Monday, December 08, 2008

Speaking the language of love

Let’s play a little relationship multiple choice.

I feel most loved when the important people in my life:

(a) don’t hesitate to show affection through all sorts of physical manifestations – hugging, kissing, whatever … depending on the person and our relationship.

(b) tell me that they love me and offer other encouraging words. I need to hear it before I can feel it.

(c) stop their busy lives for a little while to talk, walk, go to a movie – doesn’t matter much the activity, as long as we’re spending time together. I crave that connection.

(d) gives me gifts when I don’t expect them – they’re not always expensive, but they’re always thoughtful.

(e) does things for me – washes my car, gives me a shoulder rub after a long day at work, cooks me a great meal. It’s always things that make my life easier or more enjoyable.

Got your answer?

Then you’re on your way to understanding the five love languages as conceived by Gary Chapman, author of a series of books that started with "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate." His theory is that people give and receive love in five ways: through (a) physical touch; (b) words of affirmation; (c) quality time; (d) gifts; and (e) acts of service. You can love someone so much it hurts -- but he won’t feel it if you don’t show that love using his love language.

I’m fairly certain I’m an E, though A probably runs a close second most days. And my husband has figured it out without reading a book – when I’m stalking around in a foul mood, he’ll tell me to soak in a bubble bath while he cleans up the kitchen after dinner. (Or is that code for go soak your head?)

Can’t hone in on just one love language? Could be that you speak several very strongly. Could be that your love language changes depending on the person you’re with, or that your love language has changed over time.

Or could be you’re just high-maintenance. Let your friends, family and significant others be warned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm an "e" with "d" a close second. My experience with family and friends is that actions speak louder than words. For "e," I get stressed about things to do. If you can relieve that stress, I'm grateful.

The key to "d" is that the gift is unexpected and thoughtful. Cost has nothing to do with it. (you can bring me flowers from your garden and that's thoughtful) This means the person went out of their way to take time to get me something to make me feel good, and that the thoughtfulness means they know me well and are attentive to my likes/dislikes (ie. they are not self-centered).

Also, I can know you care about me without needing the "connection" time that others crave. Maybe that's because I tend to be a bit introverted and a tad loner-ish.