Episode 6: How to use the "5 Love Languages" to show love to your partner

Kanu:welcome to real love real stories the podcast a platform for couples to share their love stories and for singles to find hope I am canoe I'm the host and you are turning into episode number 6 and I want to introduce my couple for this episode my very long time friends Visal and Stephanie enjoy their love story thank you for joining me Stephanie and Visal and it's so excited for you guys to be a part of this podcast I have known you guys and I've been trying to think how long when was the white year did we meet
Visal:mid 90s I mean

Stephanie: well maybe 97 98

Visal:99 okay
Stephanie:I don't know do you remember when you started st. Greg's st. Gregory's

Kanu: That's a good question oh my gosh it's been so long I think yeah 97 98 maybe

Stephanie:I knew you before then
Kanu:right yeah so Wow it's and you guys were dating already right

Stephanie:yes we started dating in 97

Kanu: 97 awesome so which is actually a perfect segue into my first question as a couple do you mind sharing what your love journey has been how did it start and how did you guys meet
Stephanie: okay you can start

Visal:well we while working at a retail store we both worked there and we became friends right away I think was just kind of a connection and I just kind of had a respect for her being a
freshman in college and doing some of the things she was doing and just being so independent and I just kind of gained a lot of respect for her that way and we had a lot of interest in music and things like that and so and became really good friends just through work and so that was in 96 actually is when we first met and became friends and we started dating in 90Seven

Kanu:oh that's awesome so you decided that okay you were you said I don't being friends and you had similar connections so what was what was the moment when Vasil decided let me ask
her out on a date

Visal: I don't know if there was one moment but I just know that when we were friends and I would travel back home to visit my family in California and that's usually time I spend with family enjoy time with family but I would always feel that when I left that there was still something that was kind of missing and so and that was you know that was Stephanie and so so it's just me being gone away from her kind of made me realize that I wanted to be with her more than just friends

Stephanie:we were just friends and he went to California for two weeks and and I just I missed him a lot and I just couldn't wait and I actually stayed in his apartment while he was gone and his roommate was gone so I just stayed there and I just couldn't wait for him to get back and so when he got back I think I knew you know that we needed to be together

Kanu: oh that's beautiful so you started dating and do you recall what your first date was official date
Stephanie:no no no because we had hung out for so long that it was just a natural transition to just slowly I don't even know if we discussed

Visal: right

Stephanie: not being friends I don't know it was just we just weren't friends anymore yeah

Kanu: it was so organic there was no discussion needed to be head

Kanu:and we didn't I don't know we just never went we didn't have a discussion and we just I think we both knew we were on the same page about even having to say

Visal:we just spent a lot of time together

Stephanie: yes or and we just continued in the same path you know

Kanu: yeah beautiful so then you dated for how long before you decided to get engaged

Stephanie: five years

Kanu: five years okay so what was the proposal like

Stephanie: okay so he had been we had taken a trip together to Costa Rica honey he went back to California and I had been going to California with him usually to see his family but this time I didn't go because we had been on vacation together and he went home to see his family and then he came back and I remember I was putting some of his stuff away out of his backpack and I saw this little pouch with I didn't know what was in it but it just I just stopped what I was doing and I put it down I was like well I'm just gonna put this away and move on because I don't want to get my hopes up if it's something you know just not gonna think
about anymore it was the next day he proposed but kind of like the nature of our relationship it wasn't any big grand I mean we were just hanging out and he asked me to marry him so

Kanu: Oh

Stephanie: Not like big hidden wedding in the champagne movies

Visal: I had thought about it in Costa Rica and I wanted to propose in Costa Rica because beautiful black sand beach and so forth and we were out for a walk one day and I thought about doing but I just didn't have a ring in being young and I just didn't know like I didn't know
the whole process so I didn't I didn't have a rake I didn't do it there and and then so when I went to California I was talking to my mom and my aunts and and so what was in the pouch was some of their kind of Cambodian type rings that they brought yep

