Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's your language?

I've been thinking a lot about love languages lately. You know, from the book by Gary Chapman. There are 5 languages mentioned: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and gifts. The idea is that each of us has certain things that show us love, and if we can do/say the right things for each other, our "love tank" will be full.

They say you can tell what your language is based on what you naturally want to do for others. While I don't think I can rank them 1-5 for myself, I do know that touch and time are at the bottom and service and gifts are at the top. I really enjoy serving other people -- while I might never want to do dishes in my own house, I'll surprise my best friend by doing hers while she's away. I find myself always asking Rocky "can I get you anything? something to drink?" etc. And when he does the dishes for me... oh I feel so loved!

I've come to acknowledge that my other top language is gifts. I know exactly when the mailperson is supposed to come, and I check the box before noon every day. I have a box downstairs of all the letters and cards and random things Rocky gave me while we were dating. I even saved the petals from my first bouquet of flowers from him. We're doing a Secret Santa exchange at school right now, and I have the name of a 5th grader and another student has me. I'm having so much fun! I love to leave little notes for people to find, or to stick in lunchbags.

And of course there is Christmas shopping. This is where things are a bit troublesome for me. Because I love to give gifts, I spend so much time pouring over what to get each person and I have to really limit myself. This year I'm following the concept of "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" when I'm getting gifts for Rocky and Abby.

Unfortunately I have to put from my mind any sort of expectations when it comes to receiving gifts from others. Rocky has told me that gifts is at the bottom of his love language list (and of course time and touch are at the top... remember what I said my lowest were??). So I struggle with wanting him to be as excited and joyful as I am about getting gifts for others (and not just for me).

How would you sort the list of love languages for yourself?

2 comments:

Colleen said...

Joe Funk actually gave us that book as a wedding gift. It's a really interesting concept, and MacGyver and my "languages" aren't lined up either. I have more of a problem with it because his top is acts of service. But it so rarely occurs to me that doing the dishes or something like that is a gift to him . . .

Debbie said...

I think for me it is difficult to decide which love language I am the most. I love to give things, but I don't always enjoy getting as much as I think most people do. I don't naturally serve other people because I'm usually so wrapped up in myself that helping others is not my first instinct. I love having people affirm my actions, but I am terrible at affirming others. Quality time is iffy because I don't rightly know what counts as quality time. I love just being with Tim doing nothing, usually being happier with staying home and watching a movie just the two of us than going on a date, but there are times when I wish we could get away. I would love to just go away just the two of us. I suppose most people would say that it's physical touch for me. I constantly hold his hand, we sit as close as possible, I put my head on his shoulder all the time, we hug and show affection without care for who sees us (never in a gross way). And yet, when we crawl into bed to sleep, I hate the feeling of touching anything, I am almost to the point of being claustrophobic while I sleep. I think Tim is mostly the same as me, though I think words of affirmation is his top in receiving love. I don't think it's all bad to be opposite as long as you're aware of it and work to give each other the love constantly. It's probably like teaching in that new studies are showing it is better and more advantageous to teach in multiple ways rather than trying to form your lessons to a specific set of learning skills because it challenges the learners to learn in different ways than the ones that come naturally, making them more flexible and probably more likely to succeed in school and the workplace. Maybe you just both need to concentrate on showing love not just in the way that comes natural, but also in the way that the other one receives it or in all the different ways. You work on touch while Rocky works on gifts and/or service. I work on affirmation and service while Tim works on touch and time. I'm learning (again) that marriage is hard work, but nothing that is worth anything comes easily. And besides, that's why we make the promise we do, for the hard times when we don't feel as loved as we know we are. If promises were easy to keep then there would be no need for them.

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