feel a rejuvenation, or sudden swell of affection? If so, your love language may be physical touch. Those with this love language need to be physically engaged, treated with a warm and gentle touch, and embraced frequently! They relish in the validation of a good bear hug, love to lean on their partners shoulder, and can feel extremely neglected if their partner doesn’t frequently reach out to them in physically reassuring ways. These folks will notice when you’ve gone a day without kissing them, walked away with no hug, and they will feel the sting of rejection if they try to cuddle you and are pulled away from or told “not right now”. They hold their arms open and outstretched for their love and are sensitive to being poorly received. If your partners love language is physical touch, learn to show them they are cared for tangibly. Try some of these things:
- Hold them when they are sad. A person who’s love language is physical touch will never forget a time when a lover may have stood and watched them cry with indifference instead of grabbing them in an embrace.
- If they hug, hug back. If they kiss, kiss back. Don’t just receive; reciprocate the message they are giving you.
- Kiss them goodbye when you leave. Kiss them hello when you come back.
- Rub their feet, give them a back massage.
- Put your hand on their shoulder to show support and encouragement, or on their thigh to show sympathy. Learn to be fluent and effective in use of body language.
Receiving gifts: Do you feel loved when your partner brings you sweet, sentimental gifts? Do you look forward to your birthdays and holidays because your partner makes you feel very appreciated with a special present? Does getting a souvenir from a love who’s recently been on vacation make you feel cherished and important? Your love language may be receiving gifts! Folks with this love language imagine their partner picking out something that shows how well they truly know them, and presenting it to them with pride, and it makes them feel incredibly special and sincerely loved! One of the many things that shows where our true priorities in life are is reflected through our finances. We put our money and efforts into what we truly love and those with this love langue can especially appreciate that. You don’t have to buy them a yacht or a mansion! They’d melt if you bought their coffee, filled their gas tank, surprised them with a tiny something they mentioned they liked but didn’t have money for at the time, or put a picture of you two in a nice picture frame and gave it to them. Those little trinkets mean the world to someone who’s love language is gifts. If thats your partner, try this:
- Make their birthday and christmas something the look forward to because you never disappoint! It creates romance for years to come.
- Show you know them well in the things you buy. You don’t have to be wealthy, just someone who knows something cute and affordable that their love would appreciate when they see it. :]
- Offer to pay for dinner and the movie, no matter what anyones gender is.
- At the grocery checkout line surprise them by paying spontaneously if its reasonable.
- Flowers, candy, all that stuff! They tend to love it. :]
When you know your love languages as well as your partners you are both equipped to love each other in a way that can be felt more deeply, truly, and genuinely.
Also folks- don’t forget that while we may have individualized preferences for how we give and receive love, we should remember that the more fluent you are in ALL the love languages, the better. Juts because one of the love languages is your primary or secondary does not mean you should be neglected in the other departments! Your love language is to be emphasized but shouldn’t stand alone in the way you’re shown love.
Take care love birds. <3