It's a short little book, The Five Love Languages
, but it makes a lot of sense.
People speak different love languages.
The examples Chapman uses are: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Gift-giving (or receiving), and Quality Time. If you and your lover speak different "languages", you are going to have a difficult time getting your needs met: as time goes on and you aren't feeling loved, even if your lover is making an effort, you become increasingly frustrated and feel empty and unloved.
You get a gimme at first when you fall in love: love relationships when they begin have a "honeymoon period". However, you can only fly so far on Limerence
, aka the in-love feeling, aka NRE. Limerence lasts for a finite time... after that, well, your jet fuel starts to run out, if you don't mind the metaphor.
You can fill your tank with The Good Stuff by finding (or properly training!) a partner on how to Speak YOUR Love Language. If they can't speak your Love Language, it doesn't fill your emotional tank. They might give you kerosene when you need gasoline, or water when you need oil. They're trying, they made an effort, they want credit, but if it's a language you don't speak, or a fuel you're unable to use?( Read more... )
Long Story Short:
My Love Languages, in order, seem to be:
1st: Acts of Service (Will you do something for me, or with me? Can I do something with you, or for you?)
2nd: Physical Touch (Hug me, cuddle me, sit near to me so our feet or knees touch)
3rd: Words of Affirmation (Tell me you love me, that I'm pretty, that I'm doing good work or that you're proud of me)
"Gifts" got a ZERO score from me on both versions of the test I took. Doesn't mean I don't appreciate thoughtful gifts: I have a Scarf Lynn Leonard made for me, that I *love* and adore, an embroidery sample from Betty Pugh on my wall (both older lady co-workers in schools, both birthday presents, and both made for me, personalized with me in mind, so maybe even more Act of Service than Gift?
), the easel, paints, brushes, scarf, and rose fragrance from Mom, the quilt T.R. bought for my 40th birthday, and others. I enjoy giving gifts to people sometimes too... I made a point for the first time in years to get presents for my immediate family and Jeff's too, and that felt good.
I *loved* that Lance and Joanne came over to help decorate my christmas tree this year. I *loved* helping R and TR with paperwork, hosting Paula as well, and feeding everyone into the bargain. I *loved* my Mad Hatter Tea Party a couple years ago, the clothing swap that I hosted in my bitty little place in Pleasant Hill, and I have warm, loving feelings toward all the people who have EVER helped me move house, and that's a LOT of people. I *loved* baking shortbread for last year's Waldorf assembly and I *loved* that so many people came to tell me that they loved my baking! Then, too, the compliment from Dorit on my work in our eurythmy performance will nestle in my heart forever... *bask*
Knowing I am appreciated in many ways, by many different people, makes me feel loved. Acts of Service, and Quality Time, Words AND Touch.
=888=( Read more... )
I feel respected and loved when I am noticed with words. (Jenna, one of the 7th graders from my practicum class, noticed and said she loved my new boots which I wore today (yes, those boots
.)) Hee! I heard from one of the Waldorf parents during my practicum that her daughter said my lessons were fun and that she was learning good things. *swoon!*
I feel respected and loved when someone I care about helps me with a task or does something for me. The other day TR and Diana were at Orchard Supply and they called to ask me if I needed anything, then brought me a bag of soil so I could repot some plants. *squee* They a) Heard my Words and b) Did Something that helped me with a Task! super yay! Jeff vacuumed the WHOLE HOUSE after we got the new vacuum. It took him 4 hours because we hadn't vacuumed in almost a year. MEGA yay, and super bonus brownie points!
I feel respected and loved when I receive the kind of touch I crave: sometimes gentle and loving, sometimes tempestuous and passionate. I express love and caring attention by trying to pay attention to how and whether people I care about, like to be touched. At work, I use gentle, respectful touch to get my point across and to build relationships with students - a pat on the back for encouragement, a touch on the hand or shoulder to draw attention. I noticed the same kind of behavior in the teacher whose class I worked for today (I have GOT to find an alternative to the term "subbing"... ack. I AM a teacher, I'm not a substitute for a teacher. I'm just a *different* teacher than the class's usual teacher... okay, </ soapbox>... I like "guest teacher" and will try to be consistent in using that.
). As a teacher, you have to be the Alpha Wolf, and you can accomplish some of that dominance in a quiet and affectionate way with touch.
I get a high from dancing with people... Act of Service (doing something I love with me) AND Physical Touch! Woo-Hoo! (Again, why am I NOT doing this more OFTEN?!?!?)
I would challenge everyone who has had "communication difficulties" in a relationship, to familiarize yourself with the concept of Love Languages, learn your own, and try to figure out what the other person's may be.
Might very well be that EVERYONE could have a full Emotional Fuel Tank... and then we could ALL fly!
What fills your tank with the right fuel?
What fills THEIR tank with the right fuel?
Are you willing to do what it takes for the person you love to have a full tank, even if it doesn't come naturally to you?
Learn how to fly. Learn how to fill your tank, so you can fly, and so you can help others to fly.