I love John. I love my family. I love my fur babies and I love my friends. Marvelously, they all love me too! Have you ever had that feeling though that somehow the deep affection that you have for your loved ones just isn't translating well?
My parents raised my sister and me on the concept of “the 5 love languages”. It's all written out in the book of the same title by Gary Chapman. It came out when Mer and I were kiddos. In the book, The 5 Love Languages, Chapman comes to the conclusion, after years of working as a couples counselor, that there are 5 languages with which humans communicate love. He goes on to say that one of the biggest causes for frustration in a marriage or relationship is not speaking the same “love language” as your significant other. <!–more–>
My Mom's language is words of affirmation. My Dad's is acts of service. My sister's is physical touch. Growing up knowing the differences and the need to speak in each other's language has made a huge impact in our closeness as a family. Thankfully, John and I are both quality time which makes life easier for us! (i.e. Me driving the cart and blogging while he plays golf)
I was really excited recently to find out that they now have a website where you and your love can take a legitimate online quiz and learn about how each other best gives and receives love. Below are the descriptions of each language as described on the 5 Love Languages website.
Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important— hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up.
A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Appropriate and timely touches communicate warmth, safety, and love to you.
In Quality Time, nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Whether itʼs spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time.
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are heartfelt symbols to you of someone else's love and affection for you.
Acts of Service
Can helping with homework really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. When others serve you out of love (and not obligation), you feel truly valued and loved.
Take the 5 Love Languages quiz for yourself here and let me know what you get!