You know that 5 love languages book they say all couples should read?
It’s got some good stuff in it.
I haven’t actually read the book. I just took the quiz in a sociology class once upon a time. I’m sure this book is great in a relationship and understanding one another. I’d hate to spend $100 on a gift for someone who really just needs some words of affirmation. Those things are free! I totally see how this information is helpful.
While most people have figured out their significant others love language by now, have you figured out your friends? Seriously, how do you love your friends? God gives us people to love and we should love them well while we have them.
First, there’s this whole touch language. THIS IS NOT ME. Touch equals trust in my book so if we’ve just met, please don’t touch me. I probably won’t hug you, ever. Unless you are in my inner circle and only then I may give you a goodbye hug. For the most part, though, don’t touch me. I may have “hid” from someone who wanted hug everyone in the room a time or two because I just didn’t want one.
On the flip side to this, though, I’ve realized I need a friend or two who like to hug me. Some days I just need a hug and it’s nice to have those people around. Single people can go weeks without any actual physical contact with someone and that’s not ok or healthy for that matter. Science has proven human touch is critical. They have people come hold babies in hospitals because it’s just that important to touch someone. Do you know which teams make the NBA playoffs? The one’s that high five and manly chest bump the most in the first half of the season. I’m learning to let my people hug me because some days I really just need a hug….. from someone I trust.
Then there’s the ole budget friendly gift: words of affirmation. Don’t get me wrong, I love a compliment and job well-done note as much as the next person. Work for a boss who gives out zero of these and you’ll see the difference. As for my ability to sleep well at night, it does not hang on the hinges of me wondering if enough people told me something nice today. If this were my love language, I don’t think I’d be the independent person that I am. I know this language isn’t my language so I try to say nice things to people, but warm fuzzy words aren’t my default setting and it takes a little work. I know some people need the verbal reminder that they are important to me so I’m working on telling people nice things. Tell your people you love them every now and then.
Quality time is the next of the languages. Not fully sure what this one is because I didn’t read the book and my cat’s love language is whisker’s treats. I think this is for those that need a scheduled date night on the regular. Maybe this is me? I just know I like hanging out with small groups of people and actually doing things and having a good time. I’m not big on crowds. I don’t think this matches the description, I just know I’m an introvert. I don’t think any of my friendships are make or break for quality time together. Yes, we do need to hang out and have fun to be friends, but I don’t need to see you every other day. I haven’t lived in the same state as my best friend in 10 years and I don’t see our relationship wavering any time soon. Our quality time comes via phone dates. If you occasionally call me and make plans with me, we’re good. The fact that you thought of me and made plans will matter more than what we actually do for “quality time”. If this is you, though, I will totally come hang out with you as long as it’s not somewhere crowded and too loud to talk. That’s just not fun.
Acts of service took me a minute to figure out as well. I think I’m a little bit of this one. It’s not referring to service as in “Hey let me do your laundry for you” although I will not object to you showing your love via clean laundry. It’s more of a “Hey, I’ll come help you do that thing or fix that thing”. You know, kinda like when people lived in an actual community and helped one another with living life. It’s not that I need someone to serve or to be served by, it’s more of the old adage “It’s the thought that counts”. Knowing someone took the time to think of me matters more than you actually doing something with/for me. I do lots of things on my own. Drive to far away lands, run races, travel and craft things. I like helping the people I care about and I appreciate the effort from a friend to help me out when needed. I just like doing life with people.
Lastly, there’s the whole gift giving/receiving song and dance. I operate a little bit here too. Not because I like things and need people to buy my love. I actually hate things and I am currently purging what I do have. It’s just nice to be thought of.
You know what this past week? Pencils.
Just 3 regular wooden pencils. While these were just pencils, they also contained slightly sarcastic phrases. I was instructed to keep the pencil giver and their sayings on the down low or I would tell you what they say. They weren’t expensive either. How much can 3 pencils cost? It’s not the gift, but the idea that someone thought of me outside the context of being in the same room as them. I honestly can’t remember the last time I got a “just because” gift. A gift is given without obligation of a birthday or holiday and just because I care about you means the world to me. I always find it shocking to me when someone says “Oh I thought of you…”.
My friend Katie called me on my way to work one morning with a silly dumb question she thought only I would know the answer too. I didn’t know the answer, but we had a good 20-minute chat to start off our day and it was nice. It was nice to be thought of. She didn’t give me anything, but she thought of me and it was nice.
Maybe I’ll add a 6th language and just call it “I thought of you”. I think that’s me.
The bottom line is this: We all have love languages and lot of love to give.
I think that’s one of the unique things about being single. You get to love people better. I always think of it like we’re in the SIMS game with our little meters on things like love and energy level. We each start the day with the same amount of love to give this world. Your significant other, kids and family get the first dibs at your offering. You give them what they/you need and what’s left you can give to others during the day.
I have a cat who wants nothing to do with me in the morning. It’s a beautiful relationship. This leaves me with a lot of love to give away. I think I have more love to give because no one has taken any of it before I walk out the door each morning and I enjoy loving my people with whatever it is that made me think of them.
Love the people God has given you, for He will need them back one day.