Do you remember that exhilarating feeling the first time someone you adored said those magic words, “I love you?”
And do you remember the gut-wrenching feeling the first time you realized that someone who’d been throwing around the L word didn’t really love you? At least, not in the way you needed?
How you demonstrate your love matters.
John and I have been talking a lot lately about “Five Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman. A friend of John’s read it and shared this simple but important take away: we all have different ways we feel love most strongly, and that might not be the same way our mate is inclined to demonstrate love.
For example, maybe a husband buys his wife beautiful gifts and assumes she’ll know from those presents how much he loves her. But she thinks he’s just trying to buy her, because what she wants most is a day of his undivided attention or more hugs.
So love follows the platinum rule. If the golden rule is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, the platinum rule says you should do unto others as they want you to do unto them. Or maybe the double platinum rule: try to give your loved one what he or she wants, even if you have to help figure that out because he or she doesn’t even know yet. Just because you think gifts are great, don’t assume your loved one cares about gifts, for example.
I appreciate all five love languages, but over the years I’ve come to prioritize acts of service and quality time most highly. That’s in part because I’ve dated a few guys who were great with telling me verbally and in writing how much they loved me, but over time I realized their actions didn’t square with their words. So I appreciate John’s romantic words because they’re in the context of other things he does to show his love.
I think that means that for me, the best love language is one that blends all five love languages. What about you?
Related posts about marriage:
- 10 marriage lessons learned in 10 years of marriage
- Marriage tips from 10 years of marriage, part II
- Apparently I was learning marriage concepts in business school?
- What makes a marriage meaningful?