Ann: Help me with the housework.
Ben: Sit down on the couch with me and hold my hand.
Ann: If you'd help me with the housework I'd have time to sit down and hold your hand. ::grin::
So went our ignorance of the love language concept. Ann's primary love language is acts of service. Mine is quality time. I just want to be with her to feel loved. She feels loved when I do something for her and take a task off of her plate. Ann was always doing things for me. I was like, "Oh, that's nice. Thanks hon." I was always wanting to take a walk or just sit on the glider. Ann was like, "Ok, that was nice. Now let's get to work."
We tend to try to love our spouse in our own love language. Most of us never realize why our spouse just doesn't appreciate all the great ways we show him or her love! The problem is we're speaking spanish and they're speaking swahili.
Our relationship was transformed when I learned doing things for Ann helped her to feel cherished. She learned that when she was H.O.T (hanging out together) with me that I felt chosen. The exercise below helped us get a clue on how to love one another.
Write out twenty actions your spouse does to or for you that make you feel special, cared for, cherished, chosen and understood. TWENTY. These can be actions that are already being done, that were done during dating, or that have never been done at all.
1. _____________________________ 11. __________________________
2. _____________________________ 12. __________________________
3. _____________________________ 13. __________________________
4. _____________________________ 14. __________________________
5. _____________________________ 15. __________________________
6. _____________________________ 16. __________________________
7. _____________________________ 17. __________________________
8. _____________________________ 18. __________________________
9. _____________________________ 19. __________________________
10. _____________________________ 20. __________________________
Love languages can be grouped into six common themes.
Words of Affirmation – Verbal compliments, words of appreciation, encouraging words, kind words, the tone of voice used when speaking, humble words.
Quality Time – Giving someone your undivided attention, togetherness, quality conversation, quality activities.
Receiving Gifts – A gift is a symbol of the thought, “he/she remembered me”, gifts are a visual symbol of love. Gifts come in all sizes, colors, and shapes. Gifts may be purchased, found, or made. The gift of self or the gift of presence can also speak very loudly.
Acts of Service – Doing things you know your spouse would like you to do, serving one another. They require thought, planning, time, effort, and energy.
Physical Touch – Holding hands, kissing, embracing.
Sexual Touch – Sexual play, sexual intercourse.
Upon reading these descriptions, categorize each of your suggestions above as Words, Time, Gifts, Service, Physical Touch, or Sexual Touch. You will probably find that one category outweighs the others. This is most likely your “love language”. This is the way in which you like to be shown love. This is also most likely the way you show love. Compare your lists with one another. How can you love your spouse more completely in his/her love language?
Keep your mate's list in front of you each day to remind you to choose one or more actions to show love to your spouse. Be sure and rotate between all 20 and not get in a rut with just 2 or 3.
Adapted from The Five Love Languages , Gary Chapman via Torn Asunder by Dave Carder