The Five Languages of Love

the-five-love-languages-from-amazonOne of the books we read several years ago was The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The information we gained from The Five Love Languages has been very useful to us over the years because of the fact that it’s unlocked the secret of not only how Julie and I like to be loved, but also how we like to give love, which may or may not be the same way.

What are the Five Languages of Love?

The five languages of love are time, service, gifts, words, and touch. One of these “languages” is how each and every one of us feels loved and accepted. Sometimes, we can be “bi-lingual”, having 2 languages that are equally dominate, but not usually. What’s interesting is that sometimes it’s kind of hard to discern what exactly someone’s love language is. Let me give you an example…

Last month was Julie’s 50th birthday. I wanted to do something special for her and got together with her mom to come up with the plan of going to Pullman on Valentine’s Day for a Cougar Basketball Game. This was to be a time together for her and me with no kids allowed. I thought “what a great gift” and was super excited to give it to her. We had the whole weekend planned – game tickets, hotel, dinner, the works. Except for one very important detail – child care arrangements. I figured “no big deal”, I’d figure that out after I gave her the gift.

Well, although she liked the gift, it wasn’t perfect because of the fact that she had those child care issues hanging over her head. And that didn’t allow her to get excited. I had trouble understanding this, because my love language is time, and this was a gift that really spoke to that. Only problem – it wasn’t my present, it was hers! Sometimes, people give love in the same language as they receive love, and that doesn’t always work if the other person doesn’t have the same love language as you.

The Us Factor

We’ve recently been listening to the Us Factor by Dr. Joseph Melnick, a new marriage program designed to help make a marriage better (or save it altogether). One of the things Dr. Melnick encourages in his program is to really listen to your partner, and that’s exactly what I did.

We went out on date night, and had a good time. Toward the end of the evening, Julie said she wanted to talk to me about the birthday present, and I agreed to try, without getting too defensive. I tend to get childish sometimes when I think I’ve made a mistake, and I didn’t want to do that. As we talked through the issue, we came to the realization that although Julie also has the love language of time, she has one that is more important to her. What we determined was that it’s was very important for the child-care problem to be addressed, and that she didn’t have to do it for her to feel loved. I still didn’t quite get it, so I asked her what would have been a perfect gift.

The Perfect Gift

She thought for a minute, and said she really enjoyed it when we went out to dinner on her birthday night. I took the night off from work, and had all the kids get dressed up. We made a big deal out of it, and she didn’t have to do anything. The conclusion we came up with was that service seems to be her main love language, with time a close second. Service, in the way of someone sacrificing for her, as in me taking the time off and the kids getting dressed up. To prove that further, I had cleaned her car inside and out earlier that day (no small chore with 5 messy kids) and that really gave her that warm, fuzzy feeling.

So now, thanks to Dr. Melnick and The Five Love Languages, we know a little more about each other, and how to love each other up! I found this little five love languages test if you’re interested in trying to discover what your love language is. Plus, I highly recommend getting the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and working through it with your spouse.

About the author: By

Matt is the parent (along with his wife Julie) to five wonderful kids. He has been self-employed for 25+ years and is the owner of the How To Fix My Marriage website.

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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are a married couple that has had their share of challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this site have worked for us on our journey.

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