Kanu: oh

Visal: yeah and so I I didn't even know if she would like it but but I wanted to have something that was culturally from from you know from from my culture and so and so I actually
had like two or three that I brought back that I just wanted her to pick from and but then we kind of thought about the actual ring and the significance of it and and we just decided that it would be better to have something that we actually designed and so we did those and we actually went to a jeweler and just designed something together yes yes non-traditional in that sense  yeah yeah
Kanu:so how long have you been planning to propose to her from

Visal: probably over the course of a couple months I would say so
Kanu:yeah so it sounds like you went and had a discussion with your family and said I'm really interested in proposing to her right because that's how you ended up with those three rings

Visal: yes yes

Kanu: yeah that's beautiful so can you explain a little bit about your culture in terms of how did that is that what normally happens

Visal:you know I don't know what normally happens actually because my mom's marriage and some of my aunts were arranged marriages so so they not anything what we did was not anything cultural and and and so there's the the traditional Cambodian culture and a lot of marriages were were actually arranged so yeah but obviously growing up here becoming Americanized that's not something that that our family continued to practice so when you say that you
Kanu:guys went and designed your own ring, were you designing it combining the three rings or did you design it with a completely different?
Stephanie:we did a completely different ring

Stephanie:yes people he had three rings but he was only gonna keep one and send the other two back and then we ended up just liking different aspects of different rings and decided just to start from scratch and we just made our own and we sent all three

Kanu: oh nice nice yeah thanks for sharing that oh so what about the wedding how can you talk a little bit about that

Stephanie: yeah it was we had people we invited people from all over the country cuz he had family in Rhode Island in Texas and California just kind of all over and you know just bringing two cultures together is sometimes a little cool because each culture has expectations and so some of the planning was you know difficult and just trying to you know I felt like make everyone you know happy but ultimately I mean I felt like we had a great wedding and I'm great you know it was experience though 150 people or so dunno I think yeah 150 years and so he he was in med school at the time and so he you know just and I was in grad school so it was just hectic time right we were both you know I was working full-time and in grad school and he was in med school but yeah
Kanu: yeah that's awesome so was the wedding in Oklahoma was it in California?

Stephanie: we had originally wanted to do a wedding the wedding here and then do another reception in California for the do more of a traditional Cambodian reception and then you know just logistically and with the cost and time off work and stuff we just and most of his family did make it here yes okay he didn't feel the need to have to go back out to California do something else so we went in here and so yeah yeah well
Kanu:I just I just love in two different cultures merged into this one beautiful love relationship and just see how you you know sort of intertwine your two different cultures together so and I feel you know I'm just smiling from ear to ear because I've know you guys with such a long time and you know and we've continued to be a part of each other's lives even though we don't see each other often but you know I sort of follow you guys on Facebook and see your kids growing up even though I don't see them all the time but I feel like you know I've kind of been a part of that in a way without actually being present right

Stephanie: oh yeah yeah

Kanu:so what about do you guys have any terms of endearment for each other
Stephanie: just typical honey


Stephanie: Sweetie

Visal: yes
Stephanie:Those names

Visal: yeah I don't think we have anything major

Kanu: yeah okay yeah

Stephanie: Visal I mean I guess if I'm like calling for him from across the house or something but mostly it's just hey hon yeah there's babe sometimes babe

Kanu:oh yeah so what about least so I'm gonna start with you what one one quality or two about Stephanie do you love

Visal:I think the biggest thing about Stephanie that I like is loyalty but she is a very loyal person and if you get to know her and she gets to know you and I think she is one that everyone can count on because she's you know she's loyal and the other thing I would say it's a hard worker she's a hard worker so so those were I think the biggest thing that attracted me to her and so I think you know with our group of friends I think everybody knows that if they need something done Stephanie they're to do it

