on love languages*…

I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday about some things and she brought up something i hadn’t thought about for a while. love languages. she was talking to me about a certain aspect of her relationship and how she enjoys it because it speaks to her primary love language.

which, of course, got me to thinking about mine.

and something someone once said to me. we were talking about me pretty much just how awesome i am, and even though i’d heard it all before from this particular person, i wanted to hear it again. it wouldn’t have bothered me to hear even the exact same words as before. to which they replied “that’s YOUR guilty pleasure. you’ll never get tired of hearing it.”

you’re right. i will never tire of hearing it. i will never tire of hearing the wonderful things people have to say about me. because THAT is my love language. words of affirmation. a good compliment will sustain me for days while a hurtful word will tear me to pieces for weeks. i was once in a relationship where i was constantly told how how amazing i would be once i was “healed” and not depressed anymore. where i was criticized for who i was because he didn’t think i should be that way. where i was accused of cheating so much that i finally cracked and did. where i was told that he wasn’t sure if i’d ever be good enough for him. words are incredibly powerful to me.

is it any surprise, then, how good i am with words? does it come as a surprise the mastery i have of the english language? that i can pound out a blog post in a few minutes, with no editing, no proofing and it’s almost epic? it is any wonder?

i once took the time to really figure out the love languages of those around me and tried my best to speak them as much as possible. it was amazing the impact it had on my relationships. even now, i almost unconsciously do it. i’m constantly trying to figure them out, trying to be aware of what people want and need to hear or see or touch or feel to be loved. it certainly takes the focus off myself and i find that when most people are feeling filled, they automatically tell me, which fuels right back into mine.

so you’re right, i’ll never tire of hearing. i’ll never get tired of compliments. but i’ll also never be as destroyed as i am by a careless, hurtful word.

how about you? what’s YOUR primary love language?

———————

*The Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman) http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/

Words of Affirmation
Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”  Verbal appreciation speaks powerfully to persons whose primary Love Language is “Words of Affirmation.”  Simple statements, such as, “You look great in that suit,” or “You must be the best baker in the world! I love your oatmeal cookies,” are sometimes all a person needs to hear to feel loved.

Aside from verbal compliments, another way to communicate through “Words of Affirmation” is to offer encouragement.  Here are some examples: reinforcing a difficult decision; calling attention to progress made on a current project; acknowledging a person’s unique perspective on an important topic. If a loved one listens for “Words of Affirmation,” offering encouragement will help him or her to overcome insecurities and develop greater confidence.

Quality Time
Quality time is more than mere proximity. It’s about focusing all your energy on your mate. A husband watching sports while talking to his wife is NOT quality time. Unless all of your attention is focused on your mate, even an intimate dinner for two can come and go without a minute of quality time being shared.

Quality conversation is very important in a healthy relationship. It involves sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context. A good mate will not only listen, but offer advice and respond to assure their mate they are truly listening. Many mates don’t expect you to solve their problems. They need a sympathetic listener.

An important aspect of quality conversation is self-revelation. In order for you to communicate with your mate, you must also be in tune with your inner emotions. It is only when you understand your emotions and inner feelings will you then be able to share quality conversation, and quality time with your mate.

Quality activities are a very important part of quality time. Many mates feel most loved when they spend physical time together, doing activities that they love to do. Spending time together will bring a couple closer, and, in the years to come, will fill up a memory bank that you can reminisce about in the future.
Whether it’s sitting on the couch and having a brief conversation or playing together in a tennis league, quality time is a love language that is shared by many. Setting aside focused time with your mate will ensure a happy relationship.

Receiving Gifts
Some mates respond well to visual symbols of love. If you speak this love language, you are more likely to treasure any gift as an expression of love and devotion. People who speak this love language often feel that a lack of gifts represents a lack of love from their mate. Luckily, this love language is one of the easiest to learn.

