Rereading The Five Love Languages so I could post a review for it was fun. I loved revisiting this book. I read it back in 2010; two years after K and I were married. I loved Gary Chapman's idea of love languages and how each person has one. His idea is that you want love displayed in your particular language:
First I want to address his idea of "being in love" vs. "real love". I really think he is onto something here. When you fall in love, you can't control your feelings. You constantly think about the person; want to always be with them...they are always on your mind. You don't see their flaws or the mistakes they make are funny. I remember when I knew I was in love with K. When we met, we became close friends and then started dating and went to each other's proms and dances. I was never one who worried about ruining a friendship with a guy friend by dating. I knew it would only make it better. I am a firm believer in being your spouse's best friend. Anyway...He was consuming my mind and we were talking everyday on the phone and trying to see each other as much as school, work, and our parents would allow. It still amazes me how much time we did get to spend together in such a crucial part of our lives: graduating high school. We attended each other's graduation ceremonies and the parties after. We were sitting together talking and laughing like we still do and he looked over at me while he was playing with my hair and said "Do you know how much I love you?" It was the first time he had said that to me. I had been feeling a deep connection to him and knew I was falling in love with him. But that just sent me over the edge. Hearing it out loud was something I still can't describe.
After 15 years of being together and 7 years of marriage, I still am completely in love with my husband. The initial feeling of being in love isn't always there, and Gary Chapman describes it beautifully of what it turns into:
"We can recognize the in love experience for what is was-a temporary high-and now pursue "real love" with our spouse. That kind of love is emotional in nature but not obsessional. It is a love that unites reason and emotion." (Chapman, 35)
We can't control falling in love, but we choose everyday to love our spouses and that this love is true. We go through hard times together, everyday routines, endless things that interrupt and take us out of the "in love" feeling, but real love survives all of that. We have to choose to love our spouses through it all. By learning your spouse's love language, you are choosing to love them unconditionally and make your marriage better.
In 2010, I took the test to see what love language I had. I didn't give the test to K; I figured his love language was physical touch. My result was Words of Affirmation. So when I took the test this time, I assumed my results would be the same. And this time, I wanted K to take the test too.
Surprisingly, K and I have the same love language. We both value Quality time. Spending time together, no matter what that might be is very important to us.
"By quality time, I mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don't mean sitting on the couch watching T.V. together. When you spend time that way, ABC or NBC has your attention." (Chapman, 59)
Chapman goes into further explanation that there are different dialects to the love language quality time: quality conversation and quality activities. Quality conversation deals with talking with each other about thoughts and feelings and having intimate conversations (no interruptions) and quality activities involve doing things that you both enjoy. Both are equally important to me. I like to make sure K and I keep the T.V. off for at least 20-30 minutes after he gets home so we can talk about our day without any distractions. And we have found many things we love to do together.
I was also surprised to learn that I scored equally in physical touch as my love language. (K's second language is also this one...there was a one point difference.) I never was a "touchy" person. Hugs and affection didn't come easily to me at first, but it is very important to K. I have been working on being more affectionate to K, and now it happens a lot more naturally. He is very affectionate...he always reaches for my hand and he gives the best hugs.
"Physical touch is also a powerful vehicle for communicating marital love. Holding hands, kissing, embracing, and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating emotional love to one's spouse." (Chapman, 115)
I am going to leave this topic for now; I plan to explore this topic more in my next post after I studied Song of Solomon Chapter 4.
Overall, this a great book and an incredible tool for marriages. I learned so much about K and me and will probably revisit it in a few years. I want to make sure K's love tank is full, so I choose to do what I can to make that possible. Definitely 5 stars and should be read in every marriage.
On a side note, I am still doing really well with my challenge of fighting the frump. I have been wearing t-shirts, but dressing it up with earrings and makeup and no cotton shorts. I feel great! :) K has definitely appreciated it!
Until next time...have a great day!