What Language do you Love in?

by P. Braithwaite

A while back, in an effort to salvage my train wreck of a relationship, I attempted to read Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. His basic premise is that we all experience love in different ways/through different things. In short: we all love differently.

Admittedly, I never got thru the whole thing, but I did take the quiz. And I learned that my love language is time.

You know how folks say the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? Well, for me….it’s through quality time. If you love me you make time for me.

I can trace this all the way back to when my mom and I had weekly dates – mommy daughter dates. I remember being annoyed that my mom had to write our weekly dates into her calendar – to me, if it was important, she’d remember. Now, as a 28 year old with gazillion jobs and obligations, I get it – you schedule the important stuff, and forget about the rest. Those weekly dates were awesome (they usually involved a good meal and a trip to the mall – heaven for 16 year old me), and the fact that once a week we got to spend time together really did wonders for our relationship.

Chapman’s other “love languages” includes: physical touch, gifts, kind words etc.

Here’s the thing: I’m coming to understand that not everyone loves the same way. Intellectually I know this, but in the context of my friendships and relationships, I think I forget that not everyone loves like I do. What I may think of as soooo loving, may not register that way for my partner or friend. And, conversely, what I’m receiving, while loving, may not be fulfilling my love need. You touch my arm and call it love, I may call it something else. If I except my best friend to call me every day and she doesn’t…does she love me any less? If I call her every day when she’s depressed, am I loving her or annoying her?

Life is weird. People are weirder, but I think it’s important to know what makes you feel loved and cared for, and it’s important to understand how best to communicate our love to the people in our lives.
Life’s too short for miscommunications. Though I don’t live this every day, I’m trying to remember that life’s too short to do anything other than love deliberately and artfully, I guess….

What makes you feel loved?