I had never heard of “Love Languages” until my husband and I got engaged. As the gifts started to roll in, we received a book that revolved around these five languages. It was a daily devotional that gives advice based on the languages on a daily basis:
As a natural-born skeptic, I just thought it was just a marketing ploy used by the author to sell books. “Psh,” I thought, “love languages? What is this crap?” I almost tossed it aside onto the shelf with all of the other self-help books I’ve accumulated but never read, but out of sheer curiosity (and the fact that the cover was pretty cool – I’m a sucker for cool-looking items) I peeked at the inside and slowly began to come around.
I write this now as a reformed skeptic (when it comes to love languages, at least) and I want to share with you what I’ve learned. Each language is fairly self-explanatory, but I think it might be pretty boring to just list them without explanation, right?
Acts of Service
This one is my husband’s language and it’s something I believe he learned from his dad, who also speaks this language. As the name suggests, someone with this language shows love by doing things for others – generally without being prompted.
For instance, one day I slept in (which is one of my most favorite things to do) and when I woke up my husband had washed and vacuumed my car, filled it with gas and covered my rims with Plastidip (which is a pretty cool and cheap way to make your rims look new and sweet). We had discussed doing this to my rims a while back and I kind of forgot all about it, but he didn’t.
My husband and I both speak this language, meaning we both really enjoy spending uninterrupted time together. Whether it’s cuddling, watching our favorite movies or TV shows or even just being next to each other while we work on our computers or do stuff on our phone, we like being around each other. Our favorite thing to do is travel together, but we don’t get to do that as often as we might like.
Words of Affirmation
This one is my language. I have always been much more verbal about my feelings and thoughts than my husband. A part of me thinks that this is because as a man he has been taught (wrongly, in my opinion) that he shouldn’t be verbally affectionate or discuss his feelings. Luckily I’ve gotten him out of that, but he still prefers to show love through acts of service.
I tell my husband multiple times a day how much I love him, us and our lives together. I constantly tell him how much I appreciate what he does for me. Not only do I tell him these things, but I really love it when he tells me how he feels about me, as well. I need verbal affirmation of his love sometimes, and luckily he provides that even if it doesn’t come naturally to him.
This one is more of my husband’s language, but I share it, too. I think that this one also has a lot to do with how we were raised. He watched his parent’s show each other physical affection all the time; whether it was a peck on the cheek or holding hands or hugging, they showed each other love through touch so he does, too.
In my family, however, generally if someone was touching another it was abusive, not loving, so I grew up averse to touch. I have come a long way over the last twelve years, though, and now I enjoy when he and I connect physically, even if it’s just a brief hug before leaving.
Although this one can seem materialistic, it usually has more to do with the thought behind the gift than the gift itself. Someone who speaks this language sees gift giving as the ultimate show of affection because it means that their loved one thought of them even when they weren’t around.
For someone who speaks this language it doesn’t matter what the gift is, it matters what it represents. So an item that was cheap or free can have just as much value to them as an item that cost a lot of money.
When someone speaks one of these languages, they not only do so toward their partner, but they also expect the same in return. It boils down to empathy (my fave!); if you can see things from your partner’s point of view and understand how they express and feel love, you have a better chance of connecting with them. Just how I like to tell my husband how much I love him, it makes me feel wonderful when he tells me, too.
So, what’s your love language? Tell us in the comments!