Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Emotional Needs

Peter and I read many books during our 13-month engagement. One however, stood out above the rest; in fact it seemed to summarize the rest and add more clarity and details. "I Promise You" by Willard Harley is the engagement version of "His Needs, Her Needs" and it was amazing! In my opinion, it takes "The Five Love Languages" to a level that is much more applicable to actual interaction between a couple. During our Honeymoon, it gave us names for ways to communicate love with each other so much easier than "physical touch" or "quality time." We have been so fulfilled emotionally in our relationship and I credit much if it to this book.

The basic concept is this illustration of how a love relationship works. Every person has a "love bank" and the way the people in their life act either makes deposits into this back (causing happiness/satisfaction/love) or withdrawals (causing unhappiness/dissatisfaction/dislike). A romantic relationship will start out with attraction, (and that can even be so strong it feels like instant love) but what makes the relationship last is the deposits the partner makes into the relationship--which essentially turns it from an attraction to love.

Harley identified 10 main ways that men and women receive the largest deposits. In his experience most people fall into these categories (he does encourage finding others for yourself if these don't fit you): Affection, Sexual Fulfillment, Conversation, Recreational Companionship, Honesty and Openness, Physical Attractiveness, Financial Support, Domestic Support, Family Commitment and Admiration.

Your top 5 or 6 are the most important to maintaining your romantic relationship. If you are only having one or two met a relationship can survive but is usually not very solid. You're goal then, is to learn your partner's top emotional needs and become an expert in them. Notice--you often have to LEARN them, because in nearly every case most of your most important emotional needs don't line up with your partner's needs. That's completely OK and in my opinion God designed it that way. (There seems to be a general trend that maintaining a relationship, with anyone, takes work, but the rewards are so great!)

What I've found is that there is so much wisdom and blessing in thinking about a relationship this way, but the wording of his books is very marriage-worded. This has been a put-off to my friends who are in serious relationships but who aren't in the place where talking about marriage is frequent (I respect their decision to wait on the topic and understand the situations, FYI). So what I'd like to do is take a couple posts to explain the emotional needs and apply them to dating/courting in a God-honoring way.

Until then, what is your first impression of this idea? Have you heard of these before? Have you read either of these books?

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

NaBloPoMo, My Absence, and Encouragement

So here's what's been up:

I failed at NaBloPoMo. Day 2. I'm not proud of it, but my consolations are 1) I completed it last year and 2) I'm married and have a full life right now. Sorry to let you down, but that's the deal.

My sister started blogging. She's amazing. And honestly, I feel quite outdone by her. I also discovered a few other really good bloggers who I happen to know personally in the last few months. To put it bluntly, I've been having a case of...not-wanting-to-write-because-others-are-better-than-me syndrome. It isn't really blog envy...just a bit of a shaken confidence maybe? For very bad reasons I know. These people do with their blog what I've really wanted my blog to be. And they do it quite well, seemingly effortlessly. Since writing that way isn't easy for me, and since I have practically NO time, I just gave up these past few weeks.

However, two awesome things happened on the same day that really encouraged me. In my inbox I got an email I never expected to get--an offer from a company to either host a give-a-way on my blog or for me to review one of their products. That was super encouraging--especially when it came when my blog hadn't been updated in over a week. I've thought a lot about it, and I haven't replied yet (oh...bad job on my part...I really value prompt email responses...whoops.) but I'm leaning towards not doing it at this point in time. I'm too small to risk the "she sold out" label. Plus it seems a bit lame anyways.

The second thing was a very encouraging comment from Stove on a post that I felt was a bit embarrassingly boring, commonplace, and uncreative. (I was comparing it to afore mentioned awesome bloggers. Comparing isn't biblical, FYI, and doesn't make you feel good at all.) Thanks for the comment. That meant a lot.

So, here I am, back again and hoping to "feed the internets" (-my sister) with what I have to offer--a humble meal that isn't all good for you and isn't all bad. Like fried chicken with...veggies.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010


This morning, I had trouble getting up when the alarm went off. In fact, I think I hit snooze about 3 or 4 times... After dragging myself begrudgingly out of bed, I plopped down into my chair to read the Bible and pray. This usually takes about 30 or so minutes...and I had hoped to get to work in about 25 minutes from that time. (insert sigh here) Peter helped cut my prep time down by making me eggs for breakfast (best husband EVER), and we left to drop me off at work. Thankfully I have the freedom of a flex-time work schedule, so it doesn't hurt anyone but my schedule if I get there a little later than I intended.

I had two meetings this morning which went very well, and filled up a whole sheet of paper with things I need to do. Never an empty moment here! Over lunch Peter and I went to vote. It was pretty depressing that halfway through the day I was the only 195th in my precinct to vote. Hopefully that went up considerably after about 5 PM. I went back to work until about 3, when Peter picked me up and we home in this delightfully sunny (yet too chilly for my comfort) weather. We tried to squeeze in an episode of The Office before Peter had to be back at the church at 4 for teaching WorshipArts, but our internet and netflix decided they didn't want to cooperate and we only got 10 minutes into an episode. Back to church we went, and he set up for WorshipArts, I helped him sound check and even sang with the group for a while, and then off I went to whip up some chicken and cheese quesadillas at home. 

I prettied up a little bit and then back to church (so great that our apartment is less than 2 miles away!) I went to drop off Pete's dinner on my way out to the KAT drama performance. Lewis, my nine-year-old brother, was the lead in his skit and he did phenomenal! I can't wait to see him step out in the full-length productions in the coming years! My brothers-in-law, both 7 years old, I believe, were also in a skit and were quite adorable. Then the oldest drama group performed "The Fish Story" which Peter and I acted in in high school! I had no idea they were doing that show, so it was great to relive our memories and try to remember which of my friends played which roles. 

Now I'm back at the church and writing my second, non-fiction, probably not that inspiring post for NaBloPoMo. A packed day can often lead to a worn out mind.

Hopefully a more intellectual, better crafted edition of Tori's Thoughts coming tomorrow! Thanks for reading!

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Monday, November 1, 2010


Ah, NaBloPoMo. You have reared your ugly yet captivating head again. Reminds me of a quote from Meet the Deedles..."You know how when you're driving and you see something flat in the road ahead, and you know you shouldn't look, but you just can't help it?" (In essence, he just called the girl he liked roadkill. When I was 9, I thought that scene was hilarious. Might not be so funny if this is your first exposer.)

Just like roadkill, NaBloPoMo, here you are--that thing I really shouldn't look at, should stare at, probably shouldn't investigate, but I'm going to anyway.

To the few of you who don't know what this is, NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month. The goal is to post every day for a month solid. I amazingly pulled this off last year, and I was pretty proud. So despite my lack of time, my desire to beat this challenge (and to write more often) is stronger.

I'm not going to promise wonderfully thought-out, intellectual, challenging, humorous perfection, but I am going to aim to write something about my life, my faith, my thoughts or my day for the next 3o days. A month is always interesting to look back on, and you will certainly know more about me and what I do at the end of these two fortnights, which is a great goal in itself. And who knows, in the end the result may be I become a better writer as well!


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