Jesus said, “By this everyone will know you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
Lets talk about Love baby!! Ooh la la.
Ok first off…no I am not in love nor have I ever been in love. But love is not just romantic fuzzy feelings (but it is the most fun to talk and daydream about) and lately I have been interested in learning more about the 5 love languages. This can be applied to any human relationship, not just romantic (ok?!).
I never heard of the 5 love languages until I took my class on interpersonal communication and I think it was mentioned. The 5 love languages are:
- Physical Touch: You know what this means.
- Quality Time: Giving your time to spend together with someone. (They say time is money after all)
- Acts of Service: Showing you love someone by your actions. Could be cleaning or doing something for them.
- Gift Giving: Buying them things.
- Words of Affirmation: Expressing verbally or in writing what they mean to you, sharing feelings.
Played Out: Here is how 5 different people may act in the same scenario in order.
Krista’s loved one just passed away. Her 5 friends try to console her and be there for her during this tough time. Grant comes over when he finds out what has happened, he hugs Krista for a long time and wipes the tears from her eyes as she weeps. Brenda comes over and spends the night at Krista’s house to be there for her while the loss sinks in. Donna comes over the next day and takes care of all of Krista’s pets and makes her dinner and dessert. Rob makes a generous donation to the funeral costs and sends Krista flowers. Lastly, Megan writes Krista a touching letter and offers her deep condolences. All of these friends expressed love to Krista in the best way they knew how.
I thought it would be fun to look at what all of these mean and which ones I practice or prefer the most.
On Friday night I called up my friends who just so happen to live in my neighborhood. We grabbed some blankets and drove to the waterfront for the evening. We stopped by Starbucks first, of course. Then we walked down to the docks and had some deep conversations by the moonlit water. This is my favorite place to chill, it is so peaceful.
When we sat on the dock we had couples making out in all three corners of the whole dock. Anywhere we turned, there were people being extra friendly. This was expected, it was a nice Friday evening and this spot is quite romantic. I don’t blame them. I think this is what sparked our conversation about the 5 love languages.
Everyone wants to experience all of the 5 love languages and all of them are definitely needed for any healthy relationship. But most everyone has dominant love languages and the ones they wish others to do unto them more. It’s really important to understand which ones you may express more because this the way you communicate most effectively. It’s also important to note that you may not have the same way of expressing love that someone else does. This doesn’t have to be romantic either. Love happens between friends, family, and even strangers.
My number 1 love language of choice is definitely words of affirmation. I like to tell people what I like about them and I like to encourage them. And I really crave that from any loving relationship. My second one is probably quality time. I live far away from many of my best friends, favorite people and also my church. But I will drive to see them as much as I can and spend quality time because the time and distance is worth it, I love them. I also hate when people waste my time, or are really late. I don’t like to go on “dates” for fun and usually turn them down because unless I am already interested, I don’t want to put the time in for something I feel will not go anywhere in the long run anyway.
So always remember to try and understand what someone else’s love language may be that you care about. It may not be the same as yours. For better communication, it’s good to be understanding and be open about your wants and needs. Take in to consideration that although people may communicate differently from you, it does not mean they care less about you. But also remember that all 5 are pretty important and essential for any growing relationship.
I’m definitely not a relationship expert so please do not think that this is me giving romantic relationship advice. I can only provide insight on what I think, my minimal experience, and what I learn in school for my communication classes.
But I want to end off this piece by giving you something to think about. First, what do YOU think your dominant love language is? And second, can you look back at a relationship that suffered because you didn’t fully understand their way of expressing love and therefore there was some tension? Think about it! Research more on it.