There's a lot of talk about the 5 Love Languages. Joel and I usually aren't huge fans of personality tests, given we are both pretty borderline on most things and have never really gotten accurate results (except the animal test... I liked that one!). We decided to give this one a shot anyways, and it's helped us quite a bit (surprisingly to us) in our marriage.
We were able to identify our primary and secondary love languages, which are totally different from one another's. I am quality time and words of affirmation (closely followed by everything else) and his are mainly acts of service and physical touch. I realized I had no clue that I wasn't loving him the best that I could, meaning how he best experiences love. We sat down and made lists (more for me than for him) of examples of HOW we could show love to each other in a was that would be best received by the other.
|So happy. This is probably just after we took the love languages test. Lol.|
I'll spare you the extensive list, but we figured out one important thing: love is in the details. We don't need big, over-the-top expressions of our undying love for each other. Now, as fun as a flash mob serenade or carriage ride through the park would be, we're thinking more along the lines of how actions speak louder than words. We can say we love each other until we're blue in the face, but if we don't follow through and act on that (including using words of affirmation and "I love you" reminders), there's not much to support the claim.
It's not always easy, but it counts the most when you have to push past "the burn" of the "I really don't like you right now, but hopefully this will help smooth things over" kind of moments. Without it, how would ANY relationship survive?
Mainly I'm writing this post as a reminder to myself. If Joel needs me to do the dishes without being prompted (pretty much the bane of my existence), then I'd better own up to the vow I made to love and honor him by rolling up my sleeves and scrubbing some plates. (Note: given he's the five-star husband and massive dreamboat that he is, he normally washes the dishes because he knows how much I hate them. But if he hates it just as much as me, it should be my turn too sometimes).
Dishes are the go-to example in our house, but the biggest point I'm trying to make here is that the best way to show love is through the little choices and sacrifices we make every day for our beloved, even if they go unnoticed. A little goes a long way, and the more it gets practiced, the easier it becomes.
I'll take an empty sink or a random sweet text over a grand romantic gesture any day. Although they don't hurt as happy bonuses :)