Thursday, July 25, 2013

Love Languages



A friend recently advised me that if you and your significant other have big (and reoccurring) fights about serious issues, your relationship probably won't last; if you only argue about things that don't really matter, you're almost certainly good for the long haul.

I hope she's right, because Jon and I discuss our differences with respect and love when we don't agree on the major questions, but we have the most absurd tiffs over the stupidest things.  Case in point: when I was in London the other week, I told Jon that sometimes I just want him to say sorry to me even if he doesn't mean it and he responded by declaring (quite rightly) that he didn't want to offer insincere apologies because then I wouldn't ever be able to trust him and so I called him a jerk.

Classy, right?  What a lucky man he is to have me...

A few months ago, I took the 5 Love Languages test.  Honestly, I thought the whole thing was hooey when I first heard about it, but it's been pretty clear since our honeymoon period ended that Jon and I don't always speak the same language when it comes to love.  We love each other very much, of course, but we have different ways showing it - and different ways that we want to be shown.

The idea is that there are five primary ways to love and be loved: through Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.  Jon didn't actually take the full test so I'm not 100% sure what his results would be (though I can make an educated guess based on how he shows me his love and what he asks for from me).  But I can still learn a lot about our relationship by identifying my love languages, so here goes.  In order of importance to me, we have:

Acts of Service
Quality Time
Words of Affirmation / Physical Touch (tie)
Receiving Gifts

Jon knows that I'm writing this post and he asked that I not share my thoughts on his love languages with you.  I will say that his are not even close to being in the same order as mine, so we definitely do have to work on this.  But, as Ben Affleck said in his acceptance speech at the 2013 Academy Awards, "It's good. It is work, but it's the best kind of work.  And there's no one I'd rather work with."

As we head into the last month before Jon and I get married, I'd love to hear from all of you who have been in relationships - romantic and otherwise - that took work.  Have you taken the 5 Love Languages test?  Are yours the same as your partners?  And, if not, how do you compromise?  Give me your wisdom, dear readers!

33 comments:

  1. Joe and I haven't done the love languages test but I remember chatting about it with him when I first heard about it via Oprah. It's pretty clear that our order is not the same and even though we realise it, it's not always so easy to keep it at the forefront of your mind when in the middle of a tiff. But, that being said, I think the awareness makes us both a little less sensitive on some things and more in tune on others (if that makes any sense.)


    Like any relationship, it's a work in progress and there are bumps (some bigger than others) along the way but we're both pretty committed to making our marriage as strong as it can be.

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  2. I made D do the love languages test with me a while back...we matched up on most, but differed in that my top love language is Words of Affirmation and his was Quality Time. Even though we're similar in the way we accept and respond to love, marriage still takes work...no matter how similar you are. In fact, sometimes being too similar can cause issues. Boredom, lack of spontaneity, predictableness...qualities that could send wandering eyes a roaming, if you get my drift. I've watched two sets of my girlfriends end relationships over having a significant other who smothered them with similarities. So, maybe it's a good thing you and Jon's languages might not quite match up? Keeps things interesting (although hopefully not TOO interesting)! ;)

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  3. Very interesting and I'd love to take that test. Nick and I have been together now for 8 years and married for almost 3 and I've noticed that the longer we're together, the more similar we become in our identities and more similar in how we show each other love. One thing that has been very important to us is not spending too much time apart. Especially after doing long distance for a while and then me traveling quite a bit on my own for work, we really enjoy being together and that's a huge priority for us that has strengthened over the years.

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  4. Lindsay @ Trial By SapphireJuly 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Husband and I do not speak the same love language, but we have the same value system, we respect each other immensely, and we love the heck out of each other. Sure, it can be frustrating, because we may not always be loved the way we want to be loved, but the bottom line is that we know we love each other. And if I want something, I just have to go and get it sometimes. ;) "Kiss me!" Hahaha.

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  5. We took a relationship class at church before we were engaged, and they included information about the love languages. I think it's fascinating, but I'm a sucker for any and all personality type of tests. I've taken the official test since, and I think it's pretty accurate. I am definitely Acts of Service and Gifts followed by quality time. The others are important too, don't get me wrong, but I definitely need more of the others. I tend to love with gifts towards others rather than just needing gifts though. My siblings and I are cutting out gifts towards each other for Christmas and birthdays now that we're all over 30 and they have kids, and it's been really hard for me to even think about that because I love buying them gifts so much. I seriously just ended up sending my sister a pair of converse out of the blue that I knew she loved and wanted. It's just how I show love.



    Ben hasn't taken the test, but based on our assumptions through that class, and just being with him almost 10 years (jeez) he is definitely physical touch and words of affirmation. So yeah, we are definitely different. Some times we need reminding too. I think it's so interesting!

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  6. the last time I want to remember his love languages is in the middle of a fight - I'm feeling too selfish in the moment! but then again, so is he :P

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  7. I totally agree - I think if you don't have to work at your relationship there's a chance you might be less invested in making it work. good thing that will never be an issue for us!

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  8. do! it's free to take online, though there are a few books you can buy, too. I think blending is probably the ideal eventually - speaking your partner's love language becomes second nature because you love him so much!

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  9. I think that's key! even when you don't speak the same language, you KNOW. I think knowing how he shows love (even if it's not the way you want to be shown) can help with recognizing that, right?

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  10. Wow, this really fascinated me and is something I find totally interesting. I never thought much about love languages in the past but I want to learn more!

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  11. Oh, Ben Affleck. I heard that part of his speech and I was like YES. It is work, but it's work that I don't mind doing. And when you find someone that you want to do it with, that's the real thing.


