Love is just a four letter word but I think it is the most misused and misunderstood word in the world. And when we talk about the “Gift of Love” – that turns out to be even more misunderstood. The real meaning of love is different for each one of us. I might show my love to another person by giving expensive gifts and making that person the center of my universe, but maybe s/he might feel a bit strangled by my love. There is a concept of “Love Languages” that was born just because for each individual the meaning of love is different.
Wife 1 – “He got me an expensive diamond ring yesterday. Can you imagine? Why can’t he understand that we need to save for our daughter’s higher education. Why does he have to spend a bomb on a diamond ring? And then he wonders why I wasn’t happy during our anniversary celebration yesterday.”
Wife 2 – “Wow, solitaire diamond ring! What is wrong with you? I wish my husband could even dream of gifting me something like this. All he thinks of is “making the future” for our kids.”
Wife 3 – “But at least your husband helps you with the household chores. I don’t care about a diamond ring but I would love him a million times more if he could share the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning.”
These are not very uncommon conversation. And it is very true – grass is always greener on the other side. Why does this happen? Why do some people like expensive gifts and exotic vacations whereas others like to be served, some people like to speak out their love in words and others show their love by being physically close to the person? Well, because we all are created differently and brought up in different environments.
Based on this, there are 5 love languages that are identified and these are very broad categories but can help you in a big way in understanding your loved ones.
Gift giving – Some people just love giving gifts. No occasion or every occasion – they are ready with their gift packed item. This is their way of showing love for other people.
Quality time – There are other people who like to go on vacations with their families, spend evenings with their kids, go out with friends and just talk over drinks. For them, the most important thing is to connect with the people they love. They can never get bored of spending good time with the ones they love.
Words of affirmation – Some people just can never get tired of saying “I love you”. Every phone call and conversation needs to end with this. Not just this – they also keep saying it different ways.
Acts of service – There are other people who like to serve their loved ones. They like to cook for them, clean for them, do their work to share the load etc. That is how they show their love.
Physical touch – Some people just need to hug their friends every time they meet, they just need to hold hands of their friends, they need to be physically intimate and close to show their love.
Each one of us has a dominant language. And remember not only do you show your love in your dominant language, you also expect love in your language.
My dominant love language is “Words of affirmation” and my husband’s dominant language is “Gift Giving”. Guess what happened in first year of our marriage. He got tired of my words because not only did I say them, I also wrote about my love for him in lengthy emails and greeting cards. I got hurt when he stopped paying attention to them. He kept gifting me nice dresses and fancy dates in expensive (hired) cars and I could not appreciate that as much as he wanted. In the end, both of us felt unloved and got frustrated with our attempts to show love to each other.
Over the years, we have understood our love languages and now I don’t write to him as much and he doesn’t gift me as much. We instead do it other way round. I try my best to give him gifts on specific occasions and he tries his best with words of love.
So, do some work with your loved ones to understand what is language that both of you talk in. Once you do that – life becomes way easier. Instead of feeling unloved and frustrated you would just realize that you were conversing in different languages.
Once you understand the power of Love Languages – then it takes no time to find out the Perfect Gift for your loved one.