Thursday, February 14, 2008

How To Better Communicate Your Love

Today is Valentines Day, also known as the day created by the greeting card industry, and I think it's only appropriate to write a post about the very core of this day: love.

One of our favorite books that husby and I read during our time of preparing for marriage was the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I'm sure that many of you have heard of this book, but if you haven't read it, I greatly encourage you to do so. Even if you're not currently in a relationship, The Five Love Languages will help you better know how to love in future relationships, and even learn how to show love to your family and friends.

In this book, Gary Chapman talks about the different ways in which we give and receive love, and how many of us vary in that way. He also talks about ways in which we can learn how to speak all of these love languages, in order to better communicate our love more effectively.

In the course of the book, he talks about five distinct "love languages":
  1. Quality Time: spending time and having good conversation with those you love is most important to you.
  2. Words of Affirmation: hearing someone say "I love you" melts your heart, and compliments always make you feel appreciated.
  3. Gifts: you love showing others you love them through giving them a special gift, and when someone takes the time to do the same for you, it means the world to you.
  4. Acts of Service: you feel loved when others help you do things around the house or yard, or go out of their way to do something for you that they know you'll appreciate.
  5. Physical Touch: a hug, kiss, holding hands, etc. is what speaks love to you. You really feel connected to those you love when you are physically close to them.
I think I can speak for most of us when I say that we all feel loved when any of these love languages are expressed. But there are certain ones that may be more important to us than others. And this is where learning what your love language, and the love language of your spouse (or family members, or friends) comes in handy.

When you know the ways your spouse (or other loved one) feels the most love, then you are better able to express love to them in that way. And vice versa.

After reading the list of love languages, you may have known right away what your number one is. Or, if you're more like me, it's a little more difficult to decide which ones are more important to you. In the back of the book, there is a little questionnaire that helps couples discover what their love language is. This helped me and Jonathan. I also found a short quiz online that seemed to be as efficient as the one in the book (when I took the quiz online it came up with the same answers as when I took the questionnaire in the book.)

Now, I know you're just dying to hear what our love languages I will tell you.

For me:
  1. Quality Time and Words of Affirmation tied for first.
  2. Gifts
  3. Physical Touch
  4. Acts of Service
For husby:
  1. Acts of Service
  2. Physical Touch
  3. Quality Time and Words of Affirmation (tied)
  4. Gifts
You may notice that husby and I are a little different in our love languages. This is where knowing each others love languages really helps, because it is natural to show love the most in your primary love language...but when you realize that those you love may have a different primary love language than you, it is important to make extra efforts to display love to them in those ways.

Tomorrow I will continue this discussion on love languages, and will list some practical ways to show love for each different love language. I will also share some ways in which husband and I have personally worked towards speaking each other's love languages.

In the meantime, why don't you go and take the love languages quiz, pick up a version of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and go love your spouse, children, siblings, parents, friends, etc. in ways that you know are meaningful to them.

If you have also read and learned a lot from this book, please share what you've learned in the comments of this post. Also, once you've discovered your love languages for yourself, I would love to hear what they are! (In other words, feel free to comment!)


Sara Noel said...

Took the quiz. Mine are:
1. Quality Time- 9
2. Acts of Service- 8
3. Words of Affirmation- 7
4. Physical Touch- 6
5. Gifts- 0

I thought it was funny that gifts got a zero.

Emaline said...

I enjoy reading your blogs :) here are my gifts!

1.Physical Touch-12
2.Quality Time-6
3.Words of Affirmation-6
4.Acts of Service-4
5.Receiving Gifts-2

I thought it was funny cuz I love to give gifts but I don't even care that much about getting them :) Hope things are good!

-Emily (Aka your ex-suite mate :D)