It’s interesting how we often express love to others the way we desire to receive love ourselves. What makes one person feel loved is not necessarily going to make another person feel loved. Gary Chapman wrote the best selling book “The Five Love Languages.” He describes five basic ways for expressing or experiencing love: Service, Time and attention, Touch, Gifts, and Words.
My husband is very touchy, not surprisingly, his primary love language is physical touch. Holding hands, kissing, hugging and sex speak volumes to him. Nothing communicates love to Jon like physical touch.
Fate would have it that physical touch is at the bottom of my needs spectrum so I’ve had to learn to speak his love language consistently to meet his need. We have a special kiss we begin and end our day with as well as when we part and reunite.
Gifts are my primary love language so I was always buying Jon thoughtful cards, gifts, etc.. Even today, with my friends and children, I get excited when I hear something they desire because later I will buy it and give it to them. Buying gifts is my way of saying not only am I’m thinking about you but here is something thoughtful to show you. Imagine my disappointment when Jon, early on in our marriage, did not reciprocate. Honestly, it’s really not the gift I receive but the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind a gift. These days he will occasionally surprise me with an orchid, my favorite coffee drink or the gift of time.
Dr. Gary Chapman said, “There is an intangible gift that sometimes speaks more loudly than a gift that can be held in one’s hand. I call it the gift of self or the gift of presence. Being there when your spouse needs you speaks loudly to the on whose primary love language is receiving gifts.”
Unfortunately, we both still miss the mark communicating love to each other but thankfully we keep getting better with practice. The “How Do You Spell Love?” Exercise has helped us and others to better express love to one another. We were introduced to this exercise via Dudley Bienvenu in his workbook “Married Happily Ever After?”
For my birthday this year, Jon didn’t make time to shop for a gift so there was not a special, thoughtful gift for me to open on my actual birthday. As I was preparing this, we both had to laugh as I read aloud from the chapter on gifts that “A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous.” So true as the day after my birthday Jon went shopping for me and bought some hasty gifts. I think he now has a better appreciation to my reaction. I confess I could have been more gracious.
What’s your Love Language?
Take the on-line assessment by clicking here to decipher what your Love Language is. Be sure to get your spouse to take the assessment and if you have children I encourage you to have them take it so you can understand theirs as well.
Discover 50+ practical ways to love your lover. Learn how to best express their love language by following the instructions of the appropriate document below:
Please let me know if you found this helpful. What new insights did you receive?