Before I leave for my night out with my girlfriends, I make sure the kids have had dinner. I also clean up the kitchen, so that my husband will not come home to a mess. I barely make it out the door in time, and feel that I left our home in a way I would like to find it when I return.
I come back a few hours later and find the kitchen in disarray. Food and dirty dishes everywhere. I can feel irritation overcoming me. My husband comes into the kitchen and gives me a hug. The last thing I want from him right now is a hug. This makes me instinctively want to take one of those dirty dishes and smack it on his head (good thing we do not always act on instinct).
This scenario has happened over and over in the past. I had no idea why I was so freaking mad at him and why in the world he thought that this was a good time to hug. But since having read about and taken the 5 Love Languages test, it all became clear to me.
Let me tell you about the love languages and how they apply to this story. Taking the test will explain your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to connect to others.
These are the 5 different love languages:
Words of Affirmation: This language uses words to affirm other people.
Acts of Service: For these people actions speak louder than words.
Receiving Gifts: For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift.
Quality Time: This love language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.
Physical Touch: To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.
So back to my story. My love languages are Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service. So for me, a loving gesture is to both give and receive love through actions. So before I leave home I make sure to clean up, even though my time is limited, in order for my husband to come home to a clean kitchen so that he can spend some time with the kids.
When I come back home, I see the kitchen however I cannot see the love from my husband. His love language is Physical Touch, so when I stand there in the kitchen, his hug is him showing me his love. Unfortunately, I do not see it as such, as that is not my love language.
We show love in different ways, and one way is not better or worse than the other, just different. Knowing this about each other really has afforded more understanding of one another and our reactions around love and the way we give it, and want to receive it. This does not only apply only to our partners. But to family and friends as well.