Yesterday I talked about my absolute most recommended advice and book about marriage: Love & Respect. If you haven’t read the post, go do so NOW!
While I don’t find The 5 Love Languages on nearly the same plane as much as Love & Respect, I do think it is interesting and can be helpful in understanding your mate.
Gary Chapman believes that there are 5 love languages: words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, quality time, and acts of service. Everyone has one or two of those languages that they respond to more, that fills their love bank more. The 5 Love Languages goes more in depth, but you can also go take the quiz online and get a quick snapshot of which one is your love language.
I thinks it’s good to know your own love language, but it’s better to know your significant other’s love language. Why? Because when you know their love language then you can better meet their love needs. It’s easy for us to show love in the way we prefer to receive it, but that’s not necessarily what the other person wants. For example, if my love language is receiving gifts then I will naturally want to give Michael lots of little gifts. But if his love language isn’t receiving gifts then, while he appreciates what I do, it won’t have as much of an impact. A better idea would be for me to find out what his love language is and then make an effort to show him love that way.
There is also a book and a quiz that can help you identify the love languages of your child. Not having any kids yet I can’t say for sure, but I definitely think that could be super helpful in loving each of your kids.
I don’t think this is an exact science or totally accurate all the time. Sometimes in the quiz you have to choose between two choices and I want to choose both, or neither, and that isn’t an option. I also think that if your significant other is already really good at showing one of the love languages then you won’t lean toward those answers and that love language enough since it’s already being fulfilled. And I think that your love language might differ in different relationships. My love language with Michael may be different from my love language with a girl friend.
But it’s still interesting and helpful.
Just in case you wondered, my love language (right now) is receiving gifts. Not in a materialistic, spend-lots-of-money way though. Something as tiny as a piece of candy waiting for me on my desk or placemat at home, or a letter in the mail, or some cheap flowers from WalMart can absolutely make my day. I love little surprises! Michael knows this and is great about getting me little surprises here and there.
You can also see that words of affirmation scored really low. Obviously that just doesn’t mean as much to me.
Oh, and the reason I said that was my love language “right now” is because it has changed over the years. When we were just dating my love language was quality time. That doesn’t rank nearly as high for me anymore and I think it’s because we’re together so much that I get tons of quality time and don’t feel that void anymore. And I wouldn’t be surprised if my love language changed again sometime in the future.
I had Michael take the quiz, too, and interestingly his scores were almost opposite of mine. Receiving gifts got a zero for him, but words of affirmation is close to the top.
That means we each have to reach way out of our comfort zone and work to make sure we are meeting each other’s needs. In reflection, I now realize that things like the Christmas Countdown that I do for Michael, really isn’t as special to him as it would be to me. But I’ve been doing it because that’s what I would like and makes sense to me that he would like it, too. Maybe I should do a Christmas Countdown of words of affirmation next year :)
So let’s dish. Have you read the book or taken the quiz? If so, leave a comment and tell me your love language. Or your spouse’s. Or kids’. I’d love to hear!