On the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I spent several hours curled up reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I found it to be a quick and interesting read, though I do wish I had picked up the The Five Love Languages Singles Edition instead. The original book was definitely insightful, but I would imagine that the singles edition uses language geared more toward single, young adults and has less anecdotal evidence from married couples. Regardless, I did walk away feeling like I had learned something about myself and some close friends and family, which is, admittedly, more than I was expecting.
As I breezed through the less than 200 pages on Sunday afternoon, I realized that what might seem like a fun fact to discover about myself now might prove to be much more influential in future relationships, including my relationship with myself.
Of the five love languages Chapman discusses, I felt strongly that Quality Time was my primary love language. There is a profile/quiz at the end of the book that helps you discern your primary love language, and one of the statements felt exponentially more important to me than any other:
“I wish my husband would give me his full attention when we talk.”
Now, obviously I substituted the word “husband”, but this idea was so much more powerful to me than any other one suggested. Then, when I read the chapters (yes I did it backwards and took the quiz first), they confirmed my suspicion that Quality Time is indeed my primary love language.
So what does that mean? Well, I feel emotionally loved by people when I spend time with them. And not just sitting in the same room occupying space together, but interacting, sharing our thoughts, and spending quality time together.
The other love languages were actually quite close to having even scores on the quiz, with Words of Affirmation coming in second and Acts of Service a close third. Physical touch was just a couple points behind those, but Receiving Gifts was dead last. By a lot. I have to admit that made me laugh, as I thought that maybe that explained my absolute lack of sentimentality for objects and propensity toward minimalism.
In the few days since reading The 5 Love Languages, I’ve started to realize how just being aware of the way that I perceive being loved has improved my ability to demonstrate self-love. That in itself is well worth the few hours investment I spent reading this book.
Have you read The 5 Love Languages or any alternate versions? What is your primary love language?