Love languages apply to more than just romance; they help you learn how to make people feel appreciated and cared for in all of your relationships. What is your love language? (Take the quiz at 5lovelanguages.com.) How have you learned to speak someone else’s love language? Do you find it easier to speak some languages than others; if so, which ones? How have you shown or received love in multiple languages?
As I wrote the last time we discussed love languages, Quality Time is my jam. I am a member of the “please put down your phone so I don’t feel like you would rather look at Facebook than my actual face” club. For me, that is just how it works.
Conveniently, Mr. Man and I have the same primary love language. Less conveniently, both of our secondary love languages are close seconds and different: mine is Words of Affirmation, and his is Acts of Service. There has been some hilarity, annoyance, and frustration as we’ve tried to learn to speak each other’s secondary languages. I had to explain that he does not need to shower me with compliments all the time. When I get too many, I doubt that any of them are heartfelt. That’s not what we want. We’ve found a good balance now. I, on the other hand, still struggle with ways I can serve from so far away. I mostly offer my prayers for him. Prayer knows no distance.
Physical Touch falls at the bottom of my list. I struggle greatly with it. I even struggle with my struggle! Because I was stuck in a dating drought in addition to not speaking that love language at all, I started losing my ability to manage physical touch in a healthy way. Taking up social dancing helped a lot with that. It’s not exactly a venue in which touch is a sign of care and appreciation, but it has helped me understand (mentally and physiologically) that touch is okay. Baby steps.
One of my roommates has Receiving Gifts as her love language. I made her take the quiz when she wondered why people (boys) seemed not to always appreciate the gifts she was giving. I have never been a fan of the “little somethings” that people bring around after vacations or for birthdays, but I know she likes them, so I’ve tried to get them for her. And I’m not completely opposed to tokens: I have some sweet souvenir coasters from coworkers. Those are inherently practical, though; no one likes water rings.
The major takeaway from examining love languages is how useful they can be to communicate with all the people in your life, not just your snuggle bunny. Kristin Wong wrote an article for Lifehacker about love languages. She had to explain to her brother that, when he didn’t answer calls from her and from their dad, they got upset not because they didn’t understand he was busy but because they felt like he didn’t love them. I had to understand that one of my guy friends always greeted me with a hug not because he was flirting (also, he’s married) but because that is how he shows me that he cares about my well-being as a friend. Love languages explain why I feel cut to the heart when someone says something that they don’t really mean or doesn’t spend any time with me. Parallel play works for toddlers, and it will work for me, too. I just need my people to be with me.
Love comes in many forms, and so do love languages. Please, learn yours, learn the languages of the people you care about, and start working on those language lessons!
Next week’s topic: Online Community
In honor of Not Alone Series’ recent third birthday, we thought it would be fun to talk about online community. What role has it played in your life? Have you made lasting relationships from your online world? What do you love most?
Our co-founder Jen will be hosting over at Jumping in Puddles!
Link up below!