No I’m not making this up. And it’s not like the “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” kind of thing.
It’s a book called, The 5 Love Languages, written by a man named Gary Chapman, who is a pastor and marriage counselor. The book exists for a variety of audiences, singles, couples, parents with teens, etc.
And the root of the book is to discover your “love language” so you know, as well as others, how to communicate with you and show love and affection, both in platonic and romantic relationships.
A friend of mine gave me the single edition of the book about a year ago and it was very insightful about me and how I communicate, and is a fascinating topic of conversation with friends who have also read it.
The five love languages are listed below (with a brief description of each):
- Words of Affirmation – Positive reinforcement or words to a friend or partner
- Acts of Service – Physical acts of service, like helping around the house, picking up something because it made you think of them, etc.
- Receiving Gifts – Pretty straightforward, giving tangible gifts to someone to show appreciation
- Quality Time – Giving someone your undivided attention when you are together, not being distracted by phones, other people, etc.
- Physical Touch – Hugs, hand holding, pats on the back, basically both sexual and non physcial interaction
The moment I picked up the book, I knew what my love language would be. And when I took the quiz at the end of the book (which you can also find here), I was not shocked by my #1 language, but also that there was one very closely behind it.
My languages are (in order):
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Receiving Gifts
And the gap between 1 and 2 was like, one point. When I talked to a few female friends, they also had Acts of Service as their #1 language too (I only had one friend who had the above list in opposite order. According to her, she’s “all about the gifts.” That’s fine!)
One friend joked that, “I don’t need a boyfriend, I need an intern!” Well, yeah that would be nice, a boyfriend/intern mix. But really, you know what gets me hot? Having a guy listen to what I say, remember it, and pick it up because it made him think of me. A guy that helps me break down boxes from online shopping or helps me drop off items for donation. It’s little acts like that, that resonate the most with me. Why? Because I am the same way. That’s how I was raised, by doing acts of service to show appreciation and affection. So, that did not surprise me.
But now that I think about it, quality time is really important to me. Look, I’m guilty of taking the phone out when with friends, or checking Instagram while they’re in the bathroom. But when we are having dinner or hanging out, my phone is in another part of the room. And if I need it to take a photo of something, I do, then immediately put it away.
IMO, this is the tricky one. Because 90% of my friends are out with me but also on their phones. And it bothers me, a lot. Because they’re there, but not really there. But, I can’t exactly say, hey I think that’s really rude that you would rather sit with me but text with whomever while we eat. So, not much I can do about that, except try to change my own actions.
I was not surprised how low Receiving Gifts ranked for me. I appreciate gifts and yes, I do enjoy them, but I have a job, depending what I want to buy, I can buy it myself.
So, I would say the book is worthwhile to check out if you know someone who has it. IMO, the only part I could have done without is the overkill on explanation of stories and religious references/passages. But that’s a personal thing.
What’s your love language?