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How Do You LOVE? February 22, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, People.

Tiggers-R-UsWhat makes you feel loved?  A kind word?  A warm embrace? A helpful act?

How do you express love?  Gifts and tokens of appreciation?  Giving your undivided attention to loved ones?

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, people express love in different ways based on innate preferences:

Words of Affirmation: Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

Quality Time: In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

Receiving Gifts: Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

Acts of Service: Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

Physical Touch: This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Do you see yourself in one of these five categories?  In more than one?  Which one resonates the loudest in your heart?

Not sure?  Dr. Chapman’s site gives you a chance to assess your preferences:

Love Languages Personal Profiles

Different assessments are provided for Wives, Husbands, Singles, Parents of Teenagers, and Children.

I am not generally impressed with on-line profile assessments.  I read through the 5 categories above and knew exactly which fit me.  Just for fun, I answered the 30 questions in the assessment for Wives.

The results matched what I had discerned by reading through the categories ~  I scored 11 (out of a possible 12) on my top preference and 8 (out of 12) on my second.

Since the assessment seemed accurate, I asked BFF to take the assessment for Husbands.  He did.  The results mirrored his actual preferences.

Better still ~ his preferences and mine mirror each other’s!

Yay!  We are compatible.

What a relief.

After 30 years together, I would hate to start looking for a new BFF.

Quote:  What if seekers need only ask:  How well do I love?

No rules.  Just write!

Taking the assessment revealed that words are enough . . . for some.  For others, actions, attention, touch, and gifts speak louder than words.

How about you?  Which camp do you fall into?  Words, Deeds, Time, Gifts, or Touch?

And, based on what you know about me, can you assess which of the 5 categories BFF and I scored highest on?  {{Answer tomorrow.}}

Finally, a big shout out to Jeanne (Jeanne’s Blog) for bringing Dr. Chapman’s  book to my attention:  Learn a New Language in 15 Minutes or Less