My wife recently found a book about “discovering your love language”. It is, from all reports (hers, anyway) a good book and is really opening her eyes. Mine, too, by proxy and whether I want them opened or not.
The premise of the book—I haven’t read it but I have had each paragraph discussed with me in monologue form and have had several key passages quoted to me—asserts that we all have a “love language”. This is how we show love to other people and how we want to be loved. The author’s premise—and according to my wife, he’s right—is that many of us (especially men) are not aware of our love language. That’s why he wrote the book: so that we men could find out what our love language is and what our wife’s love language is by letting her read the book and then tell us how it comes out.
For instance, some people apparently show their love language through acts of service. This is the person who shows her love by taking food to someone who is sick or actually looking for thoughtful, applicable Christmas cards rather than just buying the cheapest box of generic cards and sending them all out with the same photocopied message to everyone in the phone book. This person, the author writes, is going to want to BE loved through acts of service. In other words, a bowl of soup when she’s sick will express more love to her than, say, a Valentine’s card.
My wife’s love language is, apparently (if I was listening well and I can’t swear that I was because there was a good YouTube video playing about a cat trying to kill a fly and getting caught up in the Venetian blinds), time together. For those of you who didn’t understand that sentence because you were thinking about the cat, let me repeat: my wife’s love language is time together. This can involve walks together, drives together, sitting on the back porch together, etc. The good news is (obviously) that I can show my wife all sorts of love without spending a dime.
My wife has another love language, but I’ve forgotten what it was. I should ask, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in 24+ years of marriage, it’s “be very careful about admitting what you didn’t hear”.
Other people, according to the author and my wife, have other love languages. Some people really like to express their love through gift-giving while others express theirs through finding a hobby and sharing it. One interesting phenomena my wife told me about from the book is that, often, a person who likes to express their love verbally will marry someone who is a good listener. Another interesting thing, to my wife, was the revelation in the book that many people—especially or even almost exclusively of the male persuasion—like to express love through sex. I, for one, am really glad we have books to tell us these things. Men like sex? How would we have known that without this book?
My wife has finished the book and we’ve been through it in some detail as we sat on the back porch, walked around the neighborhood or went on long car rides. We’ve discovered what her love language is, but we still haven’t found mine. I can tell you what it isn’t, though: discussing love languages.