The Five Love Languages
In The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Gary Chapman talks about how we show our love to others and how it affects our relationships, especially our marriages.
Many people's main love language is “acts of service”. These people show their love by doing kind and helpful things for those we love. My husband is this kind of person. This weekend he detailed my car for me. He will do all kinds of jobs like this for me to show me that he loves me. Usually I don't even have to ask. He just notices what I need and does it.
My main love language on the other hand is quality time. So I have to work very hard to remember to do special acts of service for him. It doesn't come naturally to me because I am not naturally task oriented. I have to constantly remind myself to try to make him food that he likes or do housework that will please him. This really shows him love.
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My husband is very task oriented and always working around the house on his days off. One day when he was a little under the weather he lay on the bed and we watched TV together all day and chatted. To me it was delightful to have his total attention for the whole day! I wasn't happy he wasn't feeling well of course but it was so nice that he didn't have to work on tasks all day. For me having his relaxed attention for the day was much nicer than having him do all sorts of thoughtful tasks around the house.
We both have to work constantly to try to speak the other person's ‘language’ and not just our own. If we only speak our own language we may think we are showing love but the other person just can't hear it. Another thing we work hard on is praising each other for trying to please us. I work very hard to remember to thank my husband for all the jobs he is doing around the house. He really appreciates being thanked for all the hard work he puts in around here. And I really do appreciate the work too. When I finally realized he is doing all these jobs to show his love for his family I was truly thankful and it was easy to tell him so.
What a great reminder! And how timely. . .
Thank you so much for this post. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm in a "pre-relationship" stage with a man I'm very much attracted to and interested in. However, *our* languages of love seem to be quite different. I'm a card-sender, e-mailer, caller, etc., etc., and he...is not. What he does is whenever he thinks I need help in one way or another (particularly as regards my personal safety, which has been threatened recently because of the work that I do), he "shows up."
It has taken me longer than it should to realize that his showing up is an expression of deep caring. Until then, I missed the boat by assuming his not being back in touch with me by the means that *I* use meant he wasn't as attached, but now I know that's not the case! It's good to be reminded that we do often have differing styles, and it is important for us to be bi-lingual or even multi-lingual so that we can both express our love more fully and appreciate & enjoy loving expressions from our partners (or partners-to-be, in my situation!).
To validate someone else's life as worthwhile also strengthens one's own purpose for living. One may confirm another's existence by giving that person the time they need to talk things out, to be comforted, or even to be straightened out. This may involve touching them in a loving manner, such as holding them for as long as they need to be held. To do so is to perform a great service to them. Yet, it should not preclude doing those things that might prove to be helpful and lighten their load. Likewise, if they reciprocate, it is wise to graciously receive that which is offered in the spirit in which it is given. This is, after all, the essence of love.