Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the book The 5 Love Languages or getting paid to promote it. My words are based on my opinions and experiences. This is me sharing my views on the subject.
Do you know your love language? I found out about mine after my divorce. Reading everything I could get my hands on to explain as much as possible about what made me tick and why my relationship didn’t work out.
My Go To for problems has always been, “What did I do wrong” and “How can I fix myself”. Someone suggested me reading the 5 Love Languages book. I was 32 years old at the time. I read it and took the test and found that at that time it was very obvious that my strongest love language was “Physical Touch” which was equally tied with “Words of Affirmation”.
Coming in as a close second was “Acts of Service”. Quality time for me was the “physical” because in my mind if you were physical you were having quality time, at least in my case it was quality, ;-).
Funny, not funny, are the three major needs that were not being met in the marriage at that time nearing the end were; physical touch, words of affirmation and quality time.
Important fact to pay attention to; however you show love is usually how you prefer to receive love. If a person gives you “gifts” much of the time they receive love by getting gifts.
If a person always builds you up with encouraging “words”, they probably require that for themselves to receive love.
A person that is touchy/”physical” or affectionate most of the time they probably need the same towards them to feel loved.
If a person is always willing to stop what they are doing and give you their undivided attention they probably are high on the list of “quality time” being how they receive love the most.
If a person cleans your house without you asking them or cooks a special meal, or fixes your toilet, or runs an errand for you, more than likely “acts of service” is the way they receive love as well.
These are not all guarantees but I promise if you pay attention to your significant others, friends, family members, coworkers, etc. You will be able to figure out their love language by the way they display their love towards you.
Pay attention, this is important. The good/bad news is that you are going to need to be more attentive of others and care about them and not just yourself. You will need to be willing to show love towards your partner with their love language not yours. You receive love from your love language and it will need to be a joint effort on both your parts to agree to show the love the way each of you receive it the best.
This is a personal decision for everyone to make and I’m not telling you what to do, just sharing my story. Back to the program……
“Gifts” was the last on my list but that was obviously a high scorer for my spouse.
Here are some examples of how having this knowledge beforehand could have helped my first marriage.
My love language back then was extremely high on “physical touch” but at the same time the “words” spoken to me, about me or at me can cause a major disconnect with the physical. In other words, if you only say negative things to me all day or ignore me all day then my “physical” needs will be set on the back burner until the other issues are resolved.
Women in general do not have a switch we can turn on and off. Our brains, psychological minds rule over our physical being when it comes to the issues of “love”. Again, I am speaking solely for myself but I’m pretty sure I’m not an alien from outer space so some of this has to be true for other women as well.
Back to my experiences….. Of course we were both extremely young when we met and not emotionally mature enough to go from 0-60 in 1 minute but we did.
He is a sanguine temperament. I am more of a choleric with sanguine moments. He is the Disney Channel and I am the Discovery Channel or maybe ID-TV would better describe me, lol. Needed some humor in here, this is pretty intense.
As a child, I do not remember much affection and as a result I had to learn to be ready for a hug from others and not turn away and hurt their feelings. This was always a problem because every time I got hurt the automatic behavior for me was to retreat back into my shell of protection to keep me from being vulnerable.
Fast forward to meeting my first boyfriend/husband. One in the same. This new experience with physical touch was so natural and an easy way to show love because I was closed off in my emotions from a lifetime of practice. The feelings via physical contact were reciprocated and the feelings of love bloomed.
Of course, I am woman, hear me roar and this physical touch eventually tapped into my psychological, emotional being that had been buried pretty much my whole life. This is where the problems arose and caused the eventual demise of the relationship and probably much damage to both psyches.
He was as lighthearted as a child and I was a time-bomb waiting to go off. His quick fix was gifts. If he gave me gifts (did not need to be expensive, just thoughtful) I expressed true joy. Mostly because I am considerate and always grateful for the generosity of people but the hidden true meaning for me was that he thought of me and loved me.
I learned that for him, the joy was in opening many gifts. He liked opening gifts. So, my smart-ass self bought 6 packs of t-shirts, 6-10 packs of socks, 6 packs of underwear, along with cologne and cassettes and some of the other things I could afford on his list. I wrapped every t-shirt, pair of socks and underwear individually. That got quite the laugh.
As time went on I usually bought him things” just because” during the year because for me, being thoughtful was more important than giving gifts when they were expected.
One example of when the love language knowledge would have been helpful; he had all the albums of the Beatles except the White Album which was a 2 album set. I had one of those “just because” moments and went out to buy the album (not cheap for me as a single 22-year-old who lived alone), wrapped it and gave him a jar of candy with it and a card. He opened it and said, “Oh, I really don’t like the White Album”. How do you think that went?
Exactly, that stuck in my head for many, many years. My other love language is “Words”. He found out how to shut down my physical love language with his words. On the other hand, what I considered to be my love languages turned ugly towards him and so the punishment was “no physical touch” for him and harsh “words” against him. I also stopped buying him “gifts”. Especially after I learned that the expensive cologne I had bought him and expensive designer sweaters he had given to his brother. It just snowballed from there.
I take full responsibility for all the wrong I did in the relationship. No excuses. But when I found this book after already being divorced it taught me so much for the future and had me digesting the past.
I was able to take the information I learned from the book and apply it to other relationships and friendships.
I am encouraging others, (that still have time or want to start something with the chance of being successful), to read, study and take the test. For entertainment purposes I took the test this morning and my results have changed, probably due to age, the fact that I am single and priorities have shifted. Here are my results today; (12 is the highest possible score)
|10||Words of Affirmation|
|5||Acts of Service|
Words of Affirmation (for me it is about being appreciated or acknowledged)
Quality Time (for me it is about people enjoying my company and the opportunity to help someone who needs an ear and in return I am able to learn something as well)
Acts of Service (I can do just about anything that needs to be done, if someone goes out of their way to hold open a door or help with groceries the score is extremely high and you have done wonders for me thinking I’m not invisible or taken for granted)
Physical Touch (Past tense was it was a fire, now it isn’t even a low simmer)
Receiving Gifts (always appreciated but not super important to me)