The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman was given to us as a wedding gift. I started reading it about 4 months into my first year of marriage. My husband and I had never lived in the same city let alone the same house. We were figuring things out. I knew he loved me but I was not feeling loved or appreciated. There were certain actions my husband did that I just did not understand. For example, I was going away for a week I wanted to just sit and chat where my husband was outside cleaning my car! There were many examples of this and once I read Chapman’s book I understood why!
Chapman refers to the “emotional love tank” and how if you know you and your partners love language you will understand how to keep that tank full.
There are 5 love languages:
- “Acts of Service” – consists of actions that take care of that person such as making the bed, taking the garbage out, cooking dinner or CLEANING MY CAR!
- “Physical Love” – This includes head scratches, back rubs, kissing, holding hands, and sex.
- “Quality Time” – You are face to face and undivided focused attention on you. That would be me, need my QT team.
- “Gifts” – You must be thinking of someone to give a gift. A gift is symbol of that thought. It does not have to cost money.
- “Words of Affirmation” – express love emotionally is to use words that build up. To express verbal appreciation for the things you like about the person.
Discover Your Love Language
You can identify your love language by answering the following questions:
- The question you ask yourself to figure out your own love language is the following: List 4 or 5 things that you would make you feel loved when you walk into the house.
- What makes you feel most loved by your spouse? List 4 or 5 things…
- What have you most often requested of my spouse?
- How do you show your love to your spouse and children?
A couple of tips to discovering your love language:
- One of the biggest clues – your spouse’s criticism of your behavior (not enough time, pick up your dishes)
- Seldom does your partner have the same love language. People speak different languages.
- We tend to use our primary love language to give love.
I think the Love Languages has helped my marriage thrive. After 15 years of marriage, looking back this framework has helped me understand my partner, my family and now my children in a way that I could help keep their emotional tanks full.
One of my goals every year is that I try to do an act of service for my husband every day. There are some days that this is hard for many reasons but it has allowed me to think each day with a view of what can I do each day to feel up his tank. It is also a way we communicate for example when I am feeling a little empty – I send him a note saying I need a little QT, usually within a day we will be sitting having a coffee, beer or visit with the TV off face to face.
I am off to get some QT with my hubby, let me know how love languages has helped you and your relationships OR if you are just discovering the love languages make sure you take the time to find out your love language. There is an online quiz you can take to figure it out as well: http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=whats-your-love-langugae