Many years ago, I was introduced to the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. My, then, husband and I were in marriage counseling due to his verbal abuse and continuous cheating. Being young, I truly believed that he wanted to change.
Our “homework” at one point was to take the quiz at the back of the book to discover our own personal love language. Upon completion, our counselor wanted us to exchange our love language with one another, and read about our partners love language to better understand them.
The genius concept behind this book is that we all give and receive love differently, which means that how I want to be loved by my partner is more than likely how I show him that I love him. However, if he receives love differently than I do, he won’t understand that I’m showing him I love him.
The 5 love languages are as follows:
- Words of Affirmation — “Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the worlds, ‘I love you,’ are important — hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.”
- Acts of Service — “Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an ‘Act of Service’ person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: ‘Let me do that for you.’ Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.”
- Receiving Gifts — “Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind a gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous — so would the absence of everyday gestures.”
- Quality Time — “In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, ‘I love you,’ like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there — with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby — makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.”
- Physical Touch — “This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face — they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.”
In our case, I had 3 love languages. One was higher than the other two, but I scored high in 3 out of the 5 — Physical Touch, Quality Time, and Words of Affirmation. He scored the highest in 1 — Acts of Service.
When I first discovered this, immediately I was angry and hurt. Now, please remember that how I felt then is not how I feel currently. With little knowledge, I felt as though that meant he wanted me to be his perfect little house wife. There to take care of his children, clean his home, make and serve his dinner, fold his laundry, and so on. Granted, all of that was true, in a sense, but it made me feel worthless. Considering he was so mean and hurtful, on top of the constant cheating, it made me feel like he wanted the best of both worlds — to hang out with friends or meet/please new women, and have someone to come home to who had everything readily set up for him.
Honestly, I still believe most of that to be true for our situation at the time, but I do not believe that is the case for everyone who scored highest in Acts of Service.
All I can say is thank God I got out of that unhealthy, toxic marriage.
Considering I receive love the way that I do, that is also how I give out love because, at the time, I assumed that’s just how you showed others that you loved them. As I’ve gotten older and learned more about the 5 love languages, it makes perfect sense.
Thankfully, I’m in a relationship that is entirely healthy, loving, faithful, and we share the same love languages. Our score isn’t the exact same, but my top 3 are also his top 3. I’ve been through so much in my previous relationships, and it’s nice to finally feel ‘at home’ with the person I’m sharing my life with. Everything about our relationship is all that I’ve ever wanted and more.
Austin is truly my best friend, and I am eternally grateful that he came into my life when he did. No one has ever loved, cared for, supported, encouraged, or believed in me the way that he has. Sharing the same love languages, and understanding them, has truly played a huge part in our relationship and how far we’ve come.
If you’re interested in finding out what your love language is, click on the link below to take the quiz. Answer it honestly, and learn more about yourself and how you give/receive love. If you’re married or in a relationship, have your partner take it, too, and learn more about how they give/receive love.
Let me know in the comments what your love language is, and how it has helped you to better understand yourself. How has it helped your relationships (friends, family, etc.) since discovering what it is?
Thank you for reading this far, and I hope you’ll come back for day 4 of the blog challenge. Don’t forget to follow/subscribe to my blog, if you’re not already, and follow me on social media.
Day 4 coming soon.