Since I have been talking about Relationships for the past few days, I want to throw out some kudos to The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
This book opened my eyes to discovering the different ways the people in my life express and prefer to receive love. Dr. Chapman breaks it down into 5 categories:
Receiving Gifts – Some people like tokens of love, these do not have to be big gifts, but tokens to show them you were thinking of them.
Words of Affirmation– Some people prefer to hear words, “you look great!”, “I love you!”, “Great Job!”
Acts of Service– Some of us like our loved ones to do things for us, this always reminds me of the woman who says something like “there is nothing sexier than a man with dish soap on his hands” in this example, the woman would be someone who appreciates acts of service.
Special Touch – Some people need kisses, hand holding, hugs and physical affection to feel loved
Quality Time –Some people appreciate time together, it does not really matter what you are doing together, but spending time together, paying attention to each other, talking and sharing…
Personally, I find quality time very important. When I first started evaluating my concept of blissful timelessness, I noticed many of my moments were moments in which I was spending quality time with people I love.
One of the times this became abundantly clear to me, was on our first mandatory family dinner night. We all made dinner together, ate at the table together (that is rare in this busy house) and then we cleaned up and played board games.
It also happened that the season premeire of one of my favorite shows was on that night. I figured we would play games for a little while before I retired to my room to watch my show.
Hours later, the premier long past, I noticed that I hadn’t even thought about the show in hours, I was engaged in a game with the kids, we were laughing and having a great time.. My DVR recorded the show and I watched it later, but the point is… The old me, would have stopped the game and ran to the TV to watch the show, as it aired. Instead, I spent time with my kids and it was good time and it truly nourished my soul. This is how I came to know that Quality time is important to me.
Pay attention to the things you love… and the things you complain about in your relationships… When you are thinking about things that make you unhappy… is it because you want more time, more affection, more words of affirmation? When you think about what is missing when you complain about your relationships, the words can queue you into what your chosen love language is.
Once you learn to recognize it, you can start to see your loved ones… how do they speak love to you? How do they like to receive love?
After I read this book, so many things came together for me… I was able to have a conversation with each of my children about the book and their preferred love language. Aside from that, I am able to try to and convey my love for them in more way than one…. A touch on the shoulder while I tell them they did good at something or look good, or to while thanking them for some act of service. I can bring home a little candy or something I know they love, just because I saw it in the store and knew they would like it. It lets them know I was thinking of them. Knowing that each of us expresses and appreciates love differently, enables me to apply this lesson in my relationships.
Have you read The 5 love languages? It is a worthwhile read for all of your relationships. As with anything I read, or tell you to read, take what you want and leave the rest. But, if what you are doing right now isnt making you happy…. what have you got to lose?