Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Warnings about Love Languages

So when Brian and I got engaged we were instantly told by EVERYONE to read the book "The 5 Love Languages." So we did. I mean, I've heard about the book and the test before, but to be honest I was a little wary because of all the hype.

In the weeks leading up to our nuptials, Brian and I both took the test and read the book. I did enjoy it, and it did make me think a whole lot about my partner and his needs vs. mine.

My primary love language was Physical Touch. Right behind touch was Words of Affirmation, then Quality time and then Gifts. I actually had no points scored in Acts of Service at all. Using our scores, Brian and I talked. At the time I actually felt bad when he did acts of service for me, because I myself enjoyed doing those and kind of thought of "acts of service" as my job, as my way to show love to him.

Fast-forward a year into our marriage. 

My love language is completely different now. It's actually totally opposite to what it was when we were dating.  I didn't know this could happen! My primary love language now is Acts of Service, and the lowest score is now Physical Touch! From first to last my languages now read like this: Acts of Service, Gifts, Quality Time, Words, and then Touch. A complete and utter 180.

I guess it's because my husband touches me too much. (joke....) Actually, I kind feel more loved when he doesn't touch me now. Because usually I'm trying to sleep and he is trying to snuggle with me and it wakes me up and makes me grumpy and gives me a headache. (I naturally need more sleep then Brian and being woken up early gives me headaches. Yay.)

Now, don't take this to mean I don't enjoy snuggling with my husband, because I do--but to me cuddle time is a normal activity and does not elicit the same special feelings of amour as it did when we were just dating. And attempting to cuddle with someone when said someone is sleeping is not on my list of fun things to do. I don't think it was ever on that list. Or ever will be. (I still love you...)

My husband's love languages, however, have not changed. His love languages are: Physical Touch, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words, Gifts.

Another thing I noticed about myself and this book is that I use different love languages on others then the ones I wish to receive. Usually the love language you want to receive is the one you give the most. Before I got married I used Acts of Service the most to show love. (You may think, well then acts of service was probably your love language all along! Well, you are wrong. Because when we were dating if Brain did the dishes or laundry or some other service-type thing, I would apologize to him and actually feel guilty.)

Now that we are married, I use Words of Affirmation with my husband to show love the most. I'm always telling my husband how sexy he is or how amazing or how much I appreciate him, and when I do this I feel like I am telling him I love him. I constantly have to remind myself that my husband feels most loved when I stop what I'm doing and just snuggle with him, combining Quality Time with Physical Touch. Words are nice, he says, but actions are much better.

It's amazing how I can get my husband to relax or calm down just by drawing near to him. He loves being close to me. And I love being close to him, but I still sometimes forget about using a hug or a caress as love!

With my friends I use Gifts to show love. I always want to give things away or buy them dinner or lunch or a trinket. Gifts is the primary love language I use with friends to show them I care. Gifts does not work on my husband at all (as I learned early in our marriage) mostly because he knows I used money he worked for to buy it. It's like, he says, buying himself a gift by proxy.

According to the book, the language I should use the most with everyone would be Acts of Service, since it is the love language I most want to receive. But that isn't true. The only person I really do acts of service for is my husband, and I no longer see that as a way to communicate love, it's mostly just a chore that needs to be done and because of how we've structured our lives, and it's my job to do it.

I don't know...does anyone else have separate love languages like this? I want one thing but speak another. Odd. My husband wants physical touch and that is also the method he chooses to communicate love with as well. Even when it annoys me :P

So, beware. Your love language can change, and you can also unconsciously use a different language then you primarily desire. And don't take the book as exact science. It's interesting, and it makes you think--but like all advice, it needs to be filtered through the individual experience of your particular marriage.

Don't stress over it.

What about you? Did you read this book and what did you think about it?


Rachel G said...

Love languages can definitely change over time and can change depending on circumstance/relationship, too. I'm quite consistent myself--my family first got introduced to love languages when we were kids, because a Christian parenting curriculum that my parents taught used the idea of love languages for helping understand different parent-child relationships as well, so we took the kid versions of the tests a long time ago.
For my whole life I've very consistently been a "word girl"--words of affirmation is totally me. I can remember compliments people gave me 10 years ago. Of course I like all the other stuff too. Sometimes I think Angel thinks it's silly how much words, especially the written word, mean to me, but I'm glad that he does remember that about me--he left me a note this morning before he left for work--that definitely gave me an extra smile as I started my day!

Breenah said...

I could totally have written the same things about being cuddled while asleep. Drives me bonkers.

Deanna Fike said...

first off...your 'air out your wigs' comment made me laugh like a maniac.

peppy and brian would be on the same page with gifts. peppy is pretty thrifty, and unless i see something that is unique and i KNOW he would love, he would rather i just do nice things for him. or touch him. i think physical touch might be #1 on most men's radars. i'm the same about cuddling in bed. i think it's because i have kids touching me all day long, but when i want to sleep...i want to sleep! but i'm like you with gifts. if i'm out and see something that i know a friend or family member would love, i want to get it for them.

i just took the test online and i am: quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation/physical touch (they were tied) and gifts. i wonder what this would have been like before kids, because i'm pretty sure acts of service wouldn't have been so high on the list. hah. now nothing turns me on more than a daddy who does the dishes. :)

A said...

1. Love the new header - that wig and those ears - adorbs.
2. Read your engagement story - adorbs
3. Fixing to go take the test now (like Deanna below) - I'm excited to see what I get.
4. Great post - as always (:
1/2 to the weekend - have a great rest of the day!

Emorie Kidder said...

Interesting. I've heard of the 5 Love Languages, but never looked too much into it. I think having these change over the course of a relationship is probably very common. I took the online quiz, out of curiosity, and got:

1. Quality Time
2. Physical Touch
3. Acts of Service
4. Words of Affirmation
5. Receiving Gifts

I actually think Will's would be very similar, if not exactly the same. We just love spending time together and thrive for that above all else.

Carolynn said...

thanks :) you visited right in the middle of me attempting to edit the page, always fun.

Have fun with the test!

Carolynn said...

My husband and seem (lately) at a loss of what to DO together. It's like, I don't want to stare at the tv. oh and all the games we own are for more then two people. We already snuggled *ahem* and it's raining so we can't go for a walk. So we end up just starting at each other in mild and annoying confusion. :P

Carolynn said...

I KNOW! XD one day I will wear a bubble and be quite happy. alas, today is not that day. Or, my husband popped my bubble.

SK Bell said...

This is really interesting to me. My husband I did the quiz earlier in our marriage too and now I'm curious to re-take it. I never even imagined it could change!

Belle Vierge said...

My husband and I need to retake the quiz. We last took it when I still lived in Toronto, so we only saw each other every few weeks.

In college, my roommate and I took it. She was Gift-Giving, and I was Words of Affirmation. We both made a conscious effort afterward to use each others love language, even if it didn't come naturally to us. I was also stopped feeling guilty or uncomfortable when she gave me gifts (outside of reciprocal situations) because I knew that was her primary love language.

Math 1st said...

ugh... I hate to be one of those, point-out-an-error types (especially since it doesn't have much to do with the main point of your writing here), but I couldn't let this one slide... a complete 360 would put you right back where you started, a full circle, exactly the same as before. Instead, I'm pretty sure you meant to write a complete "180" - the total opposite of where you started.

Carolynn said...

hehe thanks, I fixed it! Don't worry about pointing out errors, I'm not perfect and I'm dyslexic to boot!

Cody Doll said...

I LOVE that adorable photo of you two!!