I’ve read the book, The Five Love Languages. Included with the book is a "quiz" that tells you your love language. I've taken this quiz many times, but, for the sake of this blog, I decided to take it again and get my husband to do the same. The idea being, if you know in what ways your loved one feels loved, you can show your love in that way. There are five love languages: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Gifts of Giving, and Acts of Service.
My top two languages are Quality Time and Physical Touch. Ends up, I had a score of 0 under gifts of giving. So my husband desperately shopping for the perfect gift does not speak to my love language. He also scored 0 on gifts of giving. Ends up, his top two were Acts of Service and Quality Time, so I may have been better off washing the dishes or making him dinner. After he sees my results, it will occur to him that shopping the night before Christmas Eve for something for me is not exactly filling my “love tank.” Having an understanding of how your spouse feels loved, will help in knowing which "fuel” to use in order to succesfully express love to your spouse.
Love is a difficult thing to define, most often confused with feelings, and rarely acknowledged when in motion. What I mean by this is: love takes effort. It takes effort, because as humans we spend our time thinking how we can get what we want or thinking we are victims of all give and no receiving. I’m sure we all can find a myriad of reasons why OUR needs didn't get met. But, one little door of understanding cracked open when I saw my husband's test scores.
He’s been showing me love the way he feels loved: the dishes get washed, he moves my car out of the rain, and sends calendar invites eliminating the chore of planning. Because his love language, again, is acts of service. Amazing how this tidbit of insight reframed my thinking. And, funny thing is, it felt romantic.
Knowledge is Power. Learning something new about my spouse just gave me a new perspective. And, I believe, that is what these five love languages are about. A few things I’m considering while applying the five love languages:
- Start from scratch. I cannot go into this new territory with all the baggage of unmet expectations of the past. I need to accept what was missing and heal. How that happens can take many forms. However, clearing the board provides hope and a blank canvas for new discoveries.
- See the good. It’s easy to revert to thinking about my expectations. Chances are, there is SOME way my spouse is showing love. Which one of the five languages IS my spouse speaking?
- Check in. Maybe the way my spouse feels loved has changed. Life circumstances bring various insecurities. Recent events may require an added word of encouragement or extra efforts around the house. The question, “Is there anything I can do for you?” is a great way to kill selfishness.
- Remember, we all fail. The goal is not perfection, but rather, progress. So, I’ll try something to do his love language and fail. He'll try to do my love language and fail. But the point is that we're both trying. Together.
- Speak up. I cannot read my husband's mind; he cannot read mine. Although, there are times we have a keen sense of what is going on in there, most of the time a quick conversation can clear the air. Equipped with an easy to communication tool ( our love languages), I can simplify my needs by letting him know what fuel needs refilling. And, hopefully, I am asking or observing his needs as well.
In the words of my dad, “marriage is no bed of roses.” Things can get tense, busy, frustrating, and downright exhausting. It’s not as if there is always energy to apply the work of learning a language. But, a little time of research and discovery can go a long way and maybe yield a metaphoric rose here and there.