Anger and ugliness were starting to seep out into every interaction. I realized my Love Tank was on empty.
My Primary Love Language is Quality Time, more specifically, the dialect of Quality Conversation. I love a deep talk about meaningful topics with people I care about. When I ask a friend, “how are you?” I want the real answer. I want a pulse on what is happening underneath the gloss and pleasantries of the answer, “I’m fine.”
My empty Love Tank self-intervention was on a public bus in a foreign country. I was months into my Peace Corps service when I realized I had conversational needs that weren’t getting met. The superficial chit-chat and canned questions from the locals left me running on fumes. I became best friends with two progressive teenagers. We started a conversation class for advanced English-speaking students. Love tank full.
Another dialect is Quality Activities. This dialect is for people who like to “do things” together. My husband’s secondary love language is Quality Activities. There have been many times when he requested love and I rejected him. It sounded like, “do you want to walk the dog with me?” I pondered how sweaty I would get. Calculated how much exercise I already did earlier. My answer, “no thanks.” The look on his face was heart-breaking. It wasn’t about walking the dog. The point was to all be together doing something. I missed the request. We have negotiated how to request love so we both understand what is really being asked. I always say yes now that my husband asks, “do you want to go on a “Love Walk” with me?” Love tank full.
How I knew my love language is Quality Time:
1. I don’t want gifts for my birthday. I want phone-dates or lunches. I want to share an experience together and then talk about it.
2. I don’t want to do big group activities. I want coffee dates or power walks where we can spend time catching up.
3. When planning to meet up with a friend, I don’t want to be in competition with your kid / husband /dog /iphone…and lose. Undivided attention is a must.
An empty love tank can lead to anger and ugliness seeping out into every interaction. Monitoring your love tank is essential when traveling on the Journey to a Fulfilled Life.
Reflect & Share: What is your ideal “quality time” with a loved one or friend?
Find out your Love Language here.