Figuring Out My Love Language
I recently finished The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, which is about how each of us has a primary way ("love language") of giving and receiving love. The five love languages are acts of service, gifts, quality time, physical touch, and words of affirmation. You can take the quiz on Chapman's website here to find your language.
I referenced them to Brock often enough that he was shocked to find out I hadn't actually read it myself. Once I did read it, I realized that figuring out how to get more of my love language has boosted my happiness.
As a side note, I listened to this book on audio and I recommend it in that format. Chapman read it himself and he has a great North Carolina accent that really adds to the writing.
The book emphasizes how learning your spouse's love language can improve your marriage because you will know how to show your love and appreciation in the way they treasure most. While I understand that angle, in my own life I saw that figuring out my love language has made both Brock and me happier.
It took me awhile to figure out my own love language. None of them stood out to me until a few months ago. Brock works a lot at night (not complaining because at least he's home before 6 most days) and one night I realized I hadn't really felt connected to him in a few days. I stopped to analyze what I felt would help me feel close to him. It came to me that all I wanted was to sit and talk with him, with no distractions.
And then- duh!- that is quality time! One of the primary "dialects," as Chapman says. For me to feel loved, I need to have quality time with Brock where we sit together and have great conversations. I never felt drawn to quality time because I misunderstood the concept. I thought it was about going on dates to the orchestra or going rock-climbing together, neither of which seem necessary for me to feel loved in my marriage.
Once I learned that, it's actually been easier for me to feel loved by Brock because I have no problem expressing what I need. I'll just say, "Do you have 20 minutes tonight where we can talk?" and since he's always willing, I've been so much happier. I've made it more of a priority on the weekends and any nights when Brock finishes work up earlier to get that time together, and I've benefited by feeling a new closeness. It's absolutely wonderful.