Thursday, January 28, 2010

the 5 love languages

so i mentioned to y'all that while we were in arizona, the book "the 5 love languages" was brought up. and while 2 of us had read it already, 2 of us had not. so we sat there salivating at what the book was about, and we were like, "SOLD! let's go buy the book RIGHT NOW AND SAVE THE WORLD!!!"

and we did. at least the buying the book part. saving the world is still in progress.

the cliff notes version is that the book is teaching you how you ACCEPT love. and how your partner ACCEPTS love. and basically, we tend to give the type of love that we want. for example, i like to get boyfriend little gifts all the time, or if i'm out and i see something he would want, i'll buy it for him. because i totally want gifts. but that isn't how he feels loved. he doesn't "need" the gifts to feel like i love him... but i do. get it?

so it's split into 5 categories.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

i knew right away what 2 i was, and what 2 i thought boyfriend was. there is a quiz in the back for your partner to take and for you to take so you can figure out what love languages you are. but once i brought the book home and took the quiz with boyfriend..... i started to think about something.

see, my results were clearly
receiving gifts &
acts of service.
and while i don't think the acts of service part would change (because no matter what, i really appreciate any burdon that is taken off of my shoulders and any help i get so i don't feel like i'm constantly responsible for doing everything)... i started to wonder about the receiving gifts part of it.

i started to think that maybe i want the gifts and stuff because i don't get them. and is that how this works? i mean, do we want the things in our relationships that we are lacking? did i only score so high on the gifts part because i don't get them?

and what if i did get them. and what if they came at a cost?

what if boyfriend was great at giving me gifts and trips and all sorts of awesome things... but never told me he loved me? or wasn't affectionate? or a good listener? would my love language change because now i was lacking in other areas? basically, i'm wondering if your languages evolve depending on your relationship. would i want the gifts at the cost of something else? maybe. i don't know.

what i do know is that this book made me realize that i completely give boyfriend love the way i want to be loved. and that isn't what he needs. and what he does need to feel loved requires some work and effort on my part. i know that might sound shitty, but it's true. but i want him to know that i love and appreciate him, so i have to learn to show him in the ways that matter most to him.... instead of projecting the ways that i want for myself.

and he has to do the same.

because our love languages? completely different and opposite.

what do you think you are? what do you think your partner is?


Rusti said...

I think I'm definitely going to have to read it & take the quiz... and have hubs take the quiz... and I'm going to guess we're going to be at opposite ends of the spectrum as well... hmmm.... now you've got me thinking...

SUEB0B said...

We did a series on this at church and about 85% of the guys were "physical affection." It's not just a cliche.

Rusti said...

ps - I'm already fairly certain one of hubs' would the "acts of service" as our main argument is about how much I DON'T help out around the house, even though we both work full-time jobs... and the only times I DO help out, are when he's been nagging me to do them... so yeah. I need to do some work on my end as well... and I'm working on it...

J from Ireland said...

Mmmm... not sure I'd have to have a good think. I think I will be buying this book too Jenn.

Heather@WHMB said...

I love this book!!! It really does apply to everyone on some level.

Kimberly said...

Sigh. I am totally Physical Touch and my hubby is a gift giver. Which is awesome, don't get me wrong... the hard part is that I would assume since he's a gift giver, that he'd be a Gifts kinda guy... but he's virtually impossible to give gifts to. It's ridiculous. I really need to get him to read the book, or at LEAST take the quiz so I can figure him the hell out! ;-)

This book is a total eye opener in all relationships... not just marriage!

Alison said...

I am Receiving Gifts and Words of Affirmation. Chris is probably Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation (which is hard for me because I don't come from a family that says "I love you" a lot...his family says it all the time, for everything, so it seems like the words lose their meaning sometimes).

When I say I'm Receiving Gifts, it's totally not being materialistic...I would be thrilled if he brought home a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup because it just shows that he thought about me during the day. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm words of admiration and physical touch. AKA I'm needy. I have no clue what Shane is. I would guess acts of service.

I've read the book, but it's been years. Perhaps I shold revisit it...

Grand Pooba said...

I've discussed this book before and at the time, I was a gift person too.

Just like you, I thought a gift meant love because he had to be thinking of you when he got it right?

That was 8 years ago. Now? Mine has changed to quality time. I too wonder if your love language changes to the things that are lacking in your relationship.

My husband doesn't shower me with gifts now, I've just learned that they are not the way he shows love so I've stopped expecting them.

Al's languages are definitely physical and affirmation. No Doubt.


Lara said...

I'm Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. My ex-fiance was Acts of Service and Quality Time. This was probably the major problem in our relationship - neither of us could figure out how to speak the other's language. :(

Alicia said...

i want to read this book so bad!! i keep hearing about it! as for hubs i already know he's physical...and totally not in a sexual way...but i know that's how he rolls!! oh man! now i'm DYING to get this book! thank lady :)

Kimberly said...

Ok, so I am really glad you posted about this! I read the book months ago and couldn't really get hubby interested so I kind of shelved it... but because of your post I found out that you can take the quiz right on the Love Languages website... so I emailed it to him, HE TOOK IT!!! And so did I and discovered what his languages are (Words of Affirmation tied with Acts of Service) and I'm Physical Touch closely followed by Words of Affirmation... we're pretty even on Quality Time and Gifts, and I'm dead last with Acts of Service, while he's dead last on Physical Touch. Go figure. Very enlightening for sure... and a challenge for both of us to learn to speak love in each other's languages! Thanks, Jennster. ;-)

carrie said...

We've read this book and yes - you have to remind yourselves from time to time that HELLO! I'm "this language" and you're "that language" and dude, you can't keep ignoring my language and speaking only in yours.

In other words, all marriages are a continuous work in progress and this book can be helpful - just don't throw it away!