Friday, July 22, 2005

Finding Out Your Primary Love Language

On Wednesday night I was invited to a church fellowship evening on a series labelled "Growing Kids God's Way" (I can't remember the presenter's name).

I was sold into joining this fellowship based on what the organizer told me I would learn about it, namely, "You will be able to understand women".

I didn't think this was possible at all.

I mean, seriously, if someone told me that they had a way whereby MEN could understand WOMEN I would laugh in their face and slowly walk away.

God gave man an enigma: woman.

Man shouldn't strive to understand this beautiful creature, just deal with it, acknowledge it, love it, and live life harmoniously together. Don't create a series of video tapes disguised about how to raise children better and then in the same breath try and convince me that you're going to answer the riddle of understanding women... it's just not going to happen.

So what did I do dear friends?

I went.

Hey! It was going to be a great laugh, OR, on the off-chance that maybe JUST may be they have learnt something that I haven't.

And, after an hour and a half I will admit that I did learn something.

The biggest feature of the night was discovering my primary love language. I didn't think I even had one, let alone how to find it and label it!? BUT, sure enough I was able to seek guidance from friends on what mine was.

Here was the exercise...

Rank from highest to lowest which of the following things you love to receive AND also give.

1. Acts of service (this is where you enjoy doing stuff such as maybe fixing things, helping people, and also enjoy it when someone loves it when they do an act of service for you, an example might be if you have a pet and someone were to one day help clean up your pet's mess);

2. Words of encouragement (this is where you enjoy uplifting people and similarly enjoy it when people praise you);

3. Physical touch & closeness (this is where you like being close to people and also like it when people are close in presence to you);

4. Quality time (this is NOT quantity time - in other words this is not where you just merely relay facts to the other person, but share in what you feel about things, you also enjoy spending quality time with others);

5. Gift giving (this is where you enjoy receiving gifts and equally enjoy giving gifts to people).

So, rank these five and then do a similar list for what you think your partner's list would be (and get your partner to do it without showing each other until done). Then compare.

I discovered that my list was:
1. Quality time
2. Physical touch & closeness (this was a close first)
3. Words of encouragement
4. Acts of service
5. Gift giving (this was a distant fifth... I'm no good with receiving or giving gifts)

And you'll probably discover that some are clustered tightly together whereas others are distant. In the case of my list I found that 1 & 2 were hard to rank between whereas Gift Giving was an easy last.

If you struggle with it start at the bottom and work your way backwards - I found that this helped me a lot.

So what does it all mean?

Well, whichever you ranked first this is labelled as your primary love language which means that you are great in giving this and also enjoy receiving it. When someone wants to say "I love you" and does it through your primary love language then you KNOW that they love you. Compare this to someone who wants to say "I love you" and does so through your least favourable one (mine being gift giving) - I personally would not feel the effectiveness of the person saying I love you through this channel.

Similarly, when YOU want to say "I love you" to someone your best means of doing so is through you primary love language. If someone does not have a similar primary to you then your effectiveness of communicating love to that person will not be appreciated as much as you would like.

And conversely if someone hurts you through your primary love language then its cuts will be felt more intensely than if the person chose a different channel to hurt you.

Doing this exercise for your children can also greatly enhance your relationship with them (wait until they are above the age of 7). I spoke to several people who have teens, kids and anything else that's left over and they all agreed that some children just respond to different forms of "I love you".

Some examples were: one parent found that one child loved the physical touch and closeness whereas another whenever they were hugged tried to escape it; another parent found that one of their children loved gifts whereas when the same gift (or one of similar value) was given to the other the other didn't appreciate it as much (or at all) than the one that did; lastly, one other parent found that doing an act of service for their child was more appreciated than spending quality time (etc etc etc).

So will this make me a chic magnet?

Probably not.

Can I take over the role of Mel Gibson in the movie "What Women Want"?

Probably not.

So what's it done?

It definitely has allowed me to understand love better... whether this helps with understanding XX-chromosome type creatures will remain to be seen!

But... it might do something for you. So try it.


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