Kanu: Yeah yeah yeah and I remember that about her too because you know from working co-worker aspect absolutely yeah
Visal: so what I was saying yeah so that that's kind of at the beginning of our relationship I think but now I think the the biggest thing that I admire her for is that she is a woman of God and so she
is very grounded and very biblically sound and and I think I look up to her because she kind of keeps our family focused on on God and putting God ahead of ourselves which is kind of what we've been taught in our church and and I think that's made our family closer and it's given us a stronger relationship so I think some of the things that I look back 20-something years ago that I
admire about her are still there then other qualities kind of come up too
Kanu: yeah yeah that's awesome so you know I was recently in Oklahoma with my sister being in the ICU Stephanie came after I think you guys had going somewhere and came back and she came and said a prayer in the room with my sister which meant a lot to me then we sit down and caught out for a little bit but just the idea that you took time to come in and say a prayer that meant a lot to me because I really needed it at that time

Stephanie: I'm happy to do it

Kanu: yeah yeah so what about you Stefanie what did what are one or two qualities about Visal do you like?

Stephanie:I love that and this is what attracted me to him and still what I see in him every day is that he he's a he's a friend to everyone he's always willing to help it doesn't matter what he's doing he doesn't he's put out or that he has anything else to do if you need him he will help you and when I met him in a retail setting and funny thing was is we all worked in our own departments you know kind of like you know we knew and I work together I never knew what department he worked in because he was always in every department helping me in and so I just I love that he would never say well let me get somebody that works in that department to help you and do do whatever he could to help anyone and he does that with our friends with our kids with me and with his patients I mean it doesn't matter he's always willing to you know even when I wish he wouldn't you know

Kanu: I was actually gonna come into and say how fitting is that that you're a person who loves to to help others and now you're actually helping others in sometimes the most difficult time of your life when you're dealing with some health issues right so

Stephanie: and you know I also feel you know biblically I feel like he really keeps our family together and he leads you know the the Bible says that the man is a head of the house and as being an independent woman sometimes it's you don't want to think that you are you know second behind your husband you want to feel like you're co-leaders and but I feel like he is just he's all
really well and I never feel like he tries to you know be the boss it's always I give and take and we decide things together and so I feel like you know we can honor God with our marriage and with our family oh yeah you call me
Kanu:  yeah that's beautiful yeah no I it you know as a single person this is my hope to but if I ever when I do meet the guy and get married that he may be of the same faith because previous my ex-husband was not of the same faith and there's a lot of struggles that come with that when you and when you don't have this so

Visal: culture is easier than combining two faiths

Kanu: right ...yes Absolutely

Stephanie:  I could name a lot more because I feel like you know he he's just I don't think anyone meets him and can think of a bad thing about him

Kanu: So yeah yeah that's awesome yeah so I have to ask on the flip side of facts what are some things that you know two people together what are some of the things that probably are little annoyances that you deal with

Stephanie: the thermostat I like it cool to go to sleep I don't need it cool all day I just like it cool at night and he doesn't he thinks that you need to wear as little as possible and use the sheet and turn on a fan and you're good but I think you need to be blankets and cover up and be snuggled so it has to be cool so you can do that right yes but we are constantly in a battle if I'm turning it down
he's turning and I'm turning the air-conditioning down and he's turning it up yes yeah

Visal: she's a woman of comfort I'm a man of property

Kanu: yes

Stephanie: with the air you know not turn the air on a lot and at night I want to be nice and cool when I sleep all right
Kanu: you're like me Stephanie I kicked my house at 65 when I go to sleep we have covers on me I want my face to be cold yep so at 65° I'm happy

Stephanie: We agree I'm 69 and he's got a fur blanket on top of all the other blankets

Visal: I tell her if she's in Cambodia she wouldn't be having that air conditioning so be glad with 75

Kanu: What about you Visal?

