“No wonder we’re having issues communicating.”
After completing the 5 Love Languages questionnaire, we looked at one another and agreed: our differences about what “love” meant were making our marriage more difficult.
We all know that self-help and relationship books are a multi-billion dollar business. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman is no different and has exploded into its own self-help destination for helping all people, not just couples. From questionnaires for children, singles, and couples to learning how to apologize to your partner, the resources available from what started as The 5 Love Languages book are aimed to help everyone. Just like with any resource and self-help program, it’s not a one-stop, one-size-fits-all solution to all of your love-related issues. It can, like it did in my case, help you to uncover where some of your communication issues lie.
After being together for over 13 years, I thought I knew everything about my husband. I thought I knew what he liked, and I thought he knew what I liked. It was after we both took the Love Languages assessment (admittedly with some trepidation and eye-rolling from us both) that we learned we didn’t really know what made ourselves and one another feel loved.
No one was more shocked than we were to learn that we weren’t showing one another that we loved and cared about the other in the manner in which would be most effective.
The 5 Love Languages include the following expressions and explanations:
Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words.
Being there for this type of person is critical.
(T)he receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.
Acts of Service
The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.”
Physical presence and accessibility are crucial.
To give you an example of how far apart the two of us were in our understanding of what makes the other feel loved, we answered each of these items oppositely:
- I like to receive notes of affirmation from you.
- I like it when you hug me.
He likes notes, I like hugs.
- I really enjoy receiving gifts from you.
- I feel loved when you help me with my home projects.
He likes gifts, I like help.
- I need to be touched every day.
- I need your words of affirmation daily.
I like to be touched, he likes hearing I love him.
After completing the entire questionnaire, he scored a ZERO for Physical Touch and I score an ELEVEN. While he scored a six for Receiving of Gifts, I scored a two.
After being together for 13 years, you would have thought that by that point in our relationship, we’d have realized these things about one another. But without even knowing these particulars about ourselves and how we show our love, we didn’t know that the other one of us was even showing their love. I was showing my love for him in the ways that I wanted to be shown love and he was doing the same for himself. It just happened that we are complete opposites in what showing “love” means.
We didn’t love each other any less, we just didn’t show our love in ways that was effective to one another.
It’s been nearly four years since we read the 5 Love Languages book and completed the questionnaire, and while we haven’t completely changed how we show our love for one another, we do have a better understanding of what one another is expressing.
Angie Lynch is the founder and managing editor of the powerhouse women’s literary community, Smut Book Club. She is a Native Floridian without a tan, probably because she spends her days hard at work on the magical internet. For the past several years, Angie has worked way too hard at building clout as an influencer in food and margaritas as well as being a source for laughable pop culture commentary. You can read more from Angie on her blog, A Whole Lot of Nothing.
information, image credit The 5 Love Languages