The semester after we got married, I took the class, Marriage as an Interpersonal Relationship, as a prerequisite for my major. I was really excited when I found out that The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman was required reading along with my textbook! Have you ever visited The 5 Love Languages website? It is such a fun website to explore! You can take the Discover Your Love Language quiz and find out which love language is yours and it will tell you a little bit about your love language as well.
I love the cover of my book.
Before we even started dating, Joe and I were chatting on Facebook one night and somehow our discussion turned to the Love Languages, so of course, we had to take the quiz! Our results were interesting. My top two love languages are Quality Time and Physical Touch and Joe's are Physical Touch and then Quality Time. And even though our love languages are so similar, we still have to work hard to build our relationship and "keep our love tank full" as Gary Chapman would put it.
Throughout our time of dating and marriage, I started to realize that just because our love languages are similar doesn't mean that we both always want the same thing. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a good, meaningful, quality conversation and husband would rather joke around and answer my questions with really silly, nonsensical comments. Other times husband really wants to cuddle and do nothing else and I have a lot going on so I don't feel like I have the time or the desire. Then there are times when it's reversed and one of us doesn't want to do something that goes along with our main love language. But I always try to remind myself that it is best to do something for our relationship even when I may feel like I have something more important to do at the moment.
When it comes to quality time, "the emphasis is not on what you are doing but on why you are doing it" (Chapman, 68). For us, quality time can be as simple as a late night walk just chatting and being together. Husband and I have been taking late night walks since we first met (weather permitting of course), and they have been one of my favorite things to do together. And sometimes we splurge a little bit and are lucky enough to spend a night or two away together.
"Physical touch is a powerful communicator of love" (Chapman, 113) Husband always holds my hand and it drives him insane if I'm only halfway holding his hand, if that makes any sense, he says, "Either hold it real or don't hold it at all." Who would've thought that not being completely committed to a hand hold would mean so much to someone, but it does, because that's his love language.
Another thing that I have learned about husband through the love languages is, the things that are his pet peeves or that make him upset are usually things involving physical touch, since that's his love language. It's something that I have to remember, if I'm upset with him, I can't just push him away from me or wrestle with him to get rid of my anger because that usually ends with him being grumpy at me. And if he is upset or annoyed with something I've done, trying to hug it out usually makes him more irritated instead of helping. I really like the quote from Gary Chapman's book that says, "Physical touch can make or break a relationship. It can communicate hate or love." I've found that to be very true in my own marriage.
The other three love languages are still very much a part of our relationship, even if we don't have very high scores in any of them. I love to put Receiving Gifts to good use by planning, buying, and getting things to give to Joe. Joe gets really excited to do Acts of Service for me sometimes. He never fails to open the car door for me and on the few random occasions that I forget and open my own, he is always really bummed. I think that Words of Affirmation is a big one for both of us. Joe is good at giving me the boost that I need when I'm not loving myself enough and if I don't have enough excitement when he asks for affirmation on something he has said or done, I'm in trouble.
The Five Love Languages has been one of my favorite books, and I think after a year and a half, it's probably time for me to read it again! I'm also really looking forward to reading The Five Languages of Apology, God Speaks Your Love Language, and The Five Love Languages of Children (this one should be good with my Child Development minor).
What is your love language?
Chapman, Gary. The Five Love Lanuages, The Secret to Love That Lasts. Chicago, IL: Northfield Publishing, 2010.