WSN-MO: The Perfect Catch
A few minutes with Dating and Relationship Coach, Christine Baumgartner
Several years after Tony’s death – as the fog of widowhood started lifting – I found myself wondering, “what’s next.” I wanted to be open to inspiration and possibilities. I knew they were out there somewhere if I could just learn how to recognize them.
Little by little, I gathered little gems, most of them in my everyday life. These lifted my spirits and gave me hope. I made a practice of watching for them. The story below is an example of this.
I love to shop in used bookstores. And that’s where this story takes place – in a used bookstore in Everett, Washington (just north of Seattle).
As I’m making my way to checkout with my great finds, I notice an older gentleman approaching the counter just ahead of me. In a tentative manner (almost apologetic – he looks out of his comfort zone) the gentleman asks the staff person if they have “that book about the five love languages.” My ears perk up; this is a favorite topic (and book) of mine.
The staff person says yes, and that she’ll get it for him right away.
After she disappears into the stacks, I turn to the man and say, “Good choice. Are you buying the book because of someone?”
With a smile and a twinkle in his eye, he tells me it’s for a lady friend who recommended he read it. He gently taps my arm as he answers.
“You’re going to get so much benefit from this book,” I say. “Do you know anything about it?”
“No, but that’s not a problem,” he says, once again tapping my arm. “I’m someone who likes to keep learning, and I know it will make her happy that I’m buying it.”
Then he abruptly becomes self-conscious and says, “So sorry; I keep touching you. I’ve been told I do that too much.”
“I’m completely okay with it,” I tell him. “As a matter of fact, you might learn, as you read the book, your love language is physical touch.”
He looks relieved and also intrigued. I go on to tell him that when he and his lady friend take the love language test, it’s best to take them separately. Then afterward, it’s fun to discuss each other’s results together.
By now, the staff person is back, book in hand. The man takes it from her and shows it to me, asking, “Is this the right one?” I nod.
As the cashier rings up his book, he finds that not only is it less expensive because it’s used, it’s also on sale. He’s ecstatic.
With his purchase proudly in hand, he turns and thanks me. I tell him that my job involves talking to people about their relationships, which is why I’m so clear about the importance of this book, to both individuals and couples.
He says, “I could tell you knew stuff.”
As I pay for my books, he asks, “Guess how old I am?”
I tell him I have no idea.
“I’m 85,” he says. Then to my surprise, he does a high karate kick. “There’s still fire in me!” are his parting words.
So inspiring – at 85, he’s decided to learn about love languages. And he’s going out of his comfort zone in an attempt to connect with his lady friend.
Learning your own love language and that of your partner is a tool I use to help people work on relationship problems. My clients are often surprised to hear how differently people can feel loved and cared about, depending on what their “love language” is.
I consistently recommend the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman (the same book my elderly friend bought). It talks about five ways people typically feel loved and will help you learn your language and your partner’s (you can also take the love language quiz online). Chapman lists the five love languages as:
1. Acts of service – doing something for the other person.
2. Quality time – spending time with the other person.
3. Words of affirmation – giving compliments and other affirming verbal messages.
4. Gifts – giving and receiving of gifts.
5. Physical touch – regular physical touching.
Even if you like all five of these, there’s usually one you prefer. If you assume your partner will come in on the same “love language” wavelength as yours, things may not work very well. You can do your “language” with them all you want, but the other person will still feel lacking if it’s not the language that makes them feel loved and cared about.
So, what is your love language? I’d love to hear about any challenges and successes you’ve had with it in your personal and romantic life. Send me an email and let me know!
And by the way, my love language is words of affirmation, so I love compliments.
WSN-MO: A FEW IMPORTANT POINTS.
1. The services offered by Christine, herself a widow, does not include “dating or matchmaking services.”
2. WSN-MO remains a private “Men Only” page. As such, Christine does not have direct access to WSN-MO’s Facebook page. All postings are facilitated through WSN-MO.
3. WSN-MO members can ask questions of Christine (even anonymously via private message to me) on our Facebook page, which I will then forward to her. You can also send questions to me at herb@WidowersSupportNetwork.com. Following, I will then post her responses.
4. WSN-MO members who wish to contact Christine directly are encouraged to do so c/o her website http://theperfectcatch.com.
Look for Christine’s advice every other Thursday.
NOTICE: Listen to Christine’s advice on Widower’s Journey Podcast, Episode #2.