The “Love on Purpose” series is intended to help you put all the pieces together. This blog is to inspire you to take love to the mastery level in ALL your meaningful relationships.
The Five Love Languages is a powerful way to say “I love you” in a way the recipient understands. In a healthy relationship, doing all five is optimal. Knowing your primary and secondary love language helps focus your partner’s energy on the most important ones that have higher value.
Step 1: Know your primary and secondary Love Language. You can also read the book to have an in-depth understanding of the specific dialects for each of the Five Love Languages (Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, and Gifts).
Step 2: Test the primary and secondary. What you ‘think’ is effective may be different than the actual response. If a wife thinks cooking dinner is the best way to express love to her Acts of Service husband, she may feel frustrated when he doesn’t respond how she expected. For the husband, dinner isn’t as important as a tidy home (e.g. the kids’ toys are put away and there is order restored so he can relax). When both partners know the basic Love Languages, you can begin to practice, test, and give feedback on what works (and what doesn’t). As a recipient, you can ‘kindly’ ask for what you NEED so your partner knows exactly what makes you feel loved.
The guessing game gets exhausting and leads to mutual frustration. It takes a lot of energy to guess, take action, get it wrong, and try again. It is also the responsibility of each partner to know what it is they need and to provide guidance. Loving someone on purpose and intentionally maximizes the benefits and reduces disappointments. The bond gets stronger when each partner knows exactly what the other needs and then gives it.
Step 3: Figure out what your family members need. When you get good at listening to complaints as “screechy cries for love,” you can start cracking the code of what makes other people in your life feel loved. You can start paying attention to what your child or teen needs to feel loved instead of expressing love exactly the same to all the kids. What works for one may be a failure to the other. When I started to apply the Love Languages to my (adult) family, what they did and how they responded made sense. I released myself from feeling pent-up anger when they weren’t doing MY love language. I started to see they were expressing love in their language and I wasn’t seeing it. I also was able to kindly request what I needed to feel loved.
For example, I like one-on-one quality conversation (Quality Time). Doing a group speaker-phone/Skype call every Sunday with my family wasn’t making feel loved. I wanted to nurture my relationship with my Dad. I did not want to have to compete with others for attention and then lose. I expressed this need and we came up with a good plan. My dad is alone in the car and open for discussions during his 30 minute commute home. I love our chats about deep topics or issues that are weighing on my mind. I thank him for his advice and wisdom (Words of Affirmation). Love-Fest.
Mastery Level: Feeding into the other person’s love language, that feeds into yours…this is a Love-Fest.
My husband does the icky-chores that I do NOT want to do (Acts of Service). I thank him for saving me from the unpleasant experience of having to do it myself (Words of Affirmation). Love-Fest.
I crochet a baby blanket for my pregnant friend who loves personalized presents (Gifts). When she calls to say thank you, we make a coffee date to catch up (Quality Time). Love-Fest.
You can take the online quiz as a first step to know your Love Language. You can read the book for a deeper understanding of the different dialects of each language. What is going to work best is testing and tailoring your efforts so you can Love on Purpose!
Reflect & Share: What can you do to take your knowledge of the 5 Love Languages to a Mastery Level? What would be a Love-Fest in your relationship where your love language feeds your partner’s (and visa versa)?
Resources: Need help tailoring the Five Love Languages to your relationship, contact me. I serve by helping people develop their communication skills so they can have happy, healthy relationships.
Online Quiz: here (for you or your child).
Watch the video
Other Blogs to Read:
“How Can I Make My Marriage Last? Part 4 (blog)
“Gary Chapman reveals keys to a great marriage!” (podcast)
“What’s Your Character’s Love Language?” (blog)
“five love languages” (blog)
“Love’s Language Lost” (blog)
“BE MORE LIKE THE DOG” (blog)