Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook asking how long some of her friends had been married and who’s significant others still do special things for them, like buy them flowers or leave sweet little notes around. This got me thinking and I wanted to share something with you guys.
I haven’t been married long, only about 6 months. I have been with my now husband, though, for five and half years. Before my husband I had been in several previous serious relationships. I know what love looks like. I know long lasting relationships take a lot of hard work, compromise, and compassion.
Right before my husband and I got married I asked him to take a love language test and print out his report. I did the same, then we sat down and discussed our results. Wow, did I learn a lot about my husband that I thought I knew and I learned even more about myself, about love, and about how we each receive love in different ways.
My top love language was receiving gifts. Before you roll your eyes, let me explain. I had to explain this to my husband as well. Most would assume when I say my love language is receiving gifts that means I want you to go out of your way to spend lavish amounts of money on fancy, shiny gifts for me to feel loved. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When I think of gifts, for me, it is more so small gestures to show appreciation and love. That could be picking up a card, a bar of chocolate, or a small trinket you saw when you were running errands and thought of me. It could be as simple as leaving a sticky note on my steering wheel or in my lunch box with a little note on it for me to find later that day. It could be filling the bath tub up with warm water, bubbles, and lighting a few candles when you know I am on my way home from work and I have had a hard day. Receiving gifts doesn’t have to cost a thing.
My husband’s top love language is acts of service. For him this translates into me doing the dishes and tidying up the kitchen (something he usually does) but, I went out of the way to make sure it was done and he could have the day off from a normal chore he is usually responsible for. Keeping the house clean and organized, running an errand to help lighten the load for him. Things like that.
So, in our relationship, before taking the love language test I was buying small items I’d see while I was out and bring them home all excited to surprise my husband with an act of love. Yes, he would find it endearing. Yes, I felt good giving him small gifts but, when you really dig deep I was speaking my own love language expecting him to receive it the way I do. My husband will do the dishes and take out the trash, and is doing that with the intention of love. Yes, I truly appreciate all that he does around the house. Honestly, he does more around the house than I do most of the time because of our work schedules and I am very blessed to have a partner that will pick up where I am not the best. My husband though, found those tasks to be romantic and when I would come to him and say I feel like we haven’t had much time together or time to be romantic he always seemed baffled – until we took this test and really dug into how each of us gives love and receives it.
This test was truly a game changer for me. It showed me that even when I felt like I was putting in all this effort, it wasn’t being received as I thought and vice versa with my husband.
I encourage each person to take the 5 Love Languages test. Whether you are single, married, dating or what have you. You could learn so much about yourself and about your significant other.
To understand love, to better grasp what love means to you, and what it means for your significant other could add some great value to your relationship.
The Five Love Languages are (in no particular order):
Acts of service: Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts
Words of affirmation: Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.
Receiving gifts: Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.
Physical touch: This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.
Quality Time: In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.
You can take the test here. I’d really love to hear how taking this test changes your perspective and understanding of love, yourself, and your partner. Please come back and comment!
Share this with friends and family. Spread the Love :).