It’s the season of love.
How do you take in — and give out — this magical gifting of love?
I read about Love Languages years ago. I liked thinking about the need to keep our “love tanks” full and why we often misunderstand our partner’s attempt to speak love to us.
It makes sense when you consider that:
We each spell L-O-V-E differently.
For some of us, it’s words of affirmation, others it’s acts of service, gift-giving,spending time together, or positive physical touch.
Most of us have a dominant love language, identifiable from our own actions and our expectations of others. But it behooves us to learn to speak all five languages.
The premise is simple: Different people with different personalities express love in different ways. Therefore, if you want to give and receive love most effectively, you’ve got to learn to speak the language your partner understands.
When I’m coaching clients on this exciting — but complicated — subject, I often use The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. This popular book outlines five ways to express and experience love.
Marriage partners are often frustrated by trying to interpret the different signals their partners send when they are trying to show love.
John’s “I love YOU” consists of silently depositing gifts of flowers and candy on the kitchen counter. . .
because gift giving is John’s language. But, Sue’s wanting love in the form of acts of service. She says, “If John really loved me, he’d help out more with the chores.”
Mary truly loves her husband and shows it by acts of service – keeping a tidy house, having meals on time,
and picking up his shirts at the cleaners. But what would cause ballplayer Steve to feel loved is quality time. He’d like Mary to be interested in doing things with him. To come with him to a ballgame.
Phil comes home from work and hugs his wife Joan. Joan pulls away thinking he’s bidding for sex.
But Phil really just wants some non-sexual physical touch. He loves to hold his wife. But, Joan’s love language is words of affirmation. She wants Phil to tell her how nice she looks and how much she means to him.
You can see how couples can be confused in getting the love they want . . .
because they don’t speak the same language or know what constitutes a positive bid for attention and love.
Chapman writes that people should not use the love language that they like the most, but rather the language that their loved ones can best recognize and receive.
My coaching clients and I spend time clarifying the way they speak love and how to make that a more effective communication.
A LOVE LANGUAGE QUIZ:Included in Chapman’s book is a three-page profile and inventory with a 30 question quiz to determine your primary love language. The quiz is also available online here.
OVER TO YOU: What is your primary love language and how do you use it best? Tell us in the Comments Section below.
CALL ME at (707) 473-8278 for a complimentary 45-minute conversation to see how we might clarify the language you speak.