We recently sat down with Marina Lavochin, a Seattle-based dating coach to get recommendations for building stronger connections, dating, thoughts on Valentine’s Day, and how self-care activities like floating fit in with relationships.

Marina has been featured on TEDex talks, and most recently was on the panel for the Great Love Debate at the Parlor in Bellevue, WA. Marina is best known for her proven 90-Day Dating Bootcamp, where she gives her clients a love life makeover. By working with the individual one-on-one, she provides the client the tools for increasing self-confidence and self-love so that they can put their best foot forward in the dating world.

Understanding the Five Love Languages
*Words of affirmation, Quality time, Receiving gifts, Acts of service, Physical touch*

The five love languages are the unspoken communication that makes us feel loved and fulfilled. Everyone speaks all the five love languages, however, one or two will almost always be predominant and necessary to be fulfilled for us to truly feel satisfied in a relationship.

It’s common for us to show our love through the language that speaks to us the most. For instance, if your language is receiving gifts you might shower your significant other with flowers, but if their language is quality time then they would feel a bit of a void. So, it’s just as important to understand your spouse’s love language as it is to understand your own. Plus, it can be helpful to identify the love language of those you have non-intimate relationships as well (i.e. employer, or if you work in sales and marketing).

What are Attachment Styles?

Attachment styles can affect every aspect of a person’s relationship. They determine the selection, progression, and demise of a relationship. As Marina mentioned, “Attachment styles are determined based off how you were raised (your childhood) and determines how comfortable you are with making bonds”. While these styles are established in childhood and influenced by our parents (parenting type), it’s important to understand exactly what each style is, and more importantly, understand what your style is.

Essentially, we will seek out a significant other who confirms our style. If you grew up with dismissive parent, and your attachment style is dismissive/avoidant, then you’re fundamentally going to be looking for a partner who will create a replica of those patterns.

Your attachment style does not define who you are. By learning and thoroughly understanding your attachment style, you can, as Marina said, “challenge your belief systems.” Through mindfulness, therapy, and communication with your significant other you can overcome your insecurities and fears.

Attachment Styles

  • Secure – This is the more common (and sought after) attachment style. It’s exactly what it sounds like; secure. Adults with this style tend to remain happier in their relationship. If you grew up with a parent with this attachment style, you’ll feel safe to venture out independently and explore without anxiety or fear of leaving “home base”.
  • Anxious – Opposite of a secure attachment style, those who are of an anxious attachment style are more times desperate to form a bond. They don’t often feel genuine love and trust, instead they remain emotionally hungry. They’re continuously trying to find a partner that will fulfil their emotional hunger. By yearning for security, they’ll cling to  their partner, thus pushing their partner away.
  • Dismissive Avoidant  – This attachment style gives the individual the ability to emotionally distance themselves from a significant other (or friends, family, etc.) easily. They often look to be by themselves and can often times appear narcissistic. They will often live an inward life and deny the importance of having loved ones in their life.
  • Fearful Avoidant – When a person is Fearful Avoidant, they live in a reality in which they are afraid of getting too close and too far from a person, simultaneously. They’re often times overwhelmed by their own emotions and anxiety resulting in unpredictable moods. They will go into a relationship under the belief system that you need to get close to a person to get your emotional hunger fulfilled, but getting too close will cause you to get hurt.
The Valentine’s Day You Haven’t Heard

Ironically enough, as a dating coach, Marina is not the biggest fan of Valentine’s day. She says “it puts too much stress on the individual financially and emotionally both single and in a relationship.” When asked what she would recommend a couple to do during Valentine’s Day, Marina says instead of dressing up and going out to a fancy dinner plan what you would like to experience together over the next year (i.e. a road trip, skydiving, trying out a new hard-to-get-into restaurant, etc.) Marina says we spend so much time at New Year’s planning how we are going to improve ourselves over the course of the year, and the same thing should be done (but typically isn’t) with our own relationships.

Going on a Float Date?

Marina recommends floating to help build your relationship, but only after date three or four, not “date zero” as she likes to call the first official date. If you decide to go on a float date we recommend allowing some time after you float to sit and visit over a drink or coffee. In this enhanced state of appreciation and focus, you’ll have deeper, more meaningful conversations.

Kurt Stradtman

When Kurt is not hosting floats at LifeFloat he is working with his clients online to help them improve their lives through fitness and nutrition coaching as the founder of My Sacred Life. Kurt holds a certificate from NESTA as a certified health and fitness coach. www.mysacred-life.com