My husband and I have been married for nearly 24 years. Considerably less than some folks I know, substantially more than others, but I’m feeling pretty darn good about it.
What makes our relationship work are probably the same things that make relationships work for a lot of other people:
- Show respect.
- Communicate frequently.
- Have fun.
- Be honest.
- Make an effort to understand each other.
I feel that the last one is the most important. I don’t need to agree with my husband, but I do make an effort to understand where he’s coming from and how to communicate that I treasure him.
A few years ago, I went to a seminar where we participated in a Love Languages assessment. This assessment underscored the different ways that people speak and appreciate emotional love. The Love Languages we ranked were:
- Words of affirmation.
- Acts of service.
- Receiving gifts.
- Quality time.
I wasn’t at all surprised when my results showed:
#1: Words of Affirmation
#2 and #3 (tied): Quality time, Acts of Service
When I asked my husband to take the same assessment:
#1 and #2 (tied): Quality Time, Acts of Service
#3: Words of Affirmation
NOTE: During our assessment, Physical Touch was not included; however, it is a part of the official 5 Love Languages assessment.
I had a couple “ah-ha” moments when I looked at the results:
- People often find it strange that we generally don’t exchange gifts for major holidays. Gifts are not our Love Language.
- Although we enjoy hanging out with family and friends, we do love just hanging out with each other (and the dogs) and watching TV. Quality time is a priority.
- You will hear a lot of “thanks for doing that,” “I appreciate you,” “I am thankful for…,” “you are good at…,” types of comments floating around our home. Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service are a critical piece of our daily lives.
Why all the focus on Love Languages? If you and your partner don’t understand each other’s Love Language priorities, chances are your relationship may not be in sync with this level of communication.
If you buy someone roses and you don’t get the favorable reception you were looking for, possibly Gifts isn’t one of their Love Language priorities.
If you tell our partner that “we make a good team,” and their eyes light up, possibly Words of Affirmation is their Love Language.
If you schedule a night at home binge-watching Netflix and don’t get the favorable reception you were looking for, Quality Time may not be their Love Language.
If you make dinner and take out the garbage and suddenly your partner looks at you as if you just handed them the moon, possibly Acts of Service is their love language.
Do you know the Love Language of those closest to you? If not, how can you figure it out?
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