What is your language of love? And I don’t mean “I love you”, “Je t’aime” or “Ami tomake bhalobashi” 😛 I mean, how to do express and receive love? If you’re not familiar with “The 5 Love Languages”, it is a best selling book by Gary Chapman. He explains that different people express and experience love in 5 different ways: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.
Before we got married, my back then fiancé told me about the book. We both read it, and took the quiz. (You can take it here). It was so helpful for both of us to know what our primary love language was! It played a huge part in building our relationship, and I’m so grateful.
For me, my top two love languages are acts of service and quality time, words of affirmation is a close third. Receiving gifts was actually my last one, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not a person who has that need for tangible items. I’m not saying I don’t like a physiical gift here and there, but I just prefer gifts of my language more. For example, I would choose doing a painting class together with my husband, over choosing a pair of shoes any day! For some people this might sound crazy (painting over shoes, say whatttt?!?), but that is exactly why you need to familiarize yourself with these languages. The person you end up with might receive love differently, and if you don’t speak their language, your relationship will not flourish the way it should.
Below, I share some of the way the languages play a part in our lives. Do read the book if you would like more detailed information!
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.”
For those with acts of service as their primary love language, actions speak louder than words. It means the world to them when their spouse does something thoughful for them. Helping with house chores, putting the kids to bed, sending them for a massage, or simply making popcorn as you watch a movie together will speak volumes for them!
My husband knows that I hate doing the dishes, so from the very beginning of our marriage, he took on the responsibility to do them (along with cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming and ironing clothes 😛 ). It doesn’t have to be big gestures all the time. It’s the little things he does for me that means so much to me too! I always forget to charge my phone (oops), yet I wake up every morning to my phone charging next to me. Now, this doesn’t mean I should expect him to do everything around the house, or do things he really doesn’t want to (that would make him miserable and our relationship would suffer). For example, he isn’t a fan of cooking, and I don’t mind doing it, so it’s mostly on me to cook. Sure, I’d love it if he cooked for me once in a while, but he really doesn’t enjoy it and so I came to terms with doing it and being okay with it. It’s all about finding a balance. I’ve had people complain to me about their spouse not helping around the house, or they refuse to drop them off somewhere busy after work. Those are acts of service, sure, but try and be understanding of their well being too. And have a lot of conversations about what you expect out of your relationship! Don’t expect them to give you everything because you see another couple living a life different from yours. Remember that EVERYONE has struggles of their own :). Try and meet each other half way.
Here’s an idea – surprise them with a few options of “acts of service” to choose from when they come home from work on a Friday.
This is what I found one day ❤
Welcome Home! Baba and I were thinking of doing something nice for you. Pick one:
A) An hour bath and moisturize
B) 30 minutes cleanup or organizing help
C) Order dinner in
D) 15 minutes quiet massage
Let us know, thanks.
-Baby Zakariya (Baby Z is 4 months old so this was all his dad 😛 )
“This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention”
Now, before I knew this was my secondary love language, I remember absolutely hating it when my friends would be on their phones while we spent time together. I totally understand that sometimes you have to pick up a call, or make one. But, if you’re constantly texting/calling your SO while we are hanging out after weeks, it’s really not okay and extremely rude. It also bothers me when friends always want to tag along their husbands to every time we meet! *cringe* It wasn’t until I read the book and found out that quality time is so important to me that I realize why it bothers me so much. When you’re texting away while I sit there in front of you, it tells me that you don’t value our friendship or time together. That you’d rather be somewhere else. I feel underappreciated and disrespected. So when you’re with someone whose love language is quality time, PAY UNDIVIDED ATTENTION TO THEM! Now, I’m not saying that with your spouse you can’t do anything else and you have to pay attention to them 24/7 (that sounds suffocating to even me despite this being my second love language). But have some rules around spending quality time together. We have a rule at home that everyday, my husband and I try and spend half an hour to an hour with each other. This means just the two of us, without our phones, TV, chores or baby Z. This has gotten harder to do with a newborn at home, but we still try because it really helps us feel heard, appreciated and in turn connected to each other.
Idea: Play a game you both enjoy together! We like playing QuizUp at night once baby goes to bed. P.s. he thought he could beat me in Chemistry… 😛
Words of Affirmation
“This language uses words to affirm other people”
Use your words! For people with this as their primary love language, they need to hear it from you. You might think that they already know how much you love them by the necklace you got her, or that you hugged her that morning, but that’s not their primary language. It doesn’t have the same value as you telling her, out loud, that you love and appreciate her. Verbalise it. Hearing “I love you” will warm their hearts, and hearing just how much and why will reach into their soul. Tell them how much you appreciate all the little things they do for you. “Thanks for doing the dishes”, “Thank you for packing me lunch”, “Thank you for putting Baby Z to sleep”. Use words of encouragement when they have a big task ahead of them such as “I believe in you” and “I know you got this”. It takes practice, especially if you’re not used to speaking in this way. But it’s so worth it when your partner feels loved and appreciated. It really does take your relationship to another level!
Idea: Write letters to them and mention something special that happened between you two that day/week and share after a few months. My husband wrote me letters before we got married, just sharing his thoughts and feelings on paper. He still gives them to me once in a while and it means the world to me!
“To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch”
This is my husband’s primary love language. Intimacy and tender touch speak volumes for him. Sitting together, hugging and holding hands are some of the ways he feels loved the most. This love language isn’t only about being sexual, but intimacy plays a big role. For me, this doesn’t come easily. I really like my personal space. So it’s definitely been a learning process for me. I needed reminders and daily routines to start practising this language. Some things like hugging each other first thing in the morning and touching his hand as I pass him some coffee started to make a big difference. I’m still working on it though!
Idea: I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this one! Do share 🙂
“For some people, what makes them feel most loved is receiving gifts”
For both my husband and I, this was the last love language. It’s not that we don’t appreciate getting or giving gifts (I actually really enjoy giving gifts!). This just means that we don’t necessarily have to always receive tangible things to feel loved. If gift giving doesn’t come easily to you, but your spouse or significant other has this as their primary love language, you have to learn a few tricks to make it easier for yourself. For example, set reminders on your phone to get gifts for their birthdays and any holidays. If you go on a trip, bring back a souvenir. Get them flowers on the first of every month. The gifts don’t always have to be very expensive (if they’re breaking your bank account, that’s a different story altogether 😛 ). As long as they have a physical reminder that you thought about them, they will feel the love!
Idea: Again, let me know what are some things you like receiving as gifts! I’d love to know 🙂