If love is what makes the world go 'round why is it we have so much difficulty understanding love? Why is it that love doesn't seem to be enough? Why does LOVE not seem to last?
Recently I was reminded how differently we receive love, while working with my client. She is an amazing woman and a great communicator. She told me, "He isn't loving me in the way I receive love."
Which leads me to the book The 5 Love Languages. If we speak love to our partner, and their love language is touch, they may not feel loved when you TELL them. Our love language is anchored in your body and psyche when we were a child. If you were criticised as a child, rather than praised, your love language might be loving words of affirmation, like mine. If your parents hugged and held you as a child, you might prefer touch as an adult.
The 5 Love Languages according to Dr. Gary Chapman are:
Each of us has a different love language. We need to know what our love language is, AND our partner's love language. Most of us communicate in the way we want to be loved. For me, I speak loving praise, kind words and affirmative thoughts to my partner. Yet, if my partner prefers touch, they might not feel loved, if all I do is praise them. We have to learn our partner's love language and speak to them and love them the way they want to be loved.
If you touch your partner and they are irritated with you for hugging, caressing and kissing them, maybe their love language is
loving words of affirmation. For those who prefer to be loved through words, love notes, post-its, thank yous for what they do for you would be preferred.
If you tell your partner how wonderful they are and they don't hear your words, perhaps their love language is loving acts of service. They might prefer it if you cooked dinner for them, or arranged for the babysitter.
I remember being married to a man who criticised every meal I made. I am a good cook. Yet he felt compelled to critique my meals. He refused to tell me I looked nice, or pretty, saying, "It would go to my head." I never felt loved by him. My love language is primarily words.
Words of Affirmation
The deepest human need is to be appreciated. We all want to be appreciated for the things that we do. Yet, I hear clients complain to me that their partner's nag to get them to do things. Instead of telling their partner, "I love it when you cook dinner for me." They
complain about what their partner is NOT doing. Nagging never gets a good deed done. Praise and appreciation does. I recommend a 30 day nagging referendum. No nagging till the end of March. See what happens when you love and appreciate your partner instead!
For someone who needs quality time, if you are a workaholic, your partner may feel left out and neglected. Quality conversations, sharing feelings and desires could be one way. Spending time together over a meal, or going for a hike could be ways to share quality time.
If for example, you are a gift giver and your partner is someone who needs quality time, they may feel you don't love them when you gift them as your language of love. I remember when my
husband returned from a 6-week long 12 country tour. He brought me pearls from Japan, a beautiful robe, all kinds of gifts, and I didn't feel loved. Each of us needs to be loved differently. Some of us need a little of each of the love languages.
For those who need physical touch to feel loved, a kiss, hand squeeze, or a hug can be what is needed to feel loved. If sex is the only expression of physical touch for some, their partner may not feel loved.
There are many ways to express love through touch. Holding hands while walking, or snuggling close on the couch while talking. Sitting close to one another at a restaurant, rather than across from your partner. All of these ways can make someone who needs touch to feel loved, experience it.
The key is to love our partners in the way they want to be loved, rather than the way WE want to be loved. Here is a little quiz to find out which way you prefer to receive love.
