Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Five Love Languages

On recommendation of my friend, I picked up this book to get a different perspective about love. While Ed and I have had a great over 10 months of marriage (and not far from 4 years together), I am someone who loves to amass knowledge and advice for that unknown future date when it might come into use.

As far as relationship books go, this one was an easy read and very interesting. I liked that it went through each of the "languages" and gave an example of a couple that needed to work on it (to exemplify what exactly fulfilling that need looked like). I also appreciated that the end of each chapter had a list of tasks that could be done to show that kind of love.

If you want to discover your love language, take this quiz from the official website.

Here's how I ended up:

Words of Affirmation : 4 

Surprisingly, this was one of my lowest scores! I've always thought words of affirmation were important to me (because I'm very big about saying "I love you" and verbally affirming things I like/appreciate, both with Ed and with people in general) but I think, after reading this book, my affirmations are ways to show my appreciation for the other ways I'm shown love. I still like hearing these, but I guess other things are just more important.

Quality Time: 9 

No surprises, this came up as an important category for me. I really value the time Ed and I spend together (a little more than even Ed), and make sure that we spend time together as much as we can. One of our best ways of doing this is our runs/hikes together, though we've also started playing games together (as a way to escape the drain of just watching tv). I also really enjoy when we cook together (especially since it means that Ed is getting more confident in the kitchen). But, I think some of my favorite quality time is right when we're getting ready for bed. This seems to be when we have some of our best conversations. Sometimes it means we stay up too late, but it just feels like I get to have a slumber party with my best friend. I'm so glad I married someone whose comany I can enjoy so immensly.

Receiving Gifts: 0 

I knew that this wasn't that important to me, but I was a bit surprised to get a zero! Still, I guess that I don't read a lot into gifts. I talked to my parents and my mom said that she felt she and my dad were the same way. Ed and I do exchange gifts for the big things, but I would rather go on a special date together or have him do something nice to show me he loves me. That being said, my favorite gifts are the thoughtful ones. For our first anniversary, Ed put together a deep frame that had wine corks around the border from wines we drank together, inside was different momentos from our first year. My favorite was that he had kept the scrap of post-it with my phone number that I gave him when we first met. So, I guess I do like gifts, but mostly the ones that remind me of quality times or acts of service (on that note, I also really like the serving tray Ed got me for Christmas, because he uses it to bring me tea sometimes on the weekend).

Acts of Service: 7 

(Ed after making this delicious dinner for me)

This, I think, has become more important to me during the time Ed and I have been together. Why? This is Ed's most important category. Ed is really big on acts of service, so he does many many nice things to show me he loves me. I appreciate so much all that he does, and over time, I've come to see this guestures as acts of love. After a long day at work, Ed making dinner shows me he loves me. The fact that he almost always does laundry and cleans up the kitchen after I've cooked means so much to me. Ed is great at this "language" and I so appreciate. 

Physical Touch: 10

Now, before we go any futher, this category means that I find it very important to hug, hold hands, cuddle on the couch, and just, generally, be in physical contact. This is something that has always been so important to me. Even as a kid (and as I got older) I always loved holding hands with my parents, and I used to bug my older sister by hugging her on the playground in elementary school. When I hug Ed, I feel like I can actually feel love pouring from him to me. I don't know that other people get that from just these kinds of normal touches, but it makes me feel safe and secure. I do know as a kid I was very into tactile things, so I guess that carried over into why this is my most important "language."

Ed's Take on the Languages
Ed, not surprisingly, actually scored very similarly to me. Instead of a 0 on gifts and a low score on words, he got a 0 on words and a low score on gifts. We were high on all the same areas, which I think bodes well for our marriage. I also think we've rubbed off on each other, which is perhaps why we're so similar on this. 

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but it seemed unrealistic, to me, that each person would only fall into one category. The book did make a point that those with "a full love tank" might have trouble discerning a primary language, since they aren't feeling a lack of a specific language. 

Hopefully, I'll never need look at this to figure out how to get Ed and my relationship back on track, but just the same, I'm glad to be more aware of how Ed and I express love. 

If anything, it makes me feel more appreciative of our relationship :)

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I read that book awhile back, and while I thought the test itself was interesting (although I honestly can't remember what my highest categories were, which says something), the most helpful part was the advice on how to use each language, which has some basis in positive reinforcement but incorporating the variety of languages.

    I recently recommended the author's other book for people who are considering marriage - "Things I wish I'd known before we got married" - the preview and book reviews that I read made the book look useful.