Relationship TANKs!

 In Loving Lifelong Learning

Relationship TANKs!


Available at our fingertips is a plethora of relationship material. Filled with “how to’s” on navigating this journey we call life…we are hopeful to share some of our TOP take-aways from all of the grappling of situations and scenarios we’ve lived through, sought to lead others through, and most importantly continue learning through as life unfolds continually…

Navigating relational situations with strength is a priority. And while this goal is admirable, the fact is, relating healthily and well does not feel do-able all of the time. Personalities crash into each other, opinions collide, points are sought to be made, we feel clunky, we wobble…we EXPLODE!! At times we pummel from point to point and then there is a “tipping point” when situations have the potential to derail quickly…

Even on the best of days…when perhaps extra effort and intention is put forward by one… There is a chance it is not received as anticipated by another…dashed expectations turn to quick and lasting disappointments and then before long…YIKES…we look at the other or perhaps inside our own heart and feel…WOW…how did this happen? How did we get to this point?

We ALL as humans have the desire and the need to LOVE and be LOVED. It is something we have needed since we were children and we will never “outgrow”. Regardless of age or stage, it feels good to love someone and even better to be loved and accepted for who you are by another person.

The following is a simple and healthy positive application for healthy relationship building. This is based on the work of Dr. Gary Chapman and his 5 Love Language concept. We have found this lens for which to view relationships practical and applicable with significant others, siblings, children, students, clients, peers, coworkers, vendors, supervisors, managers, and truly ANY human being you interact with.

Chapman offers an illustration he calls the “LOVE TANK” To get somewhere in our cars…we have to have enough gas to reach that destination. If we run out, we will not reach the place we are trying to get to. It is the same way with how we feel loved. We make deposits into others’ accounts when we speak to them in their love language…their tank is filled. What we need to stay cautious and aware of is that when we stop making deposits the “gas” or LOVE runs low. WITHDRAWS which could be framed as interactions or actions leave another feeling drained, sad, or forgotten. Examples of withdraws from the tank may include demeaning words, deliberate ignoring, empty broken promises large or small, leaving conflicts unresolved, etc… We need to be aware of and know and seek to speak the love language of others so that we can help them feel loved and accepted for who they are.

So…the question remains…Where from here?

That’s correct…Start now and here…but how? Where?

As we grapple with this concept…remember to press pause as needed and consider adding an extra few moments to ponder…How can I love well and extend beyond my own list of WANTs…

Express desire versus demand
Connections do not command

Allow heart, mind, and soul to unify
With loved ones seek peace & apply

Quest to live and love well
Mindfully your story to tell

© 2020, Kathleen Bauer, Ed D 🙂