The 5 Love Languages has helped me better understand myself and my relationship with my loved ones. Have you ever found yourself giving love, for example doing something for your loved one, and they didn’t receive your love the way that you’d hope? Frustrating, right? The reason can simply be based on the fact that you gave in a way that does not speak to the recipient’s primary love language. When we speak different languages, it’s easier to disconnect. Yes, it’s Wedding Planning Wednesday and almost Valentine’s Day, but really, love is an everyday subject matter.
Love is so elusive, yet we tend to search for a universal way of experiencing love. For as long as I can remember, I’d wonder how do “normal” spouses and partners show love? My dad passed a few months after I was born, so while I grew up in a loving home, I didn’t grow up seeing two adults experiencing love. Wondering…I’d day dream.
Does the mom do all the cooking and serve dinner to show her love? Does the dad give love by gifting toys to his children? Does the mom receive love through his affectionate kiss and touch? Do the kids receive love because their parents provide them with praise? The 5 Love Languages outlines five ways to express and experience love: gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch (intimacy). Chapman explains that we have a primary and secondary love language, and we typically give love in the way that we prefer to receive it. It’s important to observe the way we express love to others, analyze what they complain about, and what they request from the loved ones the most.
Fortunately, both Tony and I share the same primary love language, quality time. While sharing a common love language makes it easier for us, we quickly realized that we both value doing different things with our time. It was important for us to list out the common things that we can experience together. On the same note, because Tony’s secondary language is words of affirmation, this also happens to be the last item on my list and is the least important. Thus, it’s especially important that I work on giving or speaking to that part of him. Understanding this has allowed the both of us to be better for each other.
Having this understanding also helps in other relationships. Though my mom does not verbalize, “I love you,” it doesn’t mean she loves me any less. Her language is acts of service, which is why when she says, “Sammy, EAT!!!” Though I am stuffed, I still accompany her in her meal and accept her love.
I’m interested in knowing how you give and receive love. You can take the quiz here. I hope that you’re also able to take away from this as much as I have.