If you haven’t heard of the 5 Love Languages by now you’ve got a little catching up to do. I was first introduced to them during pre-marital counseling with my first husband. Yes, we did pre-marital counseling that was awesome and STILL got divorced. During the counseling sessions, we took a little test that showed what our love language is and what our partners’ were and how they related. From there we also learned how to make our significant others feel loved based on this language. But let me back up some…
The 5 Love Languages is a concept developed by Dr. Gary Chapman. In a nutshell, your love language is how you see and feel love from others. Dr. Chapman has narrowed down love languages into these 5 categories:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Affection
When I first took the test, I was a solid “Acts of Service” girl with nothing else coming close to it. If you wanted me to know that you loved me, then doing things for me was the way to show me. It’s amazing how things have changed for me in almost 10 years. My love language is still Acts of Service but it’s followed closely by Words of Affirmation. My husband, on the other hand, scored high in Physical Affection and Quality Time. But what does this mean and how does this affect our marriage?
Love Is An Action Verb
It’s one thing for someone to just tell you they love you but it’s a whole other thing for them to show this to you and you feel it. Growing up I think I was infatuated with this whole idea of love. I loved the idea of love. You know, the romance, the butterflies, the googley eyes. All of it. And I honestly thought that love was just that–the bringing of flowers/candy/et al. I thought love was that squishy feeling that you had when you were infatuated with someone. As I got older, I learned what love is and that while most people think it’s a feeling, it’s actually an action. Understanding what love looks like to me helps me communicate my needs to my husband. It also helps him understand what he can do to show me that he loves me and vice versa.
Feeling Love Breaks Barriers
I was one of those women that had lots of walls. Having previously been in a marriage where my ex-husband would do things that intentionally hurt me and then becoming a single mom, I had walls that were harder than Fort Knox to break through. But then my husband made our first Christmas happen. My car had broken down and I wanted to spend Christmas with my mom in Myrtle Beach. He drove our oldest daughter and I there and spent it with me instead of his family. This was huge to me because he took something that was a source of incredible stress and handled it with such ease. My walls came tumbling down faster than the London Bridge fell. At the time he didn’t know that Acts of Service was my love language but I think that’s what made it that much more genuine.
It’s a Tool For Success
How many times have you thought that your partner just wasn’t making you feel loved? Or how many times have you done something for your partner that you would have been excited about only to have them give a drab response? Understanding how to love and how you see love nips all this in the bud. Sure, the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but unless you want to be married to the Nutty Professor, you may want to start looking into other ways to show him that you love him. And as a woman, being able to articulate to a man (or other woman) what you need is crucial. So often we want for something that we just can’t put our fingers on, but now you can. I know that if I’m feeling cranky or neglected our kitchen is usually a mess. I know, random, but for me when my husband cleans the kitchen after I’ve made him a delicious meal, that screams, “BABE I LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU FOR THAT FOOD!!!!”
Become Fluent in Your Partners Language
Fluency in love is just like becoming fluent in any other language–it takes daily practice. So if your spouse’s love language is Physical Affection, this might look like making sure that you are hugging or kissing them at least 12 times a day–not just sex. If they are a Words of Affirmation, tell them the things that you appreciate that they do or leave them a love note. If they are an Acts of Service person like me, take a task that is normally stressful for them or they hate doing and just do it–don’t ask them what they need help with, just do it. If your person sees Quality Time as love, make sure that you’re intentionally carving out some one-on-one time with them. And if they love gifts, don’t just buy them anything, get them something that they love or makes you think of them. But practice this daily.
Although I love being a mom, I love being my husbands wife too. I love marriage and all of the wonderful things that it brings. Using these tools will definitely help your home get or stay happy. Make loving your partner a priority and they’ll make loving you a priority too.
Have you heard of the 5 Love Languages before? What’s your love language?
Need to know your/your partners love language? Check out the questionnaire here and be sure to send it to them too!