Whether or not you go all out for Valentine’s Day with your spouse or partner, February can be an opportunity to focus on your marriage. One way to do this is by diving into the realm of love languages.
What are the 5 Love Languages?
Dr. Gary Chapman wrote the book “The 5 Love Languages” in 1995, and it sparked a new way of thinking about love. One’s love language describes the way we feel loved and appreciated. Depending on our individual personality type, we may feel love in a different way than our partner does. Understanding and interpreting these different ways of expressing love will help take the guesswork out of your partner’s expectations and needs.
According to Gary Chapman, there are five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. If you are interested in finding out your love language, you can take a quiz here. If you are someone who has taken the quiz before, keep reading. I promise, there is something here for you, too.
My husband and I read the book and took the quiz when we were engaged. It was so enlightening, and I truly believe it has gifted our marriage in more ways than we realize.
Since I know his primary love language is words of affirmation, I try my best to acknowledge his efforts. Yes, an “I love you” sounds lovely, but “Wow! This is absolutely delicious. What kind of seasonings did you use?” — this when I see him light up. (Side note – is anyone else’s husband obsessed with their Traeger or smoker!?)
He really appreciates being noticed for his efforts, so I try to be mindful of opportunities to do so. In return, he knows my primary love language is acts of service. It is such a gift when he wakes up early with our young boys so I can get just a bit more rest. Or when he pours my cup of coffee with just the right amount of creamer in it…it fills my cup in more ways than one!
A New Season of Love
If you’re familiar with the five love languages, when is the last time you talked with your spouse about what you truly desire when receiving affection? You may be in a totally different season of life now than when you first took the quiz. Each season of life brings about new demands and expectations, and we often have to change our lifestyle. Many of us have had to adapt to lifestyle changes due to the pandemic, a military deployment, a new baby, or a new job. Fill in the blank with whatever change you have been faced with over the past year. In some cases, the current season of life you’re in may make it difficult for your primary love language to be fulfilled.
Maybe your love language is receiving gifts, but you’ve recently become a single-income family, and a bouquet of your favorite flowers your spouse would typically surprise you with no longer fits in the budget.
Maybe your spouse’s love language is physical touch, but you’re in the 4th trimester and feeling over touched between nursing a newborn and a toddler hanging on you.
Maybe your love language is quality time, but your spouse is deployed overseas, so you can’t drink wine and try a new recipe together like you typically would on a Friday night.
Thrive in a New Season
Life’s circumstances may impact the way you can receive love or show love. So do your marriage a favor and look below the surface. Is there a life circumstance that makes it difficult for your love language to be fulfilled? What about your spouse’s love language? If there is a disconnect between expectation and reality, what can you as a team do to bridge the gap? As my husband’s grandfather always says, “No matter what, just keep talking. Communication in marriage is key.”
Give your marriage a gift that keeps on giving, one that goes beyond the cliché message of Valentine’s Day. Take the opportunity this month to celebrate your love languages and explore new but realistic ways to fill up their love cup! And be sure to share this post with your spouse so they can be inspired to fill up yours. 😉