Friday, September 13, 2013

Love and Closeness Challenge #5: Learning to Speak the Other's Love Language

Right now I am reading "The Five Love Languages," by Gary Chapman. I knew that people have their own ways of feeling loved by another as well as their own way of loving, but I'm learning so much more about it from this book. The information contained withing is put it in beautiful language that is easy to read and understand. I'm on the last chapter and it's been insightful and inspiring.

One of the most common complaints I hear a person in a relationship make is that they feel abandoned, ignored or neglected in some way. Abandonment and neglect are among the most painful feelings. When we don't feel as if our love language is being spoken to us, we don't feel loved. As Gary Chapman puts it: our love tanks will feel empty.
What makes one person feel abandoned or neglected won't bother another person at all. Personally, if my mate hasn't touched me in a loving, non-sexual way for more than a day, I start to feel neglected. If I allow this to go unchecked, resentment might start to creep in. Luckily, I believe in taking complete responsibility for my relationship and I do something about this as soon as I notice it. hat I feel better and he feels better. I know that when I feel good, I have more resources to help him feel good and then we feel good.
There have been days when he barely touched me at all. It's a tendency I have to believe that this means that he doesn't care about me. Intellectually, touch isn't nearly as important to him as it is for me. He doesn't give it to me naturally because it's not the way that he thinks to give love. So, I take responsibility, and ask him to touch me, or when the time is right I snuggle up next to him.
My secondary love language is time. This is a love language that my mate and I have in common, so we understand each other in that way. However, his secondary love language is "acts of service". This is nice for me as well, I like to have things done for me, but it isn't something that I need to feel loved. I have to be conscious that this feels like love for him, because it isn't something that comes naturally for me. I could touch him all day long and it won't mean as much to him as it would if I planned a party with him or asked him to help me with some aspect of my business. He could plan a party with me all day or help me with some aspect of my business for a week straight and it wouldn't mean as much to me as being held at night.
Each person is a unique way that they enjoy feeling loved. Even with our children, we can acknowledge them most effectively by learning their "love language". We can do this with everyone in our lives and we will feel closer to them and more fulfilled in our relationships, just by our giving them love in their language. Although it's nice to have our love language spoken back to us, to expect it only creates resentment. Focus on giving, and when the moment feels right you can make a small, easy to do request of your mate. Be okay with it if he says no. Remember the foundation of closeness is complete acceptance.
The table chart below can give you a great start to figuring out how to love your partner in his language. I definitely recommend that you read "The Five Love Languages" for more information. Think of your mate's past complaints and requests to give you clues to help you specifically love them in the way that they prefer. If he has complained that you are critical and told you that he would love to hear you tell him that you love him or how much you appreciate him, you can guess his love language is "words of affirmation".

Your challenge for today: figure out how he prefers to be loved. Get as specific as you can. Maybe he likes "words of affirmation" but specifically what words? Do what you can to get this information and then give love in his language.

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