Visal: We view money maybe a little bit differently and she is one that will if she wants something she knows what she wants she'll go out and get it yes and i will do my research to make sure we get the best price and make sure that we kind of and our money the way we need to spend it I do
Stephanie: I do appreciate because I'm impatient and I don't feel like I want to buy a whole lot but when I want to buy something yeah I'm ready to get it and let's move on down the road and you know make a purchase and when he's like well it's been a few days researching the best price Oh
so I do you know I don't know if it's that we're a good mix he's good for me in that area because I'm I'm ready - I'm ready to close the deal

Kanu: yeah so where do you find the time you're a doctor and your dad where do you find the time to research for stuff

Visal: at night when they’re all asleep

Stephanie: we're night owls 12 1 o'clock in the morning

Kanu: yeah no that's great sounds like you balance each other off which is good what would you tell people like me who are single and looking what advice would you have for us in terms of like you know finding that right partner
Stephanie: well to me it seems like you know you are you know you're on the right path and with your life you're independent woman you're beautiful it just seems like God is preparing your heart for the for the partner that he wants you to be you're you know in hats he's preparing your partner for you and you for your partner and it just seems like you know continue to develop those things in yourself that you feel like maybe you should work on and you know those and if you continue to do that I just feel like the right person is gonna come in and you're gonna complete each other as corny as that sounds I do feel like you you you know when you do life together you you just have to have a good balance and you have to you lean on each other at different times and I just feel like you're you're such a great woman that you would be just a perfect match for someone we just have to figure out who that is

Kanu: And figure out where he’s at, right?

Stephanie: Maybe he’s in oklahoma!

Kanu: I was there for a month and a half and I didn’t meet him

Visal: you know you know the saying opposites attract I disagree with that saying and so we've kind of attract in long-term and it's a bit and part of it depends on what the opposites are but I couples need to have a common bond things that they do together like we see sometimes a lot of couples that are having marital problems or have been through divorces a lot of times and those couples they lead separate lives they don't go do things together the husband may have an interest the wife may have an interest but they don't have a common interest where they say hey once a week or couple times a month this is what we need to go do together and and so I might might be advice would be find a common interest that will link you to that will keep you spending time together because once you get into kids and kids sports and kids school and
works in career sometimes I just see too many people drift apart in in the things that they're they're doing and they're doing separate things but then they don't have any and which is sometimes okay but when you don't have anything to bring you back together you then I think it makes it difficult to to have a strong relationship and it's easy to fall all apart so

Kanu: I think you've kind of touched on actually my other question which I asked is you know what is the secret to your relationship I don't know if anything else to add to that but it sounds like what you just talked about here is exactly you know the same I advice you'd probably give to married people right

Stephanie: it's it's communication which isn't always hard I mean which isn't always easy you have to be open and communicate the things that you because if you're talking right and so as long as we communicate and we we pray together we spend time talking about the are going on in our lives and then we pray about it and I feel like since we're keeping God at the center of our marriage you know everything else just falls into place to some degree we have to work at getting a date night in because we are so busy and but you know at the end of the day there isn't anyone I'd rather spend my time with than him yeah and so we'll we'll make time to play tennis or you know we walk several times a week we go out and walk at night for 30, 45 minutes and you know just talk and so we just you still have to date your spouse

Visal: Yes

Stephanie:  that's that's a keeper being together it's still dating yeah
Visal: and I think for guys when I talk to them I give them the advice of yet you you still have to pursue your your wife as if you're dating so some to get lackadaisical sometimes I get it lackadaisical in in in that but but you know we're married been married for 16 years so you know I probably did not do some of the same things I used to but but I do try here and there to make her feel like she's the only one here in this house and we forget about the other three kids you know so but yeah I think So what's definitely the other thing is Stephanie touched up on on prayer I think I think that was one of the hardest things for me because you know grow up that praying out loud and then when when you're praying with your  spouse and you're talking about things that you want prayer for what you're praying through whatever situation I think that's a new level intimacy that sometimes couples don't have and and then you know I think just and along with that it just opens communication um you know and also if we are fighting and it also softens our heart towards one another so that we're not angry at each other so you know one of the one of the things our pastor preaches on is like if you pray with your spouse it's hard to get angry with the person that you're praying with so so we keep if we keep that in mind I think it makes life easier so you know if we if we are going through a difficult time and we are we have problems that sometimes we can't or it might be hard to to handle and sometimes when we pray it makes it seem like we don't have to have the Oh and and that lessens some of the anxiety and stress that sometimes some people go Through

