For those of you who haven’t read the ‘5 Love Languages’ book by Gary Chapman, let me help you out: you can purchase it here. This book has been an absolute game-changer for not just me and Greg in our marriage but also with me and all of my closest friends and families.
To summarize the book in my own words, everyone feels loved in 5 different categories:
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
The way that you are loved is often the way you choose to show love, which makes sense because that is how you feel the most honored. The problem? The person you are trying to love might not feel loved in the same way. MIND. BLOWN. When I tell Greg how appreciated he is, or how proud of him I am, he doesn’t necessarily feel loved. I on the other hand, can get a hand written letter and absolutely melt into a pile of mush on the floor. A quick kiss after a long day might be enough for me, yet for Greg he feels loved by me hugging him, holding his hand, physical touch.
This is incredibly important. The way you love those around you is what strengthens your relationship, grows you, changes you, makes you more like Christ. You might be spending all of your time and energy on loving them the way you feel loved and they might not be feeling it. Not only are you making them feel completely unimportant, you are upset because they aren’t getting it. Guys, listen, this is important. It is also not just something you can forget. Once you read it, it sticks with you.
So what do you do? You keep trying. You keep learning. We change, and then we get to start the process all over again. Greg and I are still trying to figure out how to make the other feel special. Greg is still learning what he could get me for my birthday to make me feel loved. Yes, this is hard and we still argue over it, but we never claimed to be masters.
Last but not least, for those of you not currently married, Gary has written a Love Languages book for singles. While I haven’t read it, I have heard nothing but great things. As I stated earlier, my family and I have talked about this, as well as close friends.
This isn’t ‘just another marriage thing’.