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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tell Me You Love Me in a Way I Would Understand

Our youth program in church today was themed around LOVE, with the title “When you fall inlove”. I didn’t get to join the ALI Lectures this year cause unfortunately my class ends very late at night during the weekdays. Of particular interest to me about our program was the discussion on the “Five Love Languages” which I think most of you know about, conceptualized by Gary Chapman. Your love language is basically how you would want your special other to express their love for you in a way that YOU would understand. This is not specifically limited to romantic relationships, but it goes out to everybody in your social context—whether it be your family, friends, neighbors, or just people you interact with from time-to-time.

The Five Love Languages are:
  1. Words of Affirmation – People with this type of love language always want to hear verbal affirmations like “I love you” and compliments (e.g. “You look great today”) as often as they can. To them, actions don’t always speak louder than words. Word of caution: Watch your tongue! Criticisms will always be hard to forget.
  2. Quality Time – Words do not hit the spot unlike pure quality time together. He/she wants your undivided attention. They enjoy hanging out and just living in the moment together.  Word of caution: Postponed dates, distractions, or the failure to listen can be particularly hurtful.
  3. Receiving Gifts – People with this love language do not necessarily mean that they are materialistic. Rather, they feel loved when they see that the person who is giving the gift put effort and thoughtfulness in the gift. These are two important aspects for them in terms of “gift-giving”. Word of caution: Forgetting their birthday, anniversary, or just giving a gift (for the sake of it) will not make them understand the feelings you want to convey. It could be disastrous!
  4. Physical Touch – If the first thing that came to your mind is what I thought you would think, then maybe you’re green-minded! (Jk!) Physical touch does not only translate to things that happen within the four walls of a married couple’s bedroom. It also means pats on the back, holding hands, and hugs. These are all ways that would make you feel genuinely loved and cared for. Word of caution: Barriers to communicating this type of love language is geographical access. Of course you wouldn’t be able to hug someone if you’re not physically there! However, your neglect and abuse would also be emotionally destructive.
  5. Acts of Service – The last but not the least love language, is acts of service. (I personally think that Isaac had this type of love language, as he was willing to serve for Rebekah’s hand for 14 years of hard work!) If you feel the other person’s love and concern when they help you out with chores and your responsibilities, then most probably you have this type of love language! The words “let me do that for you” would sound music to your ears! Word of caution: laziness, broken commitments, and adding more burdens rather than easing it would convey that their feelings are not important to you.

I guess you already have an idea of what your love language is based on the descriptions I placed. To actually know what your love language profile is, you can take the test at the 5 love languages website here. The type where you have the highest score is your love language. I did that awhile ago just to be sure I could affirm my initial guess about my love language. I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This pic was taken while spending time with a
friend :)
So, my love language is…... QUALITY TIME! I think it’s especially true cause it’s particularly manifest in my relationship with my boyfriend, Jon Mark. From what I’ve noticed (and him, too), the things I usually bicker about is related to time-issues like: being late, postponed dates, and shortened time together. It really ticks me off! Sometimes I don’t know how to communicate this with him, so there are situations where we have misunderstandings and fights! Knowing today that this is my love language helped me clarify to myself that the most effective way of showing your love and concern for me is actually – SPENDING TIME WITH ME! This could also be the reason why I just love hanging out and chilling with people I care about rather than receiving material gifts (although it’s nice too) cause the time they give me speaks volumes of their love for me! Knowing your love language is not just the important part of the process, but also, it is important that all your significant others understand that this is what works for you! In terms of being in a relationship (whether family or friends), everything has to be two-way. You have to go through the day-to-day grind together! Not only should they know about your love language but you should take the effort in knowing theirs too. I am gonna start trying this approach now! (I’ll let Jon Mark answer the test in a while hehe) It’s so interesting to me! Thank God for bringing this concept to me when I need it! The youth program today was so insightful and I learned so much!

I think everybody deserves to know more about their love language. It’s beautiful. And maybe, just maybe, it could work for my relationships, and yours too! Since it’s the love month, why start now with communicating through your love language? :-)

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