I really like the idea of a Love Bank. Basically people have an “account” with you, and they can make deposits and withdrawals – if someone invests a lot of time and love into your relationship with them, then there’s a long line of credit for them to withdraw from. On the other hand if someone only makes withdrawals, and gets themselves into a huge love debt then it’s wise to close their account as they’re a bad investment.
Deposits don’t have to be grand gestures either, it’s hugs and holding hands, thoughtful compliments, catching up for coffee, going on romantic dates – depending on your relationship!
Withdrawals can be needing attention, asking for favours, or being unkind; the last one is particularly expensive.
When someone is well in credit it’s not a big deal if they make a little withdrawal from time to time. In fact doing nice things for someone else is wonderful. Spending feels good when there’s plenty of money in the bank!
But once they’re getting below the red and into debt, the love bank starts charging interest. Something that would be relatively small to an account in credit, can be big – and accumulative – if it’s already in debt.
Am I making sense so far?
Here’s where things get tricky in relationships with children.
My partner and my kids share an account.
So my partner can make a big deposit into my love bank one day (that’s not intended to be nearly as dirty as it sounds) and the next day the kids could have spent it all. There are days where he couldn’t pour love into me fast enough to keep up with the love that my kids are draining out of me.
It’s not fair, but it’s how it is. At the end of the day I just don’t have anything to give him. Maybe a couple of cents worth of love – a “How was your day?” and a kiss on the cheek. That’s all I have left in me.
Though, there’s this funny thing I’ve noticed.
Deposits I make are worth twice as much.
The love I give myself can get my family back into credit.
What does loving myself look like? It’s having a cup of tea, a chocolatey snack and watching Netflix when everyone has gone to bed. Knitting or sewing. Reading a book. Writing. Going shopping on my own. Buying myself a coffee from a cafe. Going out with friends for a drink. Long walks. And so on.
It’s time to myself doing something I enjoy.
Again, not necessarily big things, but just taking a little bit of time and tenderness and giving it to myself. And the more I give to myself, the more I have for others.
What do you think? Does the “love bank” analogy for work for you? And what do you do to show yourself love?