How to Love Me Well
Recently, I re-read The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. His premise is that there are certain ways we give and receive love… in other words, love is a “language” that we can learn to speak. Hence, the title.
According to Chapman, there are 5 primary ways that we give/receive love: words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, gifts, and physical touch. After reading and analyzing, I’ve gone so far as to break mine down with percentages…
40% Words of Affirmation – This is huuuuuuge for me! I feel MOST loved when someone affirms me (verbally or written). A genuine compliment can make my day. Encouraging words inspire me. Hearing, “I love you” is important, but hearing the reasons behind that love sends my spirits skyward. (Conversely, insults/criticism yield equal power to shatter me.)
30% Gifts – I love thoughtful gifts. (That being said, my birthday’s coming up!!!) It’s a desire for someone to put thought into a gift they know I’ll love, not just something idly purchased in haste. Gifts don’t have to be expensive; a (free) flower picked from a garden will let me know that someone was thinking of me…and I feel loved. I would rather receive no gift at all than one that’s meaningless.
20% Physical Touch – In general, I wouldn’t say that I’m a touchy person, but I do appreciate hugs from loved ones. In the context of a relationship, I need physical touch, though I’m not big on public displays of affection.
5% Quality Time – As an introvert, quality time (not surprisingly) ranks pretty low for me. I do well being alone. I don’t have to spend tons of time with someone to feel loved. Just don’t.
5% Acts of Service – Acts of service also scores low. It’s nice when someone does something for me (takes out the trash, unloads the dishwasher), but I can also do it myself, thank you. (Independent, anyone?)
What is your primary love language?