How do we show someone we love them and care about them? Is the way that we believe we are showing love, they way that they interpret it? How do you want your better half to show that they love you? This is such an interesting question to explore.
One morning whilst I was listening to the breakfast crew on one of the Brisbane radio stations, they were talking about a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I didn’t think much more about it until one day I found this book at a huge second hand book sale. Since it was only going to cost me a dollar, I threw it into my trolley (you must take a trolley to these type of sales 😀 ) to add to the pile of books already beside my bed. I did get around to reading it and it truly opened my eyes a LOT. I was able to work out what language I spoke as opposed to the language spoken by the Garden Gnome.
There is a little test at the end of the book. I got the GG to take the test and he did! (Gosh I love him so much). The test is available on the website also if you want to try it. The link to the website is above. Gary believes that the love language you speak is defined in you from childhood however it may slightly change over the years. You will always come back to the main one after time. Learning the language of your significant other will be difficult and it may take some time to become ‘fluent’ in it. Nothing worth knowing ever comes easy, however we are talking about connecting with someone you love so that should be the motivation to keep going. After all, having someone you love love you back is wonderful.
I want to talk about the different love languages. Today I will talk about the first language.
Words of Affirmation
They say that actions speak louder than words. This is not always the case. If your ‘love language’ is this, then unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing your partner say “I love you” might be fantastic but if he/she tells you the reasons why they love you then you are going to be over the moon. (I cried the day my GG told his therapist what attracted him to me because I never knew).
Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment”. Not sure whether he was telling the truth there. If you enjoy compliments and this is your love language, your marriage or relationship isn’t going to survive only six compliments per year.
Gary Chapmam writes that there are three types of words you can use with your partner.
Encouraging Words – These words build up and support the person you love. When you encourage someone, you build up their courage. Many of us feel insecure in many ways. Encouragement from those we love means so much. “Honey, you are so good at woodworking. I adore that (insert choice of object) that you made”. When we encourage another person, we are giving them the courage to continue to pursue their goals and desires.
It’s not what you say but how you say it. Try saying the words “I love you” in an angry and sarcastic way and it means something entirely different than saying the words “I love you” in a caring and nurturing way. The one we love may not be hearing the words we speak but they are certainly hearing the way in which we say it. Speak with kindness to the person you love and mean what you say. (And nagging is definitely not conducive to a healthy relationship). Dr Christine Northrup said in her latest Hay House interview “Ledger relationships don’t work”. What she means by that is, when you make a “deposit” into your relationship ‘bank’, don’t immediately expect to make a “withdrawal”. She gave the example of using sex as a way to get your partner to do what you want. I am using the example of words being used in the same way. If you truly love someone, you want to speak words of kindness to them without expecting something back.Which leads into the next type of words:
Love makes requests – not demands. Take the time to get to know your partner and spend time loving them and using words that encourage and support them. Make your needs known in the form of a request rather than an ultimatum.
If Affirmations is your partner’s love language, set yourself the intention of saying one nice thing (or paying a compliment) to them each day for a month. After a while it becomes second nature to praise and encourage the person you love (speaking from experience here. Whilst affirmations is not the GG’s primary love language, I made it my goal from the beginning of our relationship to always praise him and encourage him. It becomes second nature over time).
Have a beautiful day.