This is a lesson that seems to be coming up over and over in my life and those around me. It is so basic and simple, yet it can have such a huge impact in each of the relationships in your life. If this lesson could be learned early on by all of us, so much heartache could be avoided in our relationships. I have recommended this book to all my siblings before they got married. The Five Love Languages is about figuring out how those around you receive love, and how you receive love. How you receive love is called your love language. And each individual will receive and feel love differently.
There are 5 basic types of love languages
There is a test you can take to find out what you are. Usually a person pulls ahead in one, but has a close second. I have found that over the years as a person changes and grows and their seasons of life change, so will their love language. So it is a good idea to take it every 5-10 ish years. But first I want to talk about the problems I am seeing.
The first problem is: we think that everyone around us is our love language. We tend to go around showing everyone love in our love language and then get confused as to W H Y they are not feeling love from us?! I see this problem coming up in marriages just starting, ones in the middle and marriages that are 33+ years. Even though some might know about this concept and have taken the test, they still do not seem to get it.
An example: one person thinks that their partners love language is gifts. They might leave flowers on the porch, buy dinner, a new outfit, or a new yoga mat, but the partner is actually quality time. They need conversations, sitting around a fire, communication and eye to eye contact. All of those gifts are doing nothing for them. They are not feeling their love for them that they are trying to show because it is not their love language.
It takes work
Look, you have to put in some work and be observant. You need to have the people around you take the test to see what they are. Then… you have to GIVE in the way they receive. Not in the love language you are. If you are lucky your spouse is the same and it might come easy to you. Or they might be completely opposite and it is going to take a lot of work for you to show that person you care.
Here is the kicker:
This is another problem I have seen. You have to drop your expectations. I have written a post on this. Here is what I mean: If you love language is acts of service and you go ask your partner to fold the laundry to give them a chance to show you love BUT you say… the shirts need to be folded this way and the pants this way, and oh, and the socks need to be put here… Boo. Now they just feel like a servant. You have taken away from them the chance to do it for themselves and do it their way to show you love.
Expectations, bring frustrations
You have to let go and drop your expectations and step into a space of just receiving. They do not need to do it a certain way, be grateful and find the positives that they are trying. Say “thank you” and simply receive. See all the positives that come from it and it will be a good experience. If they ASK for your feed back later, then they are in a space to receive and you can gently give them more ideas.
What are the 5 Love Languages?
1. Words of Affirmation
If your love language is words of affirmation, then you will give and receive love through words. You want to hear your loved ones say “I love you,” and “I appreciate you”. Compliments and uplifting words. Nothing is more satisfying than when you do something of value and someone notices. A simple “thank you” when you’ve done something for someone is the most rewarding for this type.
2. Acts of Service
If your main love language is acts of service, then you will appreciate it most when a person shows you their love by doing things for you; such as helping you clean, making you a meal, or anticipating your needs by asking you what you need. This takes a person being able to observe what they need help with and doing it with them asking for help. If observing is hard for you start out by asking them “how can I help you” or “what I can get for you”. They want help taking things off their plate.
3. Quality Time
If your main love language is quality time, you simply want to spend time with your loved one. Talking and finding out more about your partner is what makes them feel loved and more connected to you. Quality time is best spent uninterrupted, just sitting, talking without phones. Taking a quiet walk and giving them your undivided attention is what fills their cup.
4. Physical Touch
If your love language is physical touch you will feel most cared for with a hug, a kiss, cuddling or hand holding and intimacy. You will find that you feel closer with people who extend a hug toward you. Lots of hugs and kisses are what this type needs.
If your love language is gifts, you will love receiving gifts and surprises as much as the next person, but it will probably hold some more sentimentality to you than other things. A trip to the store will include thoughts such as “Oh, Jade loves these, I should surprise her and get her some.” It will be more difficult for you to throw things out because they were gifts from an aunt or grandma. This personality is touched more by the gifts than the average person. Anything from, flowers, drawn pictures, jewelry or a single flower, will fill their cup.
So what are you? And what language is the person closest to you?
I found a couple of tests you can take. There is a test in the back of the book if you buy that, but here are some more online. If everyone was focused on giving love in the way other receive it, everyone would probably be a bit less grump in the world. We would feel more satisfied in our relationships and get along better with one another. It would break up the selfishness of the world and raise vibrations all around.