    Mine & Ben's are different. I love words & gifts and he loves actions. Thankfully, touch is both of ours too ;) We both have to make an obvious effort to do what they other person loves: when I'm feeling all lovey, it's my first instinct to write him a love note, but he doesn't care about that. So I fold and put away his laundry instead. When he washes the car because he loves me, I'm like uhh... so he buys me flowers or leaves me a cute little note instead.


    I think loving them the way that they need is the most important part.

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  12. We both took the love languages test a while ago - and we're wildly different! I'm really glad we figured that out, though, because I didn't feel appreciated for the things I was doing to show love and was surprised by his positive reaction to other things. Now I know what gestures he appreciates most, and that for both of us, quality time spent together is far more important than buying gifts (neither of us are gift people).

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  13. Lindsay @ Trial By SapphireJuly 25, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Exactly. Again, I'm not saying it's never frustrating, but really? It's such a small "problem" to have. Our value system and recognizing the ways that the other person is showing love is what matters.

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  14. Ok, I'm trying to take it right now, but I don't think this test is written in my Understanding Language. If one of the choices is "I like to be alone with my husband," how can you choose the other one? Isn't that why you're married, that you like to be alone together? I'm failing the Love Languages test!! Send help.

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  15. haha I think that means you have a clear answer. I'm going to guess that "quality time" is near the top for you :P

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  16. I usually think stuff like this is total BS, but it really makes sense!

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  17. I totally blogged about this last year, so, shameless plug for my blog. Link text


    Why I Need You To Tell Me How Brilliant I Am

    I'm Words of Affirmation, and Beau is Physical Touch. But overall, we have similar priorities, with Gifts and Acts of Service being in the bottom for both of us. It is something we have to be intentional in doing, but he's made a concerted effort to say more nice things about me to me. And I'm cuddly and scored second highest in Physical Touch, so we're good there. :)

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  18. We haven't taken the test yet but we will be tonight! In fact, I'm a little disappointed in myself for not having done it before. Marriage is work and anyone that thinks it isn't lives in a Disney Rom-Com.

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  19. I LOVE the love languages! I am a huge believer in them. Jordan's and mine are so different. I am gifts 100%. Give me a love note or a package of twizzlers any day, and I'm a happy camper. Jordan's biggest I think (if I'm remembering correctly) is Words of Affirmation. Sometimes I'm not so good at that. It's difficult, but I think knowing what each other values is so important.

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  20. haha I am, too - I love taking tests. I don't usually buy into them, though, and I did this one! It's SO true. Jon doesn't understand why I'm more hurts when he misses a Skype date than when he forgets to say "I love you" but this explains it!

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  21. AMEN. but maybe you can fold the laundry AND put a note on top? best of both worlds :)

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  22. I guess it depends what you consider a gift, right? Because quality time definitely counts!

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  23. not that there's anything wrong with a Disney rom-com every now and then, of course... http://youtu.be/ApsR4pDI5tk

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  24. haha I'm with you on the Twizzlers! honestly, I think that sometimes recognizing the effort our partner makes is just as important as speaking their language, you know?

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  25. I like that idea :)

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  26. Every couple needs to read the 5 Love Languages. And the apology quiz is just as important as the love languages quiz!

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  27. I'm kind of with you, I thought this was hooey! I can almost certainly say that mine and Nick's love languages (I hate that term...) are probably completely different. I want to take the quiz to see though. I love that first quote though. Nick and I have stupid arguments sometimes and I am still so happy with him, so I am sure it's a good thing that we don't sweat the big stuff!

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  28. I think this concept is quite revolutionary, if you think about it. To actually start to realize that people give love and receive love differently. Love is one of those things that we feel like we'll recognize it when we see it and it only comes in a certain form... and if it's not how we expect it, then it's not there. But this theory (just generally but also specifically) has helped me in other relationships, like with my mom, as well.


    Words of affirmation is one of my highest love languages. I sometimes forget that people don't see words the way I do, that they aren't as powerful to them or as meaningful. When someone says something flippantly, sometimes I take it so seriously and am hurt -- but then I realize, "Oh, they didn't see it the way I do." But on the flip side, I can completely ignore acts of service and I'm not quick to give them, either, because they don't really matter that much to me unless it's REALLY, REALLY, REALLY important. And that can be a big thing in relationships, too.


    Oooh, thanks for talking about this. FUNNNN. (Also, that's good to know about the little fights thing, haha.)

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  29. I have to admit that the love languages sounded like cheesy pop psychology to me when I first heard about them this past year. Psychology is my professional field, so I can't help put raise my eyebrows at pop trends. Ultimately, though, this is about communication and how we express our needs to others, which is rather basic (yet also difficult and very very important) in terms of skills. Some people might not even know what it is they want from their partner, which obviously makes it difficult to get those needs met. Overall it's an interesting concept that could probably help people clarify what it is they want and help them to express that to their partner. At the very least, it can't hurt to take a quiz that could help people understand their style of wanting their needs to be met.

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  30. Oh to be a dog!
    We took the quiz over the weekend. My results came out exactly as yours! Since both my husband and I share Quality Time as our second love language, we've vowed to make that a priority :)

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  31. Janelle HalfpennyJuly 31, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    I found the love language test to be right on in my life. What I have learned from the love languages is that 1. They can change over time. Before I was married, my love languages looked different than from after I got married. I have learned that I just need to convey this to my husband so that he can learn to speak in that love language. 2. Just because I don't share the same love languages with my husband doesn't mean something is wrong, but rather that I need to learn to speak in his language and he needs to learn to speak mine. And this can be quite hard, as I need to be thoughtful to his love languages and put effort into speaking his, because the way I will most likely try to relate to him is through my own. It is such a journey to learn and speak your partners love language.

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