This past weekend, I took two tests geared towards informing me of my love languages. Now, these tests are not new, so forgive my lateness in addressing them… but I felt it was an interesting enough topic to address (and let’s face it, get me back to writing on the blog. I’ve missed CVS!).
So what is a love language and why should you know yours? Glad you asked. Your love language is basically the way in which you receive and express love/appreciation. Or as Gary Chapman’s website puts it:
After many years of counseling, Dr. Chapman noticed a pattern: everyone he had ever counseled had a “love language,” a primary way of expressing and interpreting love. He also discovered that, for whatever reason, people are usually drawn to those who speak a different love language than their own.
According to Chapman, there are 5 such languages: Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, and Receiving Gifts. The test, in essence, forces you to prioritize these 5 laguages through a series of questions so that when you’ve completed it, they are able to tell you which of these is most important to you, which is the least, and everything in between.
If, for example, you score the highest with Physical Touch, it would mean that someone holding your hand, cuddling with you, hugging you, or any other form of touching shows to you how much they care. It would also mean that this is the way you express your love/appreciation for others. And lastly, it will most likely explain why you don’t feel appreciated by someone if physical touch is not something they participate in often or with enthusiasm. Remember though, the languages are prioritized… so even if receiving gifts is last for you, this doesn’t mean it’s not important… Just not as much as the rest are.
There are a few different tests you can take, with the possibility of different results. There’s within a couple, between your friends and family, within a parent/child relationship and in the form of apology. I took the tests for in a couple relationship and amongst my family and friends (titled “wife” and “singles”, respectively) and found some pretty interesting results. First off, I found out that what I value and give regarding appreciation and love is different amongst my family/friends and my partner. For example, while physical touch is very important to me in a couple relationship, it’s not as important with my family and friends.
On the surface, that may seem a bit strange, but in reality – it makes sense. I’ve spoken before about the importance of cuddling, holding hands and things like rubbing my hair/head in a relationship. Yet, when it comes to my family and friends, friends most especially, I tend to equate physical touch with sadder times. Like when a friend goes to give you a hug because you look like you’re about to cry. Because I don’t like crying, and a hug in that moment would only spur on the crying, the physical touch becomes something I steer away from.
However, Quality Time is essential to my family/friend relationships. Chapman describes quality time as not only being in the presence of that person, but also having their undivided attention. He says, “Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.”
And while that language gets an average score in my boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, my love language for that partnership is Words of Affirmation.
It’s all very interesting and brings about a few questions. Chapman mentions that he noticed most people are drawn to folks with different love languages and when taking inventory on my past relationships, I can say that he’s right. But why is that? Why would I be drawn to someone who’s love language is Acts of Service (doing something for them) when that’s at the bottom of my list on both tests? And why would someone else who’s love language is Physical Touch be drawn to someone who needs to give and Receive gifts? If this is the case for most people, it could be why we so often feel like women and men speak different actual languages (Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars, anyone?). What do you all think?
PS. Here’s how my tests panned out. Take a minute (well, really about 10 minutes for each test) to take your assessment and let me know what yours says? Is it what you thought it would be? Why or why not?
D-Magic’s Couple Relationship Assessment (12 being the highest you can get…)
12 Words of Affirmation
6 Quality Time
2 Receiving Gifts
2 Acts of Service
8 Physical Touch
D-Magic’s Friend/Family Relationship Assessment (12 being the highest you can get…)
6 Words of Affirmation
11 Quality Time
6 Receiving Gifts
2 Acts of Service
5 Physical Touch