5 = Extremely True
4 = Very True
3 = True
2 = No Very True
1 = Not At All True
(2) I really love the little things you do around the house to help me
(3) I love to receive hugs from you
(4) Hugs are such simple things, but they mean so much to me in my love relationship
(5) Spending time together just enjoying each other is an important way in which I feel loved
(6) I really feel loved when you tell me that you think I look attractive/handsome
(7) I feel really loved when you put yourself out for me
(8) I feel loved when you buy me little gifts
(9) I feel so loved when you say little things to encourage me
(10) I feel loved when you turn your mobile phone off and we can just enjoy each other
(11) I love it when you tell me how much you appreciate the everyday things I do
(12) I really enjoy it when you touch me on the arm affectionately
(13) I feel very special when you surprise me with flowers
(14) I feel so loved by the thoughtful things you do for me
(15) It’s great to go out to a concert, for a meal or a walk… just where we can enjoy each other
(16) I love it when you make me breakfast
(17) Holding hands together is really important to me
(18) I feel loved when we have great conversations together
(19) The gifts you give me are very special to me
(20) It doesn’t so much matter what we do, as long as we do it together
(21) Helping me do things makes me feel really loved
(22) I feel so loved when you give me your undivided attention
(23) I think that receiving gifts is a very important part of a loving relationship
(24) I really love when we can just talk and laugh together
(25) I really love it when you compliment me
(26) I really feel loved when you cook me a special romantic dinner
(27) I feel so loved when you spontaneously give me kisses
(28) Sitting close together with you makes me feel more loved than if we sat apart
(29) I feel so special when you buy me things you know I’d like
(30) I feel so loved when you write me little love notes
(31) Receiving tangible gifts from you make me feel loved
(32) I really appreciate and feel loved when you do little things that you know I don’t enjoy doing
(33) Receiving presents are among my favourite things
(34) I feel so much closer when we touch more often
(35) Just calling me on the phone just to tell me you’re thinking of me is really important to me
(36) The thing I’d most like you to do for my birthday would be to:
A. Take the day off work and organise to do something special together
B. Write me an original poem about how you feel about me
C. Buy me a special gift that you know I would really enjoy
D. Make me a special three course meal and organise to do some of my least favourite chores for the week
E. Make me 100 “hugs and kisses” coupons that are redeemable wherever and whenever I want
The Five Love Languages Response Totals
Now add up the following to get your Five Love Language Quiz results:
1. Add together: 1, 6, 9, 11, 25, 30, 35 & 36B = 40
2. Add together: 2, 7, 14, 16, 21, 26, 32 & 36D = 40
3. Add together: 3, 4, 12, 17, 27, 28, 34 & 36E = 40
4. Add together: 5, 10, 15, 18, 20, 22, 24 & 36A = 40
5. Add together: 8, 13, 19, 23, 29, 31, 33, 36C = 40
Interpretation of The Quiz
1. Words of Affirmation
You feel loved when your partner compliments you for what you have done, the meal you have prepared or the way you look or smell. If words turn you on, you might feel very excited if your
Being encouraged while working on a project, or even in the bedroom, can spur you onto greater heights. Receiving cards, thank you notes, little post-its or love notes can make a huge difference in your day.
2. Quality Time
Making eye contact, connecting heart-to-heart, deep meaningful conversations are where it's at for you. Nothing makes you feel more loved and appreciated than spending quality time together. Just being together is wonderful. It really doesn't matter what you are doing together, as long as you are both present. Turning off the cell phone and television, spending time just being together fills you. Gifts might be nice, but your preference is time together.
Having fun on an outing, whether it is as simple as going to the grocery store together, makes a difference in your day. Dinner, even cooking together, really shows that you are loved and appreciated. Having your partner do little things for you, enjoying each other works for you. You are happiest being together.
3. Receiving Gifts
There are so many ways you enjoy receiving gifts. From a bouquet of flowers, to a single rose, tickets to your favorite concert, or brand new underwear. You love to receive gifts. Surprises are a delight to your senses and you enjoy receiving them. Having a trip
planned and mapped out would be a wonderful gift for you for that very special occasion. You love receiving small gifts and large. From a single flower, to a dinner on a river cruise, you feel loved when your partner is giving gifts to you.
4. Acts of Service
Having a steaming cup of coffee brought to you in bed, a cooked breakfast or a packed lunch. You love to have loving acts of kindness done for you. Laundry washed, folded and put away, your closet vacuumed, the car washed. There are so many ways that you feel loved, through your partners loving acts.
5. Physical Touch
You feel loved when you receive a kiss, squeeze or hug. You love it when you are kissed and cuddled. Spontaneous acts of love for you would be being bent over and smooched, danced with, twirled
around and lovingly hugged. You love to cuddle, snuggle on cold nights and love to feel the touch of your partner surrounding you.
Touch can be that warm sexy leg over his. Holding hands, or receiving a massage. Loving physical touch is where it's at for you.