Ritz Carlton: Puerto Rico [Headband] Missoni [T-Shirt] Alexander Wang [Shorts] Urban Outfitters [Sunnies] Ray Ban ["Camera Bag Purse] Via Buia
Beverly Hills: [Sunnies]: Tom Ford [Silk Tank] Pinky Otto [Harems] Tibi [Watch] Cartier [Bracelets] Cartier [Flats] Chanel
I am not, nor have I ever pretended to be, a relationship expert. In fact, at times, I’ve even noticed the more rational side of my brain (if there were such a thing) interrogating my subconscious (in a very Juan Martinez like tone, striking the perfect chord between sarcastic probing/volatile, accusatory badgering), asking, “Could you possibly imagine what life would be like if you were in a relationship with, well,
And, the answer is, of course, a resounding, candid, quick kick to the stomach style “NO!” because hey, let’s face it, I would never put up with me. Or, at least, me the way that I used to be. So, it stands to reason, then, that I’m very much a work in progress. And, to all of my wonderful, considerate, concerned friends who are reading this right now, rushing to send me texts of validation and complimentary words in an attempt to ward off what could turn into a very quick, ugly spiral into the land of self depreciation (because we all know that that’s a Hotel California type of a land, you know, programmed to receive, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave), to them, I say, thank you, but it’s really okay.
While I know that I’m a good person and a good friend, I’m equally aware of the fact that I can be [somewhat of a] pain in the ass girlfriend. And, I know, definitively, that I can’t be the only one of us out there (high maintenance ladies/naggers/excessive winers/demanders/facebook personal investigator types — whatever your issue is, you might just fall right alongside me under the all consuming purview of pain in the ass.)
Recently, upon the recommendation of my BFF/soulmate/kindred spirit, JDawg, I picked up the book, “The Five Love Languages,” covering the entire read (complete with customary marginal notes and OCD color coordinated highlighting) on a recent flight to Puerto Rico. And, lest you have any doubts, I’m actually not a fifty-year-old woman having a no holds barred mid-life crisis upon waking up to realize that a quarter of my time on the planet has dissipated into nothing more than a stagnant, stale memory of a hopefully once scolding hot flame; that is to say, I’m not trying to reinvigorate any lost spark.
Still, I’ve come to believe that a relationship should be cultivated in the way that one might, say, invest in a career that he/she is extremely passionate about. To best elucidate on that concept, I just feel the need to reference some particularly poignant 8 Mile lyrics. ”Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip? Yo.”
I’m talking that type of raw, hungry, unstoppable determination that you know you’d put forth if someone handed you a microphone and a pair of Gaga alligator heels, and said, “Now, become a rockstar. Blow up or…don’t. Your choice.” Well, similarly, The Five Love Languages details ways in which to nurture your relationship in what I, and many others (it’s a New York Times Best Seller) feel is a revolutionary, relatable approach. And, at least at one point, didn’t your relationship, and your partner, epitomize everything you ever wanted in someone?
Written by Gary Chapman, an anthropologist who has studied various languages/forms of communication that have existed throughout time, the book focuses on identifying your own love language and subsequently learning how to speak your partner’s love language(s) as well; according to Chapman, a person’s unique vernacular can fall into any one of five categories: (1) consistent, kind words of affirmation, (2) quality time, (3) gift giving (4) acts of service (5) physical touch.
What’s my language? Well, it’s unquestionably option number three –- gift giving. Present me with a Birkin, and we’re really onto something here.
No, mine is actually option number two — quality time. In my opinion, the first step of the process is to determine your own love lingo, because once both you and your significant other are speaking it fluently, you’ll be a much happier/sweeter/more pleasant person to be around. Then, you move on to becoming proficient in your mate’s language, as well. So, for now, let’s use my language as the primary example, which, as previously mentioned, is
gift giving quality time. My fiancé and I live between two cities; he’s a self-professed workaholic, and I’ve been in law school throughout the majority of our relationship. That leaves very little time “us” time. And, in truth, I really wouldn’t have it any other way because I enjoy being independent and having time to dedicate to my own life/career aspirations/other close relationships — and so does he. But of course, my relationship is extremely important to me, as well, so I always want to do my part to ensure that it’s as strong as it can possibly be. As I’ve matured and placed the focus less on myself and more on us, I’ve tried to appreciate this union, if you will, for the enormous blessing that it is, and in doing so, to move further away from the spectrum of pain in the ass and more towards the goal of great partner. To accomplish this, it’s important to actively invest, nurture, and cultivate things on a daily basis in the way that one would work to keep that previously mentioned rockstar career thriving.
Planning trips to new places is a great way to carve out and reserve quality time together. Anthony and I are fortunate in the sense that we both enjoy travelling, so this is generally how we escape from our individual day to day obligations for awhile, reserving special moments that allow us to talk meaningfully, relax, unwind and to share a new adventure together. Filling up the memory bank just a little bit further, it serves to strengthen and continuously nurture our relationship. It’s not really about where we go, or how long we’re there for; it’s about the fact that we actively chose to do something together, foregoing everything else and just focusing on us for a few days.
So, once again, what was supposed to be a post about fashion has now evolved into something else — a mini relationship seminar to boot, but that’s okay, because NoteBrooke.com is meant to be more of an anecdotal, lifestyle blog than one that’s dedicated solely to fashion. Take a look at some of our most recent adventures – of course, Anthony hates having his picture taken (don’t all men to some degree?), so you’ll see a lot of, well…me, and what I’m wearing, but rest assured, these trips were both centered around spending quality time together and enjoying a new experience as a couple. I highly recommend “The Five Love Languages,” because 1) I’m definitely not doing its well thought out, detail rich contents enough justice by explaining things in less than ten paragraphs on a blog post 2) This book was one of the most helpful ones that I’ve ever read in examining some of the challenges men and women face in effectively communicating. It’s a quick, interesting read that may help you to understand more about both yourself and your partner.
…And, apparently, I’m now a book reviewer too. That’s all I got for ya today