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love tanks
 
 
Love tanks are a visual aid developed by John Gray, to help us see our basic love needs.These are the places where our desires come from. There are 10 different love tanks, or love needs. No one's love tanks are perfectly full all the time. To the degree that the earlier love tanks are filled, the person will experience greater success (of course, there are plenty of examples of heartless people who have achieved power and financial success, but they have no joy in their lives...they may think they enjoy getting the better of others, but it is shallow and empty compared to the fullness of joy they could be feeling). To the degree that the love tanks are empty, the person will experience more dysfunction and have greater difficulty in recovering from their failures (everyone experiences failure in their life, but the person whose love tanks are more full learns from the experiences and grows stronger, while the person whose love tanks are empty feels defeated, and powerless). Feeling letters  are one way we can fill up our love tanks. Filling up our love tanks connects us to our true selves, which are confident, joyful, loving and peaceful. We often don't feel the emptiness of a love tank until the next one develops. These are general guidelines, don't be too rigid in interpreting them. There are exceptions to every rule (generally speaking! :-).
 
The first love tank, which is developed between conception and birth, is our spiritual love tank. Even an atheist has this love tank. It is most often satisfied by a connection with God (at least with Christians), but it can be filled by many different spiritual beliefs, and it can be filled for an atheist or agnostic (as well as others) by meditation, which is spiritual, but not religious. They may experience it as connecting with their inner nature. Without this love, life tends to be a struggle, and we go thru life tired and stressed.
 
The 2nd love tank is the parental love tank (love and support from parents), which is developed between birth and 7 years old. Our whole attitude about the world and our relationship to it begins at birth. Children are basically powerless to get what they need when they first emerge from the womb. If children are not taken care of, they will die. Depending on the love received, a child forms one of two basic attudes: "I have needs and I have the power to get
 
them met" or "I have needs and I am powerless to get them met". To the degree that this tank has been filled, we move thru life either feeling powerful or powerless. If the child gets just enough love to survive, then he will go thru life struggling to survive.  If the child gets enough love to thrive, then he will go thru life moving from one success to another. These are the two extremes, there are many possibilities in between. Click here to read more.
 
The 3rd love tank is friends, family and fun. It develops between the ages of 7 and 14 years old. This is the time our desire to have fun awakens. If, however, we did not get what we needed the first 7 years, we will tend to resist it and continue to need to have the first love tank filled. If during our first 14 years, we do not feel safe to resist changes in our life, and work thru a range of feelings, then as we get older, we will be more resistant to change, rather than recognizing it's a necessary part of life. We don't form a clear sense of who we are and what we like. Without this knowledge, it's very difficult for a child to be successful
                                  in life, or to enjoy life.
 
The 4th love tank is peer support (the opposite of peer pressure- peer support comes from a loving energy, while peer pressure comes from a fearful energy). It develops between the ages of 14 and 21. This is the support we give each other when we have similar interests or problems. The workplace, sports, hobbies,and support groups as are all examples of places where we commonly find peer support. Friends often give peer support, though more frequently, the people we get peer support from are   not necessarily our friends, but are co-workers, fans of a sport we like, etc. Anytime you have something in common with another person, there is an opportunity for peer support. Be careful, though, this kind of love can feel so good, when someone is good at giving this kind of support, that we may be lulled into a false sense of security. If, for instance, you have worries at the workplace, and a co-worker eases your fears, and you are comforted by that, and it turns out your fears were well-founded, easing your fears might not be in your best interests. In this case, recognizing your fears as being very real, and coming up with strategies to address them would work better. It could save your job!
 
The 5th love tank is self-love. It develops between the ages of 21 and 28. This is the time we find ourselves (assuming the earlier love tanks are mostly full), it's the time we see most clearly what we want to do in our lives. To the degree that we have received love in the earlier love tanks, we will have greater clarity in knowing ourselves. To the degree that we were not loved, we will have difficulty in knowing ourselves. Knowing yourself has little to do with intelligence, and everything to do with love. Just as love connects us to others, it is also necessary to connect us to ourselves.
 
The 6th love tank is romantic love. It develops between the ages of 28 and 35. Certainly, you can have a sweetheart at an earlier age, but this is the time our hearts and minds are most open to it. This kind of love is well known in our society, entire industries are devoted to it! When people talk about love, this is the one they most frequently imagine. In the past, people got married for survival, but now new relationship skills are needed. This is the one that is given the most credit for joy in our lives (the joy really comes from our partners love connecting us to our true self, which is naturally joyful,confident,loving, and peaceful), and the most blame for misery. Yet often if the pain passes a certain intensity, it indicates that our earlier love tanks are not full, and that's where we need the most love. It is often assumed that if we didn't get what we needed from our parents, that we've just missed out, and need to move on. However, without this love, we will stay stuck in an unloveable place. What's the solution? Find a therapy to give yourself this love.
 
The 7th love tank is the love for a dependent, like a child, or a pet. It develops between the ages of 35 and 42. This is, for most people, their first experience with unconditional love. To love a child or an animal so much, that loving them is just like loving yourself, is an amazing feeling. To the degree that we have met our earlier love needs, we are more or less able to give this kind of love. The better a job you do giving this kind of love to your child, the more you set them up for success and joy and confidence in their lives. If your earlier love tanks are not full, this will be a struggle for you, In this case, don't  blame or guilt yourself, but rather find a way to fill your earlier love tanks so you can give your child the love your heart wants to give them.                                                            
 
 
The 8th love tank is love of community. It develops between the ages of 42 and 49. This is where are horizons broaden, and we want to share our love with a growing number of people.
 
The 9th love tank is love of the world. It develops between the ages of 49 and 56. During this time period, our horizons may broaden to include the world (assuming the other love tanks are full).
 
The 10 love tank is our 2nd spiritual love tank. It begins to develop at the age of 56, and continues to grow for the rest of our lives. This is the place where we serve God. In a sense, the first spiritual love tank is God serving us (we don't have to do anything in the womb, we don't even have to breathe), and this last love tank is where we take our gifts from God and give back to the world. This is only possible if the earlier love tanks are full. People whose love tanks are full tend to live a long and healthy life, full of joy and light.
 
For more information on love tanks, check out John Gray's book "How to get what you want, and want what you have", or  check out his online workshop.