The Empty Nest -love me -love me not.


Family check:-

Eldest:- no crisis – in fact she is positively sparkling – see below.

Middle:- mini crisis– feeling tired and unwell with demands of new job.

Youngest;- no crisis – just been home for a week feeling like a pig in muck.

Me: – major crisis – Middle has been home and baking;  quiche, sticky toffee pudding, bread, muffins. Too much temptation in the house, holiday is looming and beach body is so far beneath the surface it has been suffocated.Will have to contend with old wobbly model and hope.

Other Half; – mini crisis – too much work, too little time – beach body hidden as well but not nearly as worried about exposing it to others as me.

Love is in the house.

Eldest has a new beau. But this one is different. She’s all excited and has a smile that stretches from here to NZ. I always knew this day would come but…

jo-1

…love is a tricky thing.

For a few lucky ones it can start in teenage and flourish until old age but for most it is a long and hazardous path. You think you’ve caught it then something happens to shatter it into a million-tiny darts that pierce your heart so you think you’ll never heal. I am no expert – I had my heart spectacularly broken in my twenties, then fell in love again with Eldest’s father, realised the relationship wasn’t going to work in my thirties and dived headlong again when I fell in love with O.H. No holding back for me – if at first you don’t succeed – this is the last time though. O.H. must put up with me to the end!

Eldest, 26yrs, is at a time when she is swimming along. She is cutting strong, bold stokes though her life.

Middle, 21yrs, although recently started new job flying the skies as cabin crew, is still floundering at the water’s edge. Is this going to be a career? Should she try other things? She has a hankering to go back to the mountains where she was extremely happy as a seasonaire, only time will tell.

Youngest, 18yrs, is only just taking his foot out of the baby pool. 8 weeks into his first semester at University, this adult shite is scary.

But Eldest is ready for lurve.

jo-3

So with that in mind it pays to remember a few basics. You may not know but there are love languages – ways to express and experience love, and it’s helpful to make sure you and your partner are on the same page. It may have come from your childhood or be inherent but before you dismiss this as tosh, indulge me and keep reading.

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate – Gary Chapman. ‘to discover another person’s love language, one must observe the way they express love to others, analyze what they complain about most often, and what they request from their significant other most often. People tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive love.

So the five ways, in no particular order…

  1. Acts of Service (devotion). This is me. Make me a cup of tea or randomly complete something on my to-do list and I’m putty in your hands. O.H. knows that fixing anything broken or putting out the bins will always give him a favourable reaction.
  2. Words of Affirmation. Praise is always nice to hear but some people thrive on it.
  3. Quality Time –undivided attention. I overlap here with No. 1 as spending time with loved ones floats my boat.
  4. Physical Touch – isn’t all about the bedroom. Along with Quality Time, this is O.H. I didn’t know it, kept making him a cup of tea in my Acts of Service mode when all he wanted was a hug. I could have saved a lot of effort.
  5. Receiving Gifts. Don’t mistake this for materialism. The perfect gift or gesture shows that you are cared for. These are nice but the lowest on my list. Doesn’t mean to say they’re not what makes you feel loved.

So can you see – if you respond to touch and your partner keeps buying you gifts you may not feel loved, he would have spent a lot of money and you won’t deliver. Doh – no one wins. This simple questionnaire will establish which kind of action makes you feel loved and if you are reading your partner’s signals correctly. Your love language test

So, for you empty nesters who may be facing this next stage in our development, when new love is in the air with your daughters, I’ve devised a questionnaire. Feel free to use it.Whilst I don’t advocate exams conditions, I do suggest offering the prospective candidates a beer beforehand to steady the nerves.

Please answer each question. ‘Yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘always.’ If you are unsure about any questions, take a deep breath and move on to the next one.  Leave time to go back and check your answers as all must be completed.  Please use pencil.

  1. Will you cherish her? All parents want their offspring to be loved. I am no exception. There is always an ‘adored’ and an ‘adorer’ in a relationship. Nothing wrong with ours being the adored.
  2. Do you love your family? A man who loves his family tells you a lot. Victoria Beckham said it was one of the first thing she noticed about David and look at those two lovies.
  3. Do you make her laugh? Always useful, especially in times of hormonal meltdown.
  4. Do you earn enough/willing to work hard to look after her? I’m not saying our offspring can’t look after themselves but nobody likes to think of their children struggling. The odd adventure is always good for the soul.
  5. Will she beat you at scrabble? If he is clever he must remember nobody likes a show off.
  6. Will you share her at Christmas? Christmas manoeuvres between families is always tricky. Whilst I appreciate he will want to see his mother (if answered truthfully to question 2), I would like first dibs if possible.
  7. Will you willingly swap the side of the bed you sleep on, even after many years, if she asks? Women are rare jewels. Who knows why we randomly might want to swap sides but we need to know our man is accommodating with this and other random whims.
  8. Will you promise to talk to her? Communication is key in my book to a successful relationship. A grunt while watching the footie does not bode well.
  9. When on a night out and she offers to drive home will you insist, even though it’s not your turn? This is a trick question to see if he’s been truthful with No.1 and really means to cherish her and not just answer the questions to please you.
  10. Will she sometimes have the last word? I am married to a ‘Mr Right’ and it can be infuriating (because he often is).

…and don’t forget to discreetly place an eraser beside them so they can rethink any answers that are not ‘always’.

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About Teresahamiltonwriter

Recipe for a Writer Ingredients: • 1 woman • 1 writing habit • 2 husbands • 3 children Method 1. Whisk suburban childhood; followed by a tablespoon of teaching. 2. Mix with travel to produce a stewardess. 3. Stir in love potion, marriage; resulting in daughter. 4. When mixture reaches boiling point, beat in divorce. 5. Slowly marinade extra love potion and 2nd husband. 6. Blend in two more children. 7. Steep in inspiration by relocating. 8. Toss in imagination and perspiration producing: articles, novels, children’s stories and a memoir. 9. Bake in Sussex countryside. 10. Serve with competition successes,publication, red wine and enjoy.
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