The 5 Love Languages
Gary Chapman wrote this book over 20 years ago but the concepts still make a lot of sense. He likened the way we receive and give love to languages. For example, if I was speaking English but my primary language was French, Italian, German, or Spanish it would make it harder to communicate. Not impossible, but harder. He identified 5 main love languages we all use: quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, and physical touch. Even if you haven’t read the book you can reflect on how best you think you give love and how best you like to receive love.
When Crystal and I read the book years ago, we both valued quality time and words of affirmation but for me, for receiving love it was physical touch, giving, and acts of service. For Crystal, it was receiving and giving gifts. Her conclusion: “Keep doing the acts of service but how about a few more gifts.” She grew up poor on a farm and is appreciative of any kind of gift she might get – a coffee or a favorite treat. For her part she is always giving – from our garden, baking, quilts, art projects – you name it and she is attentive to what people might appreciate.
This has been helpful information throughout our marriage but here is a point worth mentioning. Giving gifts is not my primary love language so it doesn’t come naturally to me. And even after 20 years of knowing what her primary love language is I still have to really pay attention and look to find ways to show my love by giving gifts. They don’t have to be big; something as simple as a coffee is appreciated because it wasn’t asked for – it was a gift.
Relationship Tip 9
Have a chat with your partner about what the two of you might surmise are your primary love languages – both for giving and receiving love. And then during the remaining days of the 12 days of Christmas gift your partner in their love language (not yours).