Have you heard of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman? I wrote about it here back in 2008, when I read the book for the first time. The gist, is that Chapman claims humans give and receive love through 5 different ways or languages, as he calls them. These languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
Chapman explains that we usually tend to have several language preferences, both for expressing and receiving love. He says most of us are bilingual when it comes to communicating love. When I read the book, there were a few languages I recognized immediately in the way I demonstrate love, and I could also identify several as my preferred ways of receiving love.
To be able to identify your love languages and know those of the people you love, is very important. If not you can try until your blue in the face to show others how much they mean to you, and they still might not get it. Or you can be the most loved person of all, and not feel like it because the love you are receiving comes in a language you can’t decode, or that simply does not mean anything to you.
Acts of service and words of affirmation do not come easy to me. I love to give and receive quality time, but it’s not always possible. The languages that I excel at, both in letting others know what they mean to me, and as a way of knowing that they care for me as well, are gifts and physical touch.
If I like you, I’ve probably given you something, a material something, already. And if you are my significant other, I will probably buy you things and be very excited to give them to you, because they are either something you really want or need, or something that to me, is soooo you and you will absolutely love… or maybe I absolutely love for you.
The thing is, apparently, not everyone likes to be given gifts. This, frankly, is new to me. But, apparently, it is so. So what to do when the language you use to demonstrate love, the way that not only comes natural to you, but that which you enjoy tons speaking, is not one your significant other wants to hear? Any ideas? Really, any? Because, I think I need some help here.