Black Jack singles learn love languages, adopt patterns for successful relationships
Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsSAN ANTONIO - As marriage in the military continues to be in the limelight, chaplains are doing their part to help single Soldiers find their ideal partners through knowledge and a better understanding of themselves.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
The 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division’s Unit Ministry Team conducted a Strong Bonds Singles Retreat here May 11-13 for Soldiers from the brigade’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company.
The retreat provided the Soldiers with tools to establish lasting relationships by teaching them how to set goals and gain essential skills when picking a partner, Staff Sgt. Gabriel Garcia, Black Jack’s UMT noncommissioned officer-in-charge, said.
For three days, Black Jack Soldiers completed a six-hour course divided into three separate classes, one each day, and enjoyed free time to de-stress from work itself, he said.
Utilizing Dr. Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages – Singles Edition,” the Soldiers were taught to identify how they receive and experience love. They then performed a personality test to identify more of their character, Garcia added.
“While I had some inclination as to the love language that describes me, I was surprised to discover my personality type,” Pfc. Amy Lashley, a medic with HHC, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div., said.
She said that knowing her personality type is important when seeking a long-term relationship.
“Personalities will conflict, but knowing each other’s (personality) will help a relationship progress and mature,” Lashley said.
Spc. Aaron Tatum, a geospatial engineer with HHC, said he didn’t know the basis for discovering personalities, but was encouraged to discover his.
“Using my personality and love language together will help me when getting to know my future mate,” he said.
Black Jack Brigade Chaplain (Maj.) Donald Ehrke spoke to the troops on the importance of personality conflicts and how they can associate with a healthy or unhealthy relationship. Explaining that, according to statistics, initial feelings of love wear off after the first two years in a marriage.
“After initial feelings of love end, three things can be expected: the couple could divorce, stay in a marriage of convenience or pursue a real emotional, permanent love for each other,” he said.
Soldiers were also instructed on how past relationship patterns, parents and Family play a role in relationships.
“You can learn a lot from your past, the patterns in your previous relationships and what your parents’ relationship is or was like,” Garcia said. “One of the largest impacts on choosing a future mate will be how you learn from the past and approach the next.”
Lashley said she understands the impact Families have on relationships, but not how the principles taught can be used to strengthen work relations and friendships, as well.
“Using what I have learned will help me with my friendships and relationships with my co-workers, we are Family and should communicate as such,” she said. “Sometimes, people need to hear words of encouragement or just need a hug to get them through the day.”
Garcia said the retreat was successful and enjoyable.
“Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves,” Garcia said. “There were a lot of positive comments and new friendships were made.”