The Five Love Languages
Originally published on 9-25-13
Buy the book, The 5 Love Languages. Read it in one day. Comprehend it in 2-3 days. Practice it forever.
As I was trying to figure out who I was and which way was north, my Mom bought me, The 5 Love Languages for Singles. Ha!
I read it once, but it didn’t really sink in. Until one day, I needed it to.
I hit a rough patch with my now husband. A ROUGH spot.
I thought, “I am going to pull out all the stops.” I was determined to not make the same mistakes I had in the past, so I got really still and rolled up my sleeves. I was determined to do give this relationship the best chance it had at survival. He was trying, I was trying, but somehow we were missing the target with each other. So, I pulled out the book and read it. Reading was not quite enough for me so I downloaded the book on itunes and listened to it to and from work. It’s not Justin Timberlake, but I knew there was important information I needed.
A few plays through book, I realized I was not bringing my 100% to the table.
I have learned that to be in a good relationship, both people have to be responsible for their 100%. Among other things, each person has to bring love to the table, in the way that their partner receives love. Think of your relationship. Do you feel loved? Does the person you are in a relationship with feel loved?
This book, The 5 Love Languages gives you tools to make sure that both people feel loved and appreciated. It helps make sure that both people are being fulfilled. We all give love and receive love in different ways. This book helps you identify the way you receive love. Can you answer, I feel most loved by my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend when_________________________?
The 5 Love Languages:
Quality time-Quality time is just that quality time. You feel loved and appreciated when you and your loved one spend time together. Spending time together could be: making dinner and home, a picnic in the park, visiting a museum or watching a movie together. The time spent together says, I am interested in you and your interests. I love you and so I want to spend time with you.
Touch- Touch comes in many forms. It comes as a kiss on the cheek, as making love, as kisses in private and in public. Touch comes as holding hands while crossing a busy street or by someone placing their hand on your shoulder. Some people grow up with touch and some don’t. It’s easier for some people to convey love through touch than it is for others. Do you receive the message of love through touch?
Gifts- Some people feel loved and appreciated when they are given gifts. Gifts don’t have to be big and expensive; they can be small and thoughtful. A written note speaks volumes to a person who loves gifts. A handmade Valentine’s Day card will do the trick too. Other thoughtful examples are: a coffee mug with a thoughtful sentiment on it, a fresh flower, or a new rosary from the Church gift shop. There are many gifts that would convey, “While I was out, I was thinking of you and here’s some proof.” Gifts that come from loved ones being thoughtful are meaningful. They show that they have listened intently to you AND that they thought of you while they were out running errands. Do you feel loved when people give you gifts?
Words of Affirmation- You feel loved and appreciated when people express to you in words how much they love and how much they are proud of you. “I really love you.” “You are so beautiful.” “You are the great love of my life.” “You are the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.” “You are so handsome; when you’re in the room I don’t see anyone else.” These may seem corny, but they’re not. They are very real to the person being affirmed. Do you feel loved when people tell you how much they love you, or are words not as big a deal as, acts of service?
Acts of Service- You feel most appreciated when your loved ones helps you around the house, or runs an errand for you. Acts of service can be as simple as taking out the trash or as elaborate as hosting out of town family.
As a clue, often people convey love in the way they want to receive love. Often times, our partners, spouses, friends, parents receive love differently than we do.
Could you imagine loving someone and dedicating chunks of time and effort to them without them even recognizing it? Could you imagine cooking and cleaning and ironing your boyfriend’s shirts for days and days and months and months all the while he is saying, “You must not really love me!” Or have you ever been in a relationship where all your significant other ever does is buy you the most amazing gifts and all the while you want them to say how much they are proud of you? You yearn for the day that they say, “Julie, you have made me so proud. I am proud to be your boyfriend.” Couples can go days, months and even years feeling unfulfilled, feeling like maybe their partner doesn’t care or doesn’t love them. They feel this way because they are not speaking each other’s love language. They are not conveying their love in the way their partner best receives it. Love it just love, it isn’t magic.
The best definition of love I have come across is: love is committing to a set of behaviors that have a positive impact on others. Love is positive.
Your life will be SO much easier if you love your partner they way they want to be loved. There’s no sense in feeling love for someone, trying your hardest and have it not work out because there was a miscommunication. Don’t you want the love you feel for your partner to come through loud and clear? Love must be nurtured and the relationship where love lives must be nurtured.
If your partner feels your love and knows it unequivocally, they are much more likely to want to reciprocate. When both people are consciously filling each other’s love’s tank (think of a gas tank) the relationship will grow stronger from daily nurturing. Every day you will know and feel that your partner loves you and vice versa. You will think things like, “Nothing can break us now. He/she loves me and I love them and we are solid!” Or “We are a united front. He/she loves me and they show it!” After a few months, keeping your partner’s love tank full will become second nature. Sounds scary, huh? Or does this all sound too, “Self-help section Aisle 8?” It is scary and it is certainly right up with all the foofy self-help ideas, but it is worth it. You will feel loved and content and so will your partner. Be the person to take the first step toward strengthening your relationship. You both deserve it!
P.S.- This works on all relationships: parents, family, friends, children, co-workers. It’s very effective.
Love is just love. It takes an earnest effort to make it a lifetime.