If you want to become an effective gift giver, many mates will have to learn to change their attitude about money. If you are naturally a spender, you will have no trouble buying gifts for your mate. However, a person who is used to investing and saving their money may have a tough time adjusting to the concept of spending money as an expression of love. These people must understand that you are investing the money not in gifts, but in deepening your relationship with your mate.

The gift of self is an important symbol of love. Sometimes all your mate desires is for someone to be there for them, going through the same trials and experiencing the same things. Your body can become a very powerful physical symbol of love.

These gifts need not to come every day, or even every week. They don’t even need to cost a lot of money. Free, frequent, expensive, or rare, if your mate relates to the language of receiving gifts, any visible sign of your love will leave them feeling happy and secure in your relationship.

Acts of Service
Sometimes simple chores around the house can be an undeniable expression of love. Even simple things like laundry and taking out the trash require some form of planning, time, effort, and energy. Just as Jesus demonstrated when he washed the feet of his disciples, doing humble chores can be a very powerful expression of love and devotion to your mate.

Very often, both pairs in a couple will speak to the Acts of Service Language. However, it is very important to understand what acts of service your mate most appreciates. Even though couples are helping each other around the house, couples will still fight because the are unknowingly communicating with each other in two different dialects. For example, a wife may spend her day washing the cars and walking the dog, but if her husband feels that laundry and dishes are a superior necessity, he may feel unloved, despite the fact that his wife did many other chores throughout the day. It is important to learn your mate’s dialect and work hard to understand what acts of service will show your love.

It is important to do these acts of service out of love and not obligation. A mate who does chores and helps out around the house out of guilt or fear will inevitably not be speaking a language of love, but a language of resentment. It’s important to perform these acts out of the kindness of your heart.

Demonstrating the acts of service can mean stepping out of the stereotypes. Acts of service require both mates to humble themselves into doing some chores and services that aren’t usually expected from their gender. However, these little sacrifices will mean the world to your mate, and will ensure a happy relationship.

Physical Touch
Many mates feel the most loved when they receive physical contact from their partner. For a mate who speaks this love language loudly, physical touch can make or break the relationship.

Sexual intercourse makes many mates feel secure and loved in a marriage. However, it is only one dialect of physical touch. Many parts of the body are extremely sensitive to stimulation. It is important to discover how your partner not only physically responds but also psychologically responds to these touches.

It is important to learn how your mate speaks the physical touch language. Some touches are irritating and uncomfortable for your mate. Take the time to learn the touches your mate likes. They can be big acts, such as back massages or lovemaking, or little acts such as touches on the cheek or a hand on the shoulder. It’s important to learn how your mate responds to touch. That is how you will make the most of this love language.

All marriages will experience crisis. In these cases, physical touch is very important. In a crisis situation, a hug can communicate an immense amount of love for that person. A person whose primary love language is physical touch would much rather have you hold them and be silent than offer any advice.

It is important to remember that this love language is different for everyone. What type of touch makes you feel secure is not necessarily what will make your partner happy. It is important to learn each other’s dialects. That way you can make the most of your hugging, kissing, and other physical contacts.

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3 thoughts on “on love languages*…

  1. katyhelena says:

    I’d have to say quality time is my love language, but words of affirmation are a close second.

  2. tabithablogs says:

    I absolutely LOVE that I’ve gotten to read a couple of posts from you this week! Sorry I suck so bad at leaving comments. If commenting were a love language, I would fail at that one.

    Actually, I guess commenting kinda falls under words of affirmation. Which means I suck at loving you. Ack!

    Really though, I love the Five Love Languages and appreciate the reminder about them. I think I might see if Joe wants to read through it with me. 🙂

  3. Wow, I love your post! It’s vital to know how we enjoy being loved, but also how to properly love others. We all have different love languages and it is important that we identify others’ love languages to be able to show them how you feel in a way that is fulfilling to them.

    http://growingwithtruth.com/blog/118/how-to-identify-love-languages/

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