V-Day is Coming. A little know-how goes a long way!
I was reminded, last week, of 5 Ways to Express Your Love to those you love. Dr Gary Chapman has written several books revolving around his “Five Love Languages”. The “Marriage That Lasts” series, available through EAGALA, uses these same expressions to remind us that we may really love another, but do those we love, understand that we love, in the expression we give?
We all have a primary way that we appreciate giving and receiving love. And at least another secondary favorite. Often these that we love to receive most, are the same ways we try to show our affections to those around us. Sometimes, the love language they most appreciate is not what we are delivering.
For example: Married over 10 years, one man was cutting grass so the whole yard was a showplace. He came home from work before his wife, so he usually started cooking supper. After, he almost always washed the dishes. A multi-tasker at his profession, he could put clothes in the wash, vacuum floors, and just generally clean as he walked through his home. His love language was definitely “Acts of Service”. To do many little things to make life easier for his wife was the way he showed his love to her.
Still, His wife cried that they didn’t have any time together. He was always “working on some project” or “cleaning up after her”. She felt unappreciated as a person. And she felt she could never make him happy with her performance as a housekeeper. Why? Because he was always busy doing something for her, and she wanted time alone with him, undivided, not multi-tasked, to listen to her life. Her love language was “Quality Time”.
As Gary says: “Can you see the problem in this relationship?” Both love. Both were hurting. Both felt unappreciated.
What if we listen, and watch our partner, our children, our career associates, just a little more carefully.
The “Five Ways to Express Love” are:
a. Encouraging Words – complements, “sweet nothings”, being on the side of your partner when outside stress has them in a tizzy.
b. Gift Giving – Whether a dandelion from a child, or a romantic nightclub dinner together, More Importantly: lots of small “tokens” , often, will mark the love they understand.
c. Physical Touch – Holding hands, walking close. Snuggling on the couch watching a movie. The back of your hand caressing her cheek. Rubbing his back as you saunter behind him.
d. Acts of Service – Cleaning the toilets, dishes, floors. Taking out the trash. Cleaning the car. Organizing his closet, or drawers. Not because it is your part of the chores to be done. Not as a trade out, barter, or work contract. But because you wanted to make them happy.
e. Quality Time – Time is most precious. Being present for your partners entails really listening. Turning off the electronics for sharing dreams together. No one on a deathbed ever wishes they had more time for working hard. They wish more time had been devoted to relationships, and to self appreciation.
Why wait till some critical problem, to transform your life and relationships. There are questions and observations you can easily learn, to know how your variety of children, parents, spouse, co-workers, superiors & subordinates, and every worthwhile relationship can be enhanced, through delivering to “them” as “they” most appreciate. And in doing so, you will discover more diversity in your acceptance of love too. (Life gets Better!)
Just a thought! God Bless all of you. ChuckyT.