Which love language speaks to you: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, or physical touch? These love languages are from the book “The Five Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman. Learning your own love language and the one of your partner can be key to feeling loved and appreciated in your relationship.
Do you feel loved when someone says “I love you” or compliments you on how wonderful you are? Many of us need verbal messages to feel appreciated from our partner. This may be what we experienced growing up or have felt was a show of love from others or from we have seen in the media.
Do you feel loved when someone takes time out of their schedule to do quality activities together? It could be dinner, a movie, hiking, boating ,etc. You may feel that you are truly close to the person when engaged in an activity that you enjoy, especially if it is not their “cup of tea”. By their willingness to do something you enjoy, it sends a message that you are important and they are want to see you happy.
When you receive a gift , without a special occasion, does it make you feel closer to your partner? It is a welcome surprise to realize you are being thought of in the moment and not just out of a social obligation for a birthday, anniversary or holiday .
Recently , my partner, Eric, spent a whole week in between his regular job as an electrician , to place new laminate floors in my home. His “act of service” was a truly generous gift. It taxed him physically and mentally since he had to juggle his other jobs to do this. This was one of the most loving things I have experienced. I realize that this type of love language is how he shows his feelings. In the past, I have not always appreciated this, but after reading the “Five Love Languages” I found that love can be expressed in many ways. After taking the “love quiz” in the book, I discovered that is how I show love also. I am a nurturer with my partner even sometimes too much. I take time to prepare healthy food and to assure he is eating well. I also try to do errands for him whenever his schedule is hectic.
Does a hug or kiss make you feel loved? I am talking about affection, not sex. The physical touching by another person is something we all crave. There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” I totally agree with her. Some people are not used to physical touch and it is difficult for them to express their feelings this way. To others it is as natural as breathing. I come from a family of huggers. All my friends know that hugging is something I do automatically without thinking. This is one of the ways I feel loved. I realize that sometimes I need to initiate this since my partner can not always “read my mind”.
In the “Five Love Languages”, Gary Chapman says to keep love alive you need to understand how your partner feels loved and try to express it in that manner. One way to tell is how your partner shows love to you. Usually the way a person expresses love is the way that they feel loved themselves.
A simple exercise to discover this is for both of you write a list of the 5 ways your partner shows love to you. It can be providing financial support, taking care of the kids, sending flowers, hugging every day , going to theater or saying “I love you” when you are least expecting it.
Now try expressing love to them in the same manner they show their love for you. It may not seem natural, but it can make a big difference in your relationship. To love another unconditionally is a true joy. It is your choice to keep this joy in your life by letting them know how much you care in a way that they understand.
This blog is dedicated to Eric Lytle, to show my true appreciation for all you do by your “acts of service”. And for helping me realize there is more than one way to show love. For more information concerning wedding ceremonies :http://www.annmckenzie.net/ceremonies/ . Please contact me if you would like to discuss ways to enhance your relationships: http://omnigirl.net/contact/