Love Language. What is it and what does it mean to you? Having been married for coming up to 30 years, you would think that my husband and I would have a good understanding of what was important to each other, and we do, even though it was a bit by accident. So, what is a Love Language, and how does it work?
According to Gary Chapman, there are 5 main ways couples express and interpret their love to each other:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Service
- Gift Giving
It was only recently my husband and I spent time discussing this in depth and discovered that both of our love languages (the way each of us express and interpret love) was almost identical. Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation and Quality Time are our top three. This simply means that we both highly value a touch, hearing loving words and spending time together with undivided attention.
What would have happened in our relationship if one of us had receiving gifts as a top priority? What if my husband thought that by showering me with presents on a regular basis was all he needed to do to show his love for me, and seeing this was the lowest of all my priorities – how would I interpret these gifts?
As Valentines Day approaches, have you thought about what it is that makes your partner feel loved and what is important to you in a relationship? If your partner values gift giving and you don’t send her the dozen red roses and that beautiful piece of jewelery she has been dropping hints about for the past month, and suggest you sit at home and watch a movie together instead with a bottle of wine, how will she interpret your actions? In your mind, and as a person who values spending time together, you believe you are showing your partner you love her. she thinks you are being cheap and stingy.
What about the woman who highly values acts of service, and spends hours ironing your clothes just the way she thinks you want them, cooks you a delicious meal every night and has the house immaculate everyday, thinking this shows how much she loves you. When all you need to be shown to feel love is to be held and hear those 3 special words “I love you” and you don’t really care if the house is a bit untidy.
It is equally important to understand your own Love Language, even if you don’t have a partner. By understanding what you value highly, and equally importantly what you don’t value very much, helps you understand why you react in certain ways with people in all areas of your life.
Are they really being inconsiderate, or do they just value different things than you do?
This understanding can help in work relationships as well. You may value Words of Affirmation and get upset if your boss doesn’t publicly acknowledge what a good job you are doing. He may think that giving you a Christmas Bonus is all he needs to do to show his appreciation.
By understanding what is important to you, and how you feel loved and appreciated, and share this with the people who are important in your life, whether that is an intimate partner, your friends, or your children and in turn understanding their Love Language, your relationships can blossom and grow.
Happy Valentines Day to everyone.