One of the beauties of my thirties is my ability to learn more about myself and gain a deeper understanding for who I am, on my never-ending quest for self-improvement. Yesterday I stumbled upon my love language as I hurriedly packed and moved out of my apartment. Over the years, my friends and I have discussed the notion of love languages. I have never delved deep into the theory but I know there are five various ways of expressing one’s love (1- quality time, 2- gifts, 3- acts of service, 4- physical touch and 5- words of affirmation). I think I answered a love language test once but it was not very telling—-I didn’t come away with the knowledge of which of the five was my fluent language.
People who know me, know that I very rarely ask for help from others. When in a serious bind, I may reach out to family and friends closest to me. But I tend to bite off more than I can chew and always figure out a way to get it done by myself (not recommending this superwoman attitude). Anyone who has had to move knows what a daunting task it can be. Time was against me in getting my things packed before the movers arrived in the morning, and having my flight delayed from Florida didn’t help my predicament. The move came and went arduously like most moves do. But when I had a moment to finally catch my breath, I realized what a great help one of my friends was to me. Without having to ask for his help, he dropped me off and picked me up from the airport, he helped me pack and checked in to ensure that the move didn’t kill me.
Before I receive responses about his motives, let me just say that this is a friend I’ve had for many years, and he has always shown an ability to go out of his way–not only for me but for most of his friends. So my “ah ha moment” came wrapped in an act of kindness, to reveal to me the love language I understand fluently: discovering how you can best do something for your [significant other] will require time and creativity; these acts of service like vacuuming, hanging a bird feeder, planting a garden, etc., need to be done with joy in order to be perceived as a gift of love; anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes; the words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, self-centeredness, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
My friend’s unsolicited help reinforced in me that my love language is “acts of service”. Although at times I desire each of the five love languages, acts of service is my fluent language. Quality time, gifts, physical touch or words of affirmation are all important to me, but it is endearing when someone can think beyond themselves and help me, especially knowing that I don’t ask for help.
Even though we each have our own love language, it is important to be fluent in the language of your significant other, if it is different from your own.
What is your love language?