Speaking the same LOVE language

by Christina on February 12, 2011

“For one human to love another is perhaps the most difficult task of all, the epitome, the ultimate test.  It is that striving for which all other striving is merely preparation.” ~Rilke

Last weekend, I happily escaped the city to a girlfriend’s family farm in upstate New York, and we both learned something there that we wished we had learned sooner.

Em and me snowshoeing!

With dinner and wine, we cozied up in the middle of the winter storm to watch a DVD about Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 love languages. Here’s a little intro:

Your love language is the primary way you express and feel love. We all speak different love languages, and we are often attracted to people who speak a different love language from us, which can help explain why we sometimes feel unloved (which we all know can be the worst and most draining feeling).

The 5 love languages are as follows:

1. Words of affirmation: Saying things like “You are beautiful” “I love you” “I miss you” “I appreciate what you did.”

2. Giving Gifts. Gifts are a universal expression of love and can be things as simple as folding a piece of paper and writing “I love you” on it.

3. Acts of service. Doing the dishes, cooking dinner, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, etc.

4. Quality time. Giving your undivided attention. Looking each other in the eye and talking together (quality time is not sitting on the couch watching tv together!).

5. Physical touch. Arm around shoulder, hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, sexual touch.

Does one of these jump out as your primary love language? (Mine is clearly #1! This was the main way we expressed love in my family growing up, so it makes sense that I would seek this from adult relationships.)

Understanding this can help us better love and be loved. It can help us have more intimate, healthy, and thriving relationships, which is what we all really want in the end… and as Rilke said, this is “the most difficult task of all, the epitome, the ultimate test.

I keep thinking about how Dean Ornish said we live in an epidemic of loneliness and depression. Health is so closely connected with love and intimacy, and we can all learn how to love better.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Kai February 12, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I stumbled across this book a couple years ago and had a huge ‘light bulb moment’ experience with it. It gave me huge insight into a failing relationship I was in. Though it didn’t save the relationship, it heled me understand myself better.

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Christina February 14, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I’m so glad to hear that. I really think the key is understanding ourselves better — both to know when to let go of relationships that should not be saved, and how to make our good relationships even better.

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sadhaka February 12, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Thank you for this! All these years and I realize now that I’ve overlooked a whole lot of times that folks were showing me love. Glad to have come across your post.

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Christina February 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Yes! It’s nice to step back and appreciate the little acts of love that are often overlooked.

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Anna February 14, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Oh love this pose. Thank you for sharing!

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Anna February 15, 2011 at 9:52 am

Maybe something you’d like?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfRVCaA5o18

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Christina February 21, 2011 at 1:07 am

wow – what a fascinating video – thank you for sharing!

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Anna February 15, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Sorry me again…found this that I thought you also might find interesting.
http://www.ted.com/talks/patricia_kuhl_the_linguistic_genius_of_babies.html

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Christina February 21, 2011 at 1:20 am

Awesome! Please keep sharing these things… these are great!

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