I don’t want to oversimplify but…there are five love languages, everyone has two favorites, and if you pay attention to them, you can improve your personal relationships by doing WAY LESS than you’re doing now. That’s right: you can be lazy AND happy.
Please do buy the book because it’s worth reading. Their claim to fame is not being lazy in relationships by the way. That’s my interpretation. It’s also why you and I are friends.
The five love languages are (in order of my favorites because I’m selfish like that):
Words of Affirmation – I know this won’t be shock to any of you, but this gets top billing in my world.
Acts of Service – yes, the princess would like you to do it for her, thanks ever so.
Physical Affection – I’m not touchy feely, but sex definitely comes before the next two. Pun so not intended and that’s what makes it awesome.
Quality Time – I don’t care about this. If you tell me I’m important to you it’s enough for me. We don’t have to actually hang out.
Gifts – I earn enough money to buy what I want so I don’t care about this, but I love flowers. Especially from Olive and Cocoa.
Go ahead and see what your top two languages are now by clicking here.
Now that you have a little bit more information about the five categories, you’ll probably be able to quickly assess how they rank with your significant other. If you can’t, you’re a jackass and need to get in the game. I can say that with authority now because I’ve read the books and I think I’m special.
Here’s why this isn’t hippie bullshit. How many times have you thought to yourself, or said out loud with your mouth and later regretted it, “I’m doing everything I can to show you how much I care about you! It’s never enough for you! It’s never enough!”? Likewise, how many times have you felt insignificant and then confused when your partner has pointed out all the ways they are trying their hardest to show you how much they care?
It’s okay to feel dumb right now. I did, too. You’re about to feel totally smart and it’s gonna be amazing. Here’s how to do that: focus on the top two love languages and forget the rest.
Seriously. It’s that simple. Bye. Go be happy.
Here’s the rub. Our natural tendency is to show love in the ways that resonate with us, which is almost never the way it resonates with the people we care about because HELLO: opposites attract. We try our hardest to make our partners happy in the way that makes us happy, it doesn’t get through, they’re insecure, we’re frustrated, and suddenly everyone’s snipey and no one’s getting laid.
All that nonsense can be stopped by “speaking that person’s love language” which kind of makes me want to throw up in anyone’s mouth but my own, BUT what if you and your partner could be happy, sex was better and everyone was at Def Con 5 instead of global thermal nuclear war?
Por exemplo, it’s too late for my marriage because (a lot of stuff) BUT, if he and I had paid even the slightest bit of attention to what the other person needed, we would still be divorced. Wait. If we had paid attention, and the minister had given us a map and a flashlight, we would have realized the following: for Anna’s dad to be happy I needed to work less and spend more time on the couch with him tenderly caressing his knee, and I needed him to tell me I’m fabulous and take out the trash before the marriage counselor told him to.
Match made in heaven.
Annnnnyway lookit that was a long time ago and we’re really cool with how things turned out, mkay? We’re great friends and co-parenting champions. We just prefer to live in different houses and have sex with other people.
I get it. You’re blissfully happy in your relationship and you don’t need this hippie bullshit, BUT, what if the Five Love Languages also made you a BETTER PARENT?
Oh shyiiiit. Now everyone’s interested. No one cares about being a better spouse, but mention children and suddenly everyone’s ready to make a change.
Big reveal: there’s a kid version of the book.
It took me two seconds to recognize that Anna’s love languages are the same as her dad’s because the universe thinks that’s really hilarious to do a person: Quality Time and Physical Affection. Note that I don’t give a shit about those two things. I show my love primarily via Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service. I tell her she’s fabulous all the time, and we’ve never in nine years run out of toilet paper or had closets that wouldn’t make Tim Gunn propose marriage, to a girl. I DO shit for her constantly. Our house is spotless, laundry is done, pets are cared for, there’s a plan in place. All that means nothing to Anna. She wants me to hang out with her and tickle her.
I’ve been telling her she’s the best kid on the planet, surprising her with expensive trips to Sea World and hosting extravagant parties, and she couldn’t care less. I mean like big fantastic parties that put Eloise’s mom to shame. We just hosted one the Saturday before Halloween – an awesome pizza eating, slime-making, haunted house style party that was ah may zing. Kids in her class tackled me last Wednesday when I chaperoned the field trip and begged me to take them home. Apparently they think our house is filled with fog and crime scenes year round. Anna’s reaction? Meh.
I could have chosen to think she’s an ungrateful brat and vowed to never do anything for her again, but that would be stupid becaauuuuse all the effort in the world doesn’t matter if you’re not speaking the same language. That’s so corny I want to die right now but it’s true. You can offer someone a billion dollars in Chinese and if they don’t speak Chinese they will look at you blankly. True story.
Thus, armed with this new info about “love tanks” being full (burp), I did the next right thing. When lunch at the aquarium field trip was over and there was still 15 mins left, I told Anna I had to go to the bathroom and winked really obnoxiously. Then I stole her away for a one-on-one ice cream treat – just the two of us – and hugged her for two full minutes.
That cost $6, took no planning, and her tiny heart was completely full.
If we listen to what people really need, and do that thing, they will feel loved and we will all live happily ever after.