Learning how to show your love instead of just saying I love you

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.

Click here to learn more about Gary Chapman's five love languages

Click here to learn more about Gary Chapman’s five love languages

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?

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Categories: home and family, lifestyle

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3 replies

  1. Oh, you know… I just love having my feet massaged while being fed milk and honey and watching Gilligan’s Island. Just like anyone, I guess.

  2. I can’t remember my Dad ever once saying I love you. The reason I know he does is because of a lifetime of selfless acts. My Mom got custody but Dad was always there for my sister and I. There were times I know he even stuck his neck out. Of course he never let on that he might get into trouble himself, but we know.

    • Thanks, H.T.
      Did you crave hearing your dad say “I love you” or did you feel his love sufficiently through the way he treated you?

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