If you have read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, then you know why it is important to know how to show those you love that they are loved in a way that is meaningful to them. For example, Suzie’s love language is Acts of Service. That means she feels most loved by things friends and family do for her. Suzie likes it when they give compliments, say thank you, or any Words of Affirmation. Gifts and hugs (Touch) are nice as is spending time doing things (Quality Time) too. However, it is things such as putting the dishes away, making a trip to the post office for her, putting gas in her car or washing it, tucking the covers on her side of the bed, or taking her laptop to be fixed that make her feel special and loved. If Suzie had to choose between someone cooking dinner for her or someone purchasing an item, she would much rather the Act of Service than the purchase of a gift (well unless that gift is a trip toHawaii). You get the idea, right? Just as it is possible to show others love by using their love language, it is possible to hurt them by ignoring, forgetting, or not recognizing the language. You can use your language to show others you love them, but if you do not speak the same language, something gets lost in the translation. Face it, if you speak German and the person you love speaks Spanish, you are going to have to find a way to communicate in which you BOTH understand and feel loved. What am I saying? I am saying, Suzie’s husband can buy her Gifts, which are nice, but frankly, she would much rather have him call the repair man to save her time. Her children tell her what a great mom she is, but she would rather have them complete something she has asked them to do. The point, is know your language, know the language of those close to you. Then, show it. The five love languages(Gary Chapman):
· Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
· Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
· 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. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
· Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. If you are not sure what your love language is or someone in particular, there are a few things to consider: (1) What does the person complain about not getting enough of? (2) What does the person tend to do for others to show love? (3) What are the results of the love language quiz? If you give love and it is not felt, have you really given it? Is the problem in the giving or receiving? Something to think about.