Have you ever heard of the term “love languages?”
This is a concept my mom first introduced to me several years ago. She had read a book called “The 5 Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman that really stuck with her. I don’t remember what sparked my memory of it recently, but it was too good not to share.
Think of the “love languages” concept as one of those fun Seventeen magazine quizzes you would take when you were younger (oh man, remember those?) but this time, the results are super applicable to your real life–and can make a huge difference in understanding yourself as well as your relationships.
After a multiple choice test, it deciphers what your primary “love language” is–”words of affirmation,” “acts of service,” “receiving gifts,” “quality time” and “physical touch” and tells you how important you rank each category.
The descriptions are fairly self explanatory–”Words of Affirmation” being verbal expression of your love and appreciation for your partner. “Acts of Service” being little things like vacuuming the house because you know it’s something your partner appreciates, or getting up to get them a drink of water. “Receiving Gifts” meaning, exactly what you think–although this isn’t to be mistaken for materialism, but rather, thoughtfulness. Like bringing home your partner a funny souvenir you know they’ll love from a business trip, or buying their favorite snack at the grocery store even though they didn’t ask. Then there’s “Quality Time” meaning, again, exactly what it sounds like–time with your partner where they have your complete, undivided attention. And finally, Physical Touch, which is again, exactly how it sounds–showing emotion through physical touch.
Have you ever done something for your partner only to be caught off guard when they’re elated by something that seems so small to you? Or the opposite–you go out of your way to do something you think is sweet, but the other person doesn’t seem to notice? It’s because you’re not speaking their love language.
For example–”quality time” is what ranks highest for me. This explains why I get so upset and out of whack if, for example, Neal is gone for a work trip most of the week, with Saturday spent out together with friends, and Sunday on the couch watching movies. Nowhere in this mix is quality time with just the two of us, where I can have his undivided attention and actually engage in conversation. This is what makes me feel the most emotionally connected and loved.
(And no, if you’re wondering, watching TV doesn’t count as quality time. Which, now that I think about it–wow–is probably why I dislike watching TV in the first place. Cue the lightbulbs.)
After doing this, I realized why I’ve always been so puzzled by those couples who never seem to spend any time together, but this easily demystifies that fact–it’s clearly just not the love language either of them speak!
You can take the quiz right here for yourself–it’s crazy how just a few minutes can give you an entirely new understanding of yourself, as well as your relationship.
Try it out–you’ll be astonished at how it changes your perspective moving forward!
(P.S. some Amazon stalking shows there are now Love Languages books out for singles, teens, parents, and for men, too! You can check them all out here on Amazon.)