One of my favorite books is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
It’s basically about how people show and receive love differently, so whenever you get in a fight with someone close to you that goes something like, “I DO SO MUCH AND YOU NEVER DO THIS…,” it’s usually because you are speaking different love languages. It’s a quick read and will make your relationships 10000% better.
For those of you who haven’t read it, the 5 love languages are:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Acts of Service
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Quality Time
5. Physical Touch
You can take an online quiz to see which is the dominant love language for you. Mine? Quality time.
Within these love languages there are also nuances. For example: Words.
I was photographing the “First Look” at a wedding. When the groom turned around he looked at the bride, started to smile, and then his eyes shot over to her bouquet.
“Oh my god, why is your bouquet so big?”
He kept staring at it.
“No really, why is it so big?”
She laughed some more.
While some people might find what he said critical and would have preferred, “You look BEAUTIFUL!,” she heard “I love you.” They spoke love in the same way.
I hear love similarly. I value direct communication, transparency, honesty, and even playfully poking fun at someone to show your love. It shows me they are comfortable around me, and I trust them more.
It’s possible other people don’t like honest direct communication. Is there anything wrong with their way or my way? Absolutely not.
Everybody. Is. Different.
People have all sorts of ways of showing love. Fixing your car, putting their hand on your back, teaching you how you can improve yourself, talking enthusiastically all the time with rainbow emojis, asking if you are hungry, or simply showing up (even if they are always late).
To make my relationships better, I try to listen to what the other person’s love language is.
Last week my friend Meli finished her Masters. We were celebrating at lunch. I brought her flowers because I know she loves flowers. Me personally? I don’t care for receiving flowers (unless potted, because it’s more practical). For the amount of money spent on a bouquet of flowers, I would prefer a meal. BUT, Meli loves them. So I bring Meli flowers.
P.S. If you ever buy me a bouquet of flowers, I will appreciate it and know it’s your love language. 🙂