How many of you have read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? This is one of my favourite books.
For those of you who haven't read it or who need a refresher, I'm going to sum it up. Simply because I just love this topic so much!
The idea is that everyone out there receives and gives love in one or more out of five different ways. If you don't have a significant other, don't quit reading here. I love to figure out the ways the people around me whom I am closest to need to receive love to feel loved - and that includes friends and family members, not just Hubby.
The five love languages are:
-Words of Affirmation
-Acts of Service
People may have more than one love language. For example, my biggest one is Quality Time but right on it's heels is Gifts. For Hubby, his biggest one is Touch, and right on it's heels is Words. There's a reason our house is messy and neither of us is offended by it - neither of our top two love languages is Acts of Service!
See if you can figure out yours and the people who mean the most to you:
You feel most loved when people remember your birthday or other significant event by purposely going out to find you a gift you will like. They take the time to choose something that will mean something to you. They wrap it carefully instead of just handing it to you as is. You feel equally loved whether your significant other buys you a dozen long-stemmed red roses or whether they pick you a bouquet of daisies from the ditch. You need small gifts between holidays to keep your love tank full.
You are the most likely to show love to others by buying them gifts. Sometimes you spontaneously give away things you own if you know someone would appreciate it. You would never be okay with skipping giving someone you love a gift on their birthday, but if money was tight, you would at least make them a homemade card.
You are the most hurt when someone says that giving and receiving gifts at Christmastime is selfish. You are hurt when someone hands you a gift absentmindedly at the end of your party, it's still in the store's bag, and it's the same thing all your siblings got. You are hurt when people do not respond enthusiastically to the gift you got them.
You feel the most loved when doing something together with your significant other (or group of friends) and they are paying undivided attention to you. Road trips are all about the journey and not necessarily the destination because it means you can spend time together.
You are the most likely to show love by inviting someone to do something with you. For some people this may mean an event you both enjoy, or it may mean sitting down across from each other and having a heart-to-heart talk. (There is more than one dialect in Quality Time - one is Quality Conversation and another is Quality Activities (mine).) When your love tank is getting empty, you find yourself following your husband around, just being with him while he works outside or sitting near him when he's at the computer.
You are most hurt when the other person is on their smart phone or distracted in other ways while you are out on a date or even just on a walk. Sitting in front of the TV together doesn't fill your love tank. You are hurt when your spouse spends long hours at work, only to need "alone time" when they finally come home.
You feel most loved when someone gives you a hug, or when your spouse gives you a back rub or runs their hand through your hair. Even just your spouse purposely brushing up against you as you two pass each other in the house is a reminder to you that you are loved.
You are most likely to show love by giving a hug, especially when someone is sad you may think a hug is a cure-all, but even otherwise you give spontaneous hugs just to show your loved ones you care. You like to sit close to those you love, with your arm around them.
You are most hurt when you come home from work and your spouse forgets to give you a welcome-home hug. It hurts when you show someone you love them through touch and the affection is not returned. Being physically abused is especially damaging to those whose love language is touch.
Words of Affirmation
You feel most loved when you are told "I love you", when people praise you for what you have accomplished, and when you are complimented or encouraged. Hearing that your loved ones are thankful for the hard work you put in each day at your job motivates you to go back to work and do a good job there. When being critiqued, you need to hear what you did right and not what you did wrong, to do better.
You show love by building people up with your words. You can't imagine leaving the house or going to sleep without saying "I love you" a few times first. You are very good at writing meaningful messages in cards, and when you pick out cards, what the words say in it mean a whole lot more to you than the picture. You are very gentle and careful when picking your words.
You are the most hurt when people do not acknowledge your "I love you"'s. Thoughtless, cruel words and name-calling is especially damaging to those whose love language is words of affirmation.
Acts of Service
You feel most loved when your spouse cleans up after himself, or when your mom offers to babysit. You feel loved when someone asks how they can help.
You show love by volunteering at soup kitchens, or cleaning your grandmother's apartment. You show love by keeping the house clean for your family, or making your spouse's lunch for him.
You are the most hurt when you are sick and people who come by only bring flowers and cards and sit with you to talk, but ignore the fact that your house is a mess and you wonder why they don't offer to clean it up when you are unable to. You feel hurt when others make more work for you rather than helping reducing your workload.
Once you have figured out what the love languages of your loved ones are, it becomes fun to try and love them in their languages and watch them blossom.
When it comes to children, it can be harder to figure out what their love languages are. Gary Chapman says the best thing to do is to love them in all five languages and you'll be bound to hit on the right one. (Of course, I know all you parents already do Acts of Service for your children.) Also, by watching the ways your children give and ask for love, you also may be able to figure it out.
So? What do you think your primary love language is? (Hint: You can go here to take a quiz to find out.)