So Love Languages is based on a book The 5 Love Languages which I have never read and never will read but is apparently quite popular. Just not my sort of deal. I don’t know. I feel it is pseudo- psychology brain fluff. But people were talking about it on twitter and it stumped me for a second. I know what my spouse’s love language is… before this was even a thing. You just know the emotional needs of your significant other over time. And he needs words of affirmation. I learned it very early on in our relationship because it is conary to my personality type to toss them out so I had to adapt in order to give him that emotional need in the relationship. Maybe my emotional IQ isn’t so bad, eh? *pats own back*
And that isn’t what stumped me. What stumped me… is I had no clue what Mine was. Sort of weird that you don’t know what your emotional needs are in an relationship.
So briefly these are the apparent love languages
- Words of affirmation– You know like saying ‘I love you’ is a big deal to this type. And to my spouse. And actually verbally showing appreciation for what they do is another.
- Quality time-Like undivided attention. Just you and them and that quality time not interfered with distractions of TV or whatnot
- Receiving gifts– Actions speak louder than the words… so the thought and care put into a gift is precious to them and shows you are thinking about them
- Acts of service– Doing these that ease your own burden… like chores and such. It shows they care when they choose to do these small acts of their own accord
- Physical touch– Hand holding, back rubs, hugs and physical expressions of love.
And I don’t know. There must be more than this or it must be a lot more complicated that they make it out to be… which I strongly suspect it actually us. Either way I know mine is Not 1,3,4,5. Which leaves me with Quality time… but in fact alone time is like my best time ever. I thrive on alone time. So do I need quality time to show that my significant other loves me? Uh, not sure.
My spouse believes that receiving gifts is my emotional language but in fact it isn’t. It is something he feels good doing so I feel good that it makes him feel good.
I don’t have many emotional needs I think. I don’t need him to say I love you, but I know he needs it. I don’t need gifts. I am disabled so I appreciate all he does for me and that is a reflection for how much he cares about my wellbeing but it isn’t exactly fulfilling my emotional needs. Sometimes I like holding hands. Sometimes not. I not much of a hugger, but I am fine with it. So by default I am left with Quality of Time and I suppose it suits the best. I do like to be listened to. I want to be understood on an intellectual level. I want my spouse to ‘get me’. And laugh with me. And that sort of deal.
But it all seems rather simplistic to me. Because I actually think I am all of the above in reality. I think I need a little of all of them to be content.
In the real world a little of all of them is what satisfies me and maybe that is why I have no ‘love language’.
- It makes me feel good when he calls me one of the goofy names we made up years ago. Because I am a dork and I was making fun of pet names and made up these insanely goofy names… which we still use… and ironically have become pet names
- I love to spend time with him. And time by myself. It is a balance.
- It makes me feel good when he takes me book shopping because he knows I love books. Just buy me books. My emotional needs are met.
- It makes me feel good when he cooks dinner when he knows I am feeling unwell. Also my cooking sucks. So his cooking is much better. Who wouldn’t want him to cook?
- It makes me feel connected when I hold hands with him on a whim. And then I kiss it. Because I am a goof. Also holding his hand helps me Not fall over. So Bonus!
So all of the above? And more than that? Or maybe my emotional IQ does suck? Such that I do not comprehend my own emotional needs or have little emotional needs? Who knows. Anyway, the book I hear is very religiously oriented so i would never read it. Because that would annoy the fuck out of me. So maybe better for religious types to read. I’m more for reading psychology books where they reference studies and are fascinating introspections on human nature. That is my sort of deal. I like the Concept though because, yes, in a relationship we have emotional needs. They are met. Or they are not. And we have to figure out what our significant other’s emotional needs are. Which can be tricky. I figured out my common-law spouse’s easily because words mean a Lot to him and I hadn’t realized it right away. So words have special power. I had to curtail how I said things. Discuss not argue. And yes, ‘I love you’ is Important. But we Also express affection differently. One way my spouse expresses affection is through acts and gifts. Those mean a lot to him and so they mean a lot to me because I know they are his way of expressing his affection for me. As long as you ‘get’ where your spouse is coming from it becomes a lot easier to meet their needs.
I bet HE knows my emotional needs a Lot better than I do. I bet he has it nailed down. And could tell Me what they are.
Anyway, I’m not recommending the book really. Seems all brain floofy to me. But I am saying it is interesting to think a bit about a) the emotional needs of our significant others and b) how we express our affection and whether that is actually meeting their emotional needs. Because A and B might not mesh at all.
Relationships. What can I say? Complex as fuck. But hey, I have been in a relationship for 22 years. I think we have figured some of this shit out by now. Or we wouldn’t have our emotional needs satisfied at all and would be miserable. You don’t need a book to figure it out for sure. You just need to pay some attention is all. And when it isn’t working I generally would say marriage counselling is better than a banal sounding book like this. Because their success rate it actually pretty high. But hey don’t judge a book you have not read. So I won’t. Just saying I’d rather see a trained therapist if I was having issues. Also, I do think a book based on a simplistic self-help theory is always flawed in design… doesn’t mean you’re not going to get something from reading it just that it isn’t exactly going to be in-depth food for thought.
And clearly we cannot expect anyone to fulfill all our emotional needs. And if they are not being met it is sort of our job to communicate that as well.
Expectations are “killers,” says Altrogge, explaining that all humans are fallible, and have their own wants and needs. That’s unlikely to change—in your spouse or anyone else. “Don’t look at where your spouse needs to change,” Altrogge says. “Look to where you need to change. Don’t have expectations of your spouse. If you have expectations, place them on yourself.”VeryWell Mind