Hey Super Friends!
How was everyone’s weekend? We had a nice little weekend (though of course it didn’t compare to last weekend) here in Austin. On Saturday, I reffed a lacrosse game in the morning then joined Stephen and Renley for some time at Red Bud Isle. Saturday night, we took a two step dance lesson and got to know a new friend over drinks and March Madness basketball. Sunday was largely spent cleaning the house from top to bottom in preparation for book club tonight and guests later in the week. Remember when a snowstorm kept Aaron from visiting Austin a few weeks ago? He’s trying again this week, and we’re excited to have his girlfriend Amanda back as well.
Now that we’re all caught up, I have a random topic to discuss today. Are you all familiar with the 5 Love Languages? I first read about this concept more than a year ago, but it still guides a lot of my daily actions.
Basically, there are 5 general ways to communicate love and affection:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- Physical touch
Objectively, these are all fine and great ways to express affection, but we don’t all interpret them equally. It is very possible that you speak one love language while your partner speaks another.
That’s actually the case for Stephen and me. When I first read about this concept, we took some time to discuss what makes us feel loved and to rank the love languages in order of importance (to us). Physical touch is Stephen’s preferred love language, while I ranked it quite low. Conversely, I feel most loved by acts of service, and Stephen ranked that as a 4 or 5 on his list.
Though these results didn’t come as a huge surprise to either of us, having the conversation really helped us focus on communicating in the other person’s love language more often.
Previously, I would mindlessly shrug off Stephen’s hugs if he caught me in passing or wrapped his arms around me at my desk. It never occurred to me at the time that this was him saying “I love you”. I had no idea that my indifference to his kisses and snuggles left him feeling ignored and rejected. Likewise, I would spend a weekend afternoon cleaning the house and preparing a nice meal, only to feel hurt by Stephen’s unenthusiastic (by my definition) response.
These days, I make a conscious effort to visit Stephen at his desk for a random kiss or hug, and I try to hold hands more often. In a similar vein, Stephen pours me a glass of ice water and delivers it to my desk while he’s fixing his lunch each day, and he takes care of the dishes nightly.
I’m sure that pouring a glass of water feels like nothing to Stephen, just like a hug feels relatively casual to me… but it’s not about you… it’s about the other.
I’m so glad I stumbled across the 5 Love Languages, and it has been so helpful and constructive in our relationship. I hope you find them valuable too!