Wifeys & Gentlemen,
Can you believe it is almost March! I know I’ve said before, or at least I think I have (the mind is the first thing to go, right?) that February is for lovers, but with March only a couple days away, I can feel the buzzing excitement about spring!
Spring is, most definitely, for new-lovers; marking the end of “cuffing season” and spiraling rapidly forward into that restless, “love is in the air” stage where engagements, pregnancy announcements, & (sadly) break-ups abound!
I’m glad that, in this last weekend of February, we are concluding our chat about Love Languages. These are extremely important to me and I know that, as a working therapist and future conqueror of the marriage-saving world, these ideals will be the platform for which I base a lot of my therapeutic interventions!
…but enough about me! Let’s talk about communication.
Remember Lissy, my hair stylists with the long-term, on-again-of-again boyfriend? During our conversation (it takes like 6+ hours to get my hair done so bonding is inevitable) she mentioned how she felt as though her past made her a ‘difficult’ person to be with. She was spoiled, being the only girl in her family and the youngest child, she was quick to judge, and she had a really hard time letting go of the past and trusting that her partner would be faithful (no, he has never cheated). After listening to her explain her background; being a single mother when her ex-fiance became addicted to drugs, witnessing her grandparents AND parents struggle with extra-marital affairs, and feeling ‘naive’ about the ways in which people interact, it seemed to me like being ‘difficult’ wasn’t really her problem.
Among other things (which I won’t get into here), Lissy needed to understand that different people express love and receive love in different ways. Instead of looking for her man to show her love in the ways that she thought were “normal” she began to try looking for the ways in which he showed his commitment, affection, and dedication in ways that she was previously unused to. She thrives on ‘Acts of Service’ and he expresses himself with ‘Physical Touch’. We got into a long chat about love languages and how communicating and understanding these ideas had really helped them turn a corner in their relationship.
Like Lissy, I am sure there are MANY women (and men) who do not know anything about the 5 love languages. There was a time in my younger days when even I had no idea about how these languages apply, and I had to do a little ‘Lissy-Style’ soul searching of my own.
I hope you all were able to take the quiz! As instructed, you need to total up how many A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and E’s you selected and this will tell you what your strongest and weakest love languages are. For the purposes of this blog, I would encourage you to pay attention to the top two as these will be the most important in understanding your communication style, but if you scored really high in 3 areas (or had a tie), you can consider the top 3 as well. Here we go:
- Quality Time
I open with this one because it is my #1 language by a very tiny margin and it is pretty self-explanatory! People (like me) who get a charge out of this form of expression require full, undivided attention at times when it matters the most; no, this DOES NOT mean that if you are dating someone who thrives on QT that you must pay attention to them 24/7, but being there for them is absolutely critical. If you make a plan with them, don’t cancel (without a good reason). If you’re having an important conversation, try to put your phone away or turn off the TV. Spending time working on a project or a hobby together will mean the world to this type of person! But they are also happy just being near you, enjoying a meal or watching a film. A failure to listen is most hurtful for this type, so (though nobody’s perfect) try your best to remember that sometimes she (or he) just needs an ear to hear them, that’s what will make her (or him) feel special and loved.
- Words of Affirmation
You might not be surprised to learn that this particular style was ranked #2 for me by only a 1 point difference. Words are my life! I’m a writer, a speaker, a listener, and someone who picks up song lyrics at the drop of a hat! For this type of person, actions do not always speak louder than words! That means that compliments & hearing things like “I love you” or “I appreciate you” will go a long, long, long way (especially if these words come out of nowhere for no particular reason). This type of man needs to hear that he is important! This type of lady wants to know how beautiful she looks, even in sweat-pants and a baggy shirt. In an argument, I would advise to choose your words very carefully. With this type, insults can cut very deep and are not easily forgotten. Though they can always forgive, they will have a tough time letting go, and that could be hazardous in the long run. Kind words of encouragement and positivity are what bring this type of communicator to life and can truly change the course of their entire day!
