Years ago I read a book by Gary Chapman called “The Five Love Languages”.  It was one of those books that enlightened me and changed my behaviour.  I finally understood why I could KNOW someone loved me but didn’t really FEEL like they did.  We were speaking different love languages.

Chapman outlines five love languages:  words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service and physical touch.  To understand what language makes you feel loved you generally have to know what language you use to express love.  If you show someone that you love them by doing jobs for them your primary love language is acts of service.  If you stop everything to spend time with them, you’re a quality time communicator.

All of the love languages are good and everyone can speak any one of them with effort.  Usually though, there is one that is your primary way of speaking.  I’m a gifts person.  When I care about someone and want them to know it, I make them something or buy them something.  Not big things.  Stuff like homemade cookies, a card, a basket of their favourite treats, a bouquet of flowers; things like that.  When people think of me when I’m not around and purchase or make something with me in mind and then give it to me I feel loved.  It touches me in a way that the other love languages don’t.

DA is a physical touch sort of guy.  He comes behind me while I’m doing dishes just to give me a hug.  He reaches out for my hand while driving.  He puts his arm around me when we’re walking side by side to Walmart.  It’s his way of saying “I love you” and it’s his way of feeling loved.  He doesn’t mind little gifts but he’d rather have a hug any day.  Knowing that, I need to go out of my way to speak his language because it isn’t mine.

I’ve explained this all to my husband since he hasn’t read the book.  It was interesting to him.  He still generally hugs me or kisses me or holds my hand to let me know I’m loved.  That’s what comes naturally to him.  But he’s making effort to speak my language too.  On the weekend, he had a business trip to Kingston.  When he came back, he had a maple lollipop in his hand.  He had picked it out for me.  He knows I love maple syrup and this sweet confection made him think of his sweetie when she was nowhere near.  It’s not the size or price tag of the gift that matters.  It’s the thought behind it that warms me.  I felt loved.

This morning I am up early.  I have dentist appointments that will take up a chunk of time and I have extra paper routes.  I need to get started earlier than usual.  Tied to the dining room chair is a bouquet of balloons.  They are from DA’s workplace.  It’s his job at the end of the evening to pop all the balloons so that they don’t blow around and set off the motion detectors.  Instead of popping one bouquet, he brought it home for us to enjoy.  It didn’t cost him anything but a little effort but it’s that little effort that has me smiling.  He did it for me.  He’s speaking my language.  And yes, I feel loved.  DA is sleeping now.  He gets in very late from work.  I will let him get the rest he needs and then…then…I’ll practice speaking his language.  Communication is a great thing in a marriage.  It often doesn’t take much but those little choices can make life beautiful.  After all, it’s a beautiful thing to know you are loved and to feel you are too.

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