Valentine’s day is about love. Did you give flowers, candy or a card? But what about receiving love? People give and receive love in different ways. Some people buy these things for the one they love on Valentine’s Day, and some people think it is just a ploy for the florists, candy makers, and card companies, to make money. But if your love language is gifts, and you did not receive something on this day, you were probably disappointed. Have you ever heard of love languages? A love language is the way in which people receive love most effectively. Gary Chapman talks about this in his book, The Five Love Languages. People express and receive love in many different ways, but most people have one love language that is more prevalent. If you have not read his book, I highly recommend it.
It is beneficial to know which love language means more to you and your spouse, because you could be married for years and think you know each other well, but if you are not “speaking” in a love language that is best received by the other, eventually one or both of you could feel unsatisfied, or disillusioned and not even know why. It can make a huge difference if you know the particular love language of your spouse, because it may change the way you do or say things in order for your love to be received as loving as you intended it to be.
There are five different love languages, listed in his book. These are, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Touch and Gifts. Gary Chapman has a quiz in the book, you can take, to see which is your most prevalent love language. Quality time is obviously when you and your spouse/significant other spend quality time together. As in more than just a few minutes in the morning or before bed. Acts of Service is when you do something for them such as making them lunch, doing their laundry or fixing something broken that they use. There are many things that can be done. Words of Affirmation is telling them how much you appreciate them, or how much they mean to you, or reminding them what you admire about them. It needs to be said regularly. Touch means not just the obvious, sexual intimacy but also a touch on the shoulder or holding hands, or hugging. Gifts does not have to be expensive gifts. It can be flowers, or a small token. Just the fact that you took the time to think of them and buy something they like, is impactful for this love language type.
An example of not having this important information would be, let’s say, if your wife’s love language is Quality Time and yours is Acts of Service, and you washed her car for her, put gas in, and had the oil changed, then came home thinking she’d be happy and instead, she says, “Where have you been? I wanted to watch a movie with you tonight and now it’s late!” You look around and think, I don’t want to watch a movie with laundry all over the couch anyway. Neither of you is happy because, your expressing love in the way you receive it, not in the way your spouse receives it best. So, if you knew that your wife’s love language was Quality Time, you may have waited for another time to take care of her car and if she knew yours was Acts of Service, she may have had all the laundry put away before you got home, so you could relax on the couch together. You see how it changes things? Obviously, no one gets it right all the time. You would be more successful if you knew each other’s love language. I mean marriage can be hard anyway so why not use any tool you can to make it a little easier. Right? This is why I strongly recommend learning your spouse’s love language.