February 14th is a day known to most as a day to celebrate love. Love for a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend, co-workers, and to the young ones, their sweet valentine crushes. I love valentines day because I love “love.” My sister recently sent me a picture of poems we wrote as a kids that housed our biggest dreams for life. One line in my childhood poem read, “who dreams what love is like.”
Love is something I believe we all yearn for but please correct me if I am wrong. Because of this mutual desire, we each share and/or want to receive love in our own ways. Love can be felt AND given in the way of gifts, words, touch, actions, and time. Many know these as “The 5 Love Languages.” Written by Gary Chapman, “The 5 Love Languages” is a book that outlines ways to show others love while helping you to realize your own. Most people are known to have one primary love language, followed by a secondary. Taken straight from the book are the five languages listed below:
Gift Giving – for some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift.
Quality Time – this language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.
Words of Affirmation – this language uses words to affirm other people.
Acts of Service – for these people, actions speak louder than words.
Physical Touch – to this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.
kinda knew I felt loved when others presented me with gifts or when I had the opportunity to gift something to a loved one. When hearing about The 5 Love Languages I was instantly intrigued in knowing where I “ranked” and how I could better love others. I quickly learned my primary love language was Gift Giving with the secondary being Quality Time. After meeting Brian and deciding as a couple to read the book again, we found his primary language to be Physical Touch with his secondary being, like mine, Quality Time. We instantly burst out laughing because naturally my number one would be his number five, and his number one, my number five.
Knowing Brian’s love language since day one of our friendship has truly been a huge factor in our successful relationship. The book teaches its readers that in marriage, if you’re not loving your spouse in their love language, it is easier for them to not love you in yours. Like wise, it helps you to recognize when your spouse is loving you even if you don’t “feel” or “sense” it. AKA, in their love language. For example, it is easy for me to buy Brian his favorite bag of chips (because I want to show him love), and for him to simply thank me and place them in the pantry. In his mind, Brian shows me love by kissing my forehead before I head out the door to work, while I can simply say “bye” and walk out the door. Are either of those examples in expressing love wrong? No. But do I feel loved when Brian wants to kiss all over me? No. Because it is not my love language. Does Brian feel loved when I buy him a bag of chips? No. Because that is not his love language. Do we love each other? YES.
Every person loves differently and individually. That is what makes us all human and lovable in our own unique ways. It is because of these differences, that we have to make the effort in loving others and/ our spouse. When Brian and I first started dating, he would write me little notes and/or send me small gifts in the mail (long distance stinks!) purposefully because he knew I needed those gifts to feel loved. When we got married, I quickly realized Brian “needed” a hug after each day of work. Being someone who does not love constant physical touch, it took me a while to recognize my physical touch loving husband needed a “welcome home” hug each day after work. I could sense when he wasn’t feeling loved because I wouldn’t take the time to stop what I was doing to simply hug him. Now, at five o’clock each day, I stop what I am doing and make sure to hug him as he walks through the door because seeing his smile after makes all the difference. Who knew something so simple could make a man feel so loved?
Think about your loved one and how they show you love. Do they buy you gifts often? Do they do the dishes all the time and clean up after the kids daily? Do they take the time to sit down with you at night to discuss your days and/or watch your favorite TV show together? Do they tell you often how proud they are of you and all your hard work? Do they hold your hand every chance they get?
Now think about how you show your loved one love. Do you compliment their outfit and/or tell them how handsome they are? Words of Affirmation. Do you pick them up their favorite drink from Sonic on your way home as a special treat? Gift Giving. Do you make sure to fit in sex (yes, I’m being blunt) before your day is over? Physical Touch. Do you get that project checked off your honey-do list that has been on the fridge all week? Acts of Service. Do you ask your spouse to eat dinner at the table with no TV on in the background? Quality Time.
Once you stop and think about the ways your spouse shows you love, you will easily recognize how they want to be loved. Now think about how easy it is to love your spouse when you feel loved. In relationships, you must want to make an effort in loving your other half. Even when I am not “in the mood” I choose to love Brian with physical touch because I know how loved he will feel, which in long run creates a ripple effect and I feel more loved.
It is my hope that you feel so loved by those that surround you. It is so much easier to feel loved when you are able to love on others. Knowing someone’s love language works not only in your marriage but in every other relationship in have! It is easy for me to run over to my mothers house and do her dishes while she is at work because in her eyes its an act of service (her love language) but to me, its a gift because it was a gift of my time. For my sister, I am sure to listen to every word she speaks when visiting from college because I know how much quality time means to her. Though you and/or that loved one may not know their love language/s, I suspect after a bit of observation and memory you will be able to recognize just how they love best.
If you haven’t looked into it yet and are interested, take a moment to visit www.5lovelanguages.com and take the quiz to find out what your love language is! Involve your spouse too! I promise, it’ll be worth it in the long run.
love always, kylie
*My poor penny pinching husband married a penny spending wife who enjoys my time shopping, whether it be for myself or others. Thankfully, I can use Brian’s love language to my advantage and simply love him after getting home (bow-chicka-wow-wow . . . haha okay go ahead and roll your eyes) from a day of shopping. All is forgiven right?