The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman is not a new book but it is worth reading. James and I read it for our weekly couples Bible study. We loved it and highly recommend it for everyone!
To start our Love Languages journey, James and I took the online Love Languages quiz so that we knew where we stood. I already knew before we took the quiz that James was the sort of person to prefer the “physical touch” love language. I figured that out the first time I ran my fingers through his hair and he rolled over so I could rub his belly. LOL. 😉 Just kidding, but he does respond very similarly to a dog, so much so that I have decided he’s a dog and I’m a cat. That works perfectly because I love dogs and he loves cats!
Getting back to the love languages, I had no clue as to what my main love language would be. I tend to see the love intended by the actions people take, but I don’t always feel the love intended. I wondered if I appreciated them more because someone took the time to do what they did, and it turned out that the test suggested that my love language is “quality time.”
This book has changed our marriage.
Our marriage was not bad and nothing was “wrong” but I was not always feeling loved and was not sure how to get the fullness. Being a touch, James is always touching me. He did not seem to understand that I have two little ones touching me All. Day. Long. the last thing I wanted when he came home was for a third person to join in. 🙂
Once we figured out quality time was my main love language, he started spending time with me and my love tank became overfilled. Which in turn made me pour out more love to others. I learned so much more about myself from the book, like why I am so close to my mom and sister (because they spend time with me) and why I have a hard time making close friendships (because I need to spend time with people). I also learned that a couple of hours of quality time will last me a few days. This totally explains why I feel so good, regardless of what the girls do, the next day or two after James and I have had a date night.
Learning the best ways to express love to James has helped me understand him more. For instance, if we are watching a movie together he is happier (regardless of the movie) if I snuggle with him. We both were surprised to find out how high acts of service was for him. But now I know that one of the best things I can do to help him with his day is make him breakfast. It’s really interesting how on days when I make him breakfast and he comes home happy from work regardless of how stressful a day it was. Likewise, on days when I don’t make him breakfast he tends to have a rougher day and it shows on him.
The premise alone was enough to get me interested in this title. I try to be objective in what I think, and prefer to follow advice that has a measurable, rational basis. The “5 Love Languages” was based on the premise that while most people feel loved from every expression of love, the expressions themselves can be classified into five “languages:” words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, gift giving, and physical touch. The second premise is that if you feel more loved, you will express more love. The rest of the book is about learning how to identify your spouse’s primary love language and learning to express love in that particular way.
I learned some interesting things about myself along the way. My primary love language is physical touch. The chapter on physical touch noted that most men mistakenly think that physical touch is their primary love language, because sex acts are physical and men tend to be the instigators of sexual contact. However, I like touch in entirely non-sexual context. I like it when Brandi rubs the back of my head, or runs her fingers down my arm.
As a touchee, I naturally gravitate towards expressing my love to Brandi in touch, but Brandi’s primary language isn’t touch. It’s quality time. Learning how quality time meant a lot to Brandi helped me decide to prioritize my week around spending at least some time with her one on one, with no distractions.
I was surprised to discover how acts of service is a close second for me. When Brandi takes the time to help me with simple tasks, I feel so much more loved than I would have expected. Just finding she’s made me breakfast while I’m getting ready for work leaves me feeling wonderful all day.
I did find one area where I just didn’t fit at all. I may be one of the few people on the planet who is so uncomfortable with gifts that I feel less loved for receiving one. There are a few exceptions, but most of the time getting a gift of any sort just makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable.
We’ve applied some of the lessons in observing our daughters, and now plan to try out the child-rearing book in the same series.
Is this perfect? No, of course not. However, we found it to be a very interesting book to read with lots of good ideas to use in making your life better, happier, and more full of love.
Have a blessed day!
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