- Acts of Service
I know science doesn’t lie (yes, even psychological science) but I was really surprised to find that #3 and #4 were tied for me. Personally, I would have thought that #4 would have won..hehehe! Still, I learn new things about myself all the time and I am learning that people who value ‘acts of service’ can find romance and emotional charge from something as simple and seemingly innocuous as their partner sweeping the damn floor! If this language is your #1, you know exactly what I mean. This person feels love when their partner (or friend) takes the time to ease their stress and responsibility. Are you dating a single mom or dad? Offer to go to the grocery store while they pick up little Timmy from soccer practice and you’ll reap the benefits for a week! “Let me do that for you” is just as valuable a phrase as any to this type and he/she will not respond to laziness, broken commitments, or someone who ends up causing more stress than they’re worth. Speakers of this language truly do not need you to listen to their problems all the time, be around all the time, or tell them that they look good in their ugly sweater. What they really need is a partner who is willing to step up and take responsibility for the little things that pile up. That, wifeys, is what makes them feel like gold.
- Physical Touch
Contrary to popular belief, speakers of this language aren’t all about sex (though we all know that it doesn’t hurt 😉 ). A person whose primary language is touch needs to be allowed to be themselves; their demonstrative, touchy-feely selves. This is the man who wants to hold your hand while walking down the street or sitting in the car. This is the lady that wants to spoon with you in bed until she falls asleep. Hugs, pats on the shoulder, & “good morning” or “goodbye” kisses are ways that this person shows care, love, worry, and a myriad of other emotions! They thrive on having this reciprocated. Physical presence is tantamount to success in any relationship, but especially with this type as it makes them feel secure and wanted. Excessive rejection of their advances (sexual or otherwise), abusing them, or sharing intimacy with someone else (in a “cheating” capacity, of course) are all extremely detrimental to this type of communicator. Letting them express themselves and surprising them with reciprocation will go a long way in making them feel important and appreciated.
- Receiving Gifts
Finally, this last language (my lowest score) is not to be mistaken for modern day materialism! Wifeys & Gents who speak this language are more concerned with the effort behind the gift than the gift itself. If you’re lady loves classic rock, tickets to a Backstreet Boys Reunion Tour might fall on deaf ears. To this type, the perfect gift or gesture shows them that their partner (or friend) really knows who they are and really cares for and cherishes their relationship. Little surprise gifts for no reason, ones that display a true connection, will get this type of person all giddy and excited! Please, whatever you do, do not miss a birthday, anniversary, or important holiday! I would also caution that showing up with no gift, when dealing with this type, is probably better than a thoughtless, meaningless gift, which could show them that you don’t care about who they are or that you don’t know them well at all. To them, gifts are tangible representations of the love you share, and they will be greatly treasured.
If you’re anything like me, you have probably seen yourself in each of these types of languages! That is 100% fine and totally normal! I believe that as we grow and change, we will all speak different love languages at different times, and our answers to these questions could logically change depending on how we develop over time.
Generally speaking though, try to focus in on your top 2-3 and make it a goal to work on showing your partner (or your date, friend, mom, brother, child, etc) the unique ways that you like to be loved. I am of the firm belief that no one person can ever be 100% of what you need all the time. Nobody is perfect and no one can read your mind. Talk about your needs, using this quiz as a stepping stone.
We have to teach people how to treat us while also keeping in mind that your ideal love language might not always match up so neatly with others. If you need a reminder, go back to some of my old posts. Communication and open expression are topics that just aren’t gonna go away, so get comfy with these notions now! 🙂
In the past, I was a woman like Lissy. I thought that if someone wasn’t doing A, B, and C, there was no way that they could truly love me. I encourage all of my wifeys (and gents) that before you decide to throw in the towel with a relationship of any kind, spend some time looking at your partners actions to date:
Maybe he never buys you a gift for your birthday, but does he tell you that you look amazing even if your worst moments? Maybe he never offers to take out the trash, but does he always want to hold your hands and kiss you when you’re out to dinner? Maybe she doesn’t kiss you goodbye, but does she always offer to make dinner when you’re tired after a long day? Listen close, if love is there, your partner (or friend or what have you), is talking!
Communication truly is, as cliche as this sounds, the key to a happy relationship of any kind. We must remember that and push ourselves to be better.
I’m dying to know, how did you guys rank in your Love Languages? Feel free to leave me a comment!
Until next week,
Carry on Wifeys
& Happy March
PS. In the interest of avoiding plagiarism, all of this information and more can be found this website! Click the link to access more detailed descriptions of the languages, take the quiz online, and find out more about books, events, and the author behind the wisdom, Gary Chapman.