Recently, I went through a ton of books (and scored $100 in Bookman’s credit!) and stumbled across an old copy of The Five Love Languages. I had heard about the book shortly after we got married and probably stole my copy from my mom at some point, but I had never actually read through it. I knew the idea, but I thought it would be good to read through the whole book before trying to get some credit for it.
I was pleasantly surprised. Even though I already knew what the five love languages were, I learned a lot from reading through the descriptions for each one.
The 5 languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Act of Service
- Physical Touch
The premise is that each person feels loved in different ways. Some of us feel the most loved when our spouse compliments us or praises us verbally. Some of us need some quality one on one time just talking with no distractions. Others feel loved when we receive gifts (they don’t necessarily have to cost money), some prefer when others do things for them to help out around the house. And lastly, some people need physical touch to feel loved (and we’re not just talking about sex). There are lots of variations on how we might feel loved, but we all fit into one of the 5 languages or maybe even more than one.
I feel so blessed to have married my best friend and I am thankful that we are pretty good about communicating – the good and the bad. However we are far from perfect and I thought this book is right on. Even when I am trying to do things to show Damien that I love him, if I’m not hitting on his primary love language, he may not be feeling as loved as I might think. In the same respect, Damien is amazing and does tons of things for me, but if he doesn’t connect with my love language, I might feel like something is missing.
The book shares several stories of real couples who were able to overcome terrible times in their marriage because they reevaluated how they were loving each other. I am so thankful that even after almost 10 years we have a great marriage, but everyone can improve and grow. I’m excited to put these ideas into practice and be that much closer to my best friend.
On another note, Dr. Chapman talks about our kids and their love languages. Kids have a distinct love language too and if we don’t hit on it as parents, we may be loving our kids, but they might not be getting the message! I love thinking about how my boys can best be loved and we can start now trying to figure out what things will communicate our love most effectively.
The 5 Love Languages website has a quick test that helps you determine what your love language is and even helps you identify that of your kids. It may not necessarily be easy to love your spouse or kids in their love language – especially if it’s not yours – but you will surely make a lasting difference in those relationships if you try.