Kanu:  right yeah no I think those two points are great you know especially when you talked about you know you want to continue pursuing your in your case whistle your wife right because yes sometimes people you know and I was married before yes one time I got there being with my finger I'm like you know what know that I wasn't paying attention to him but I think how you put it is very important for for married couples even people that are dating to sort of keep that in mind to say just because you're together just because you married her and you have kids it doesn't necessarily mean that you're gonna stop that you know showing him or her that you know there are the most important person in the room right and that helps I think keep the marriage fresh and going for sure so I really like that point that you touched on yes
Visal: and I think my other advice for couples with kids is that your wife is more important than your kids oh I think that sometimes gets lost with our generation because I think sometimes we try to be the like the generation that is yeah hands-on in I we try to be maybe better than our parents and how they how we were treated or we just I think sometimes in turn we do too much for our kids and then in turn we forget about our spouse so so I think you know the other advice I would give people with kids are to is to put your spouse still ahead of your kids in place know what because that's a that's also just an example for your kids to see what a marriage should be like right and so what like and that's what I hope that my kids see and that's what they strive to look for when they're ready to get married

Kanu: right know that that's a very important point because when I worked as a I had couples in when I did therapy for graduate school for my internship you know the two couples that I work with that come to mind one of the things that they complained about it was both in both cases was the husband complaining about you know the wife not paying attention as much to the husband since the kids came into their picture which you know they put their all into now being a mother or sometimes now being it dead and then you forget that when it all started it was you and your
wife right

Stephanie: and so you kind of have it look just the two of you again you know wake up you know 20 years later and say who are you right now and not really enjoy the person you're with or not know them

Kanu: right yeah no no absolutely perfect I like that yeah so this kind of concludes the questions that I asked I don't know do you have anything you want to share maybe that I didn't ask that you feel
like would be helpful for singles that are looking for love and also for couples that are you know married and had you know maybe something to add to what you already said
Visal: the single advice little bit hard cuz I'm so far away from that but yeah I think look for somebody that has a good and pure heart

Stephanie: don't lower your expectations because you feel like you want to be with somebody like really hold out for the for the fillet and don't settle for the sirloin

Visal: and I think another thing that there is something called the love the five love languages yeah and and I think just no no and we periodically retake that test just because so I think just knowing what your spouse's love languages and and trying to to honor them that way and how they want to be loved not the way that they need to be loved so I think that's my other advices is
you know you could do that when you're dating you can do that when you're married you can do that when you're 30 years marry

Kanu: my guess for you guys so I think yours Visal is acts of service, and yours stephanie is quality time. Am I close?
Stephanie: His is physical touch, which is my lowest. And mine tied between gifts which is his lowest and quality time so you were right on mine mine was tied quality talk yes and so he's so practical he if I try to buy him a gift to show my love he's like me I'm like just buy me a present but quality time is up there for both of us yes so definitely we do

Kanu: I absolutely believe in the love languages.

Visal: We do too

Stephanie: When I first took the test like 15 years ago quality time wasn't one of my top ones but I feel like as we've had kids and it's been harder and harder to spend time together I will you know I retook the test like last year or the year before and all of a sudden you know quality
time was so just you know your heart can change because that's harder and harder to come by

Kanu: so ya know I love that so much that I actually one of my jobs is the program manager in my previous job I was teaching the five languages of appreciation in the workplace is the same languages that you talk about except touch obviously because you know that's at work know I Gary Chapman and Paul White who did that taken her yeah quite familiar with them and I strongly strongly actually for couples even dating even families like your kids as we are
Stephanie & Visal: Our kids have taken it

Stephanie: yeah that's great that makes me smile I love that very much yes yeah yeah well you know I would talk to you both for a long long time but I want to take this time to say thank you thank you for taking time to chat with me and share your love story with everyone and again you know and I'm just I'm smiling from ear to ear and I'm just so excited that you were able to do that with me today yes sure

Visal: and we hope this helps anyone that listens else
Kanu: thank you for tuning in to this week's episode I hope you enjoyed it

Kanu Jacobsen