Notes from the Editor: Speaking the Language of Love

by Karyn L. Beach

Coming smack dab in the middle of February, arguably the coldest month of the year, is Valentine’s Day – a time to get warm with the glow of love!

Candy, flowers, jewelry, romantic cards and lavish candlelit dinners await many of us. Yet, for a significant number of people, the warm fuzzies and passionate embraces of Valentine’s Day give way to cold shoulders and icy glares as miscommunications, misperceptions and misunderstandings ruin the day.

Let Love Rule When it comes to love, how we show it is just as important as feeling it. In his book, The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman discusses the different ways people express love and what has to happen for people to feel loved.

Let Love Rule When it comes to love, how we show it is just as important as feeling it. In his book, The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman discusses the different ways people express love and what has to happen for people to feel loved.

Some people need to hear it. “I love you.” The words matter. But more than the Big 3 they need other words as well. “Thank you.” “You look lovely in that sweater.” “I’m proud of you.” “You can do it.”

Some people want it wrapped in a bow. These people respond to gifts and gestures. This will get their attention and communicate your feelings about them.

Others need the physical expression. Words and gifts are nice but these people need to feel it. Whether it is making love or holding hands, a kiss or a nice hug, they need to get physical to feel loved.

Some people require time – quality time. They need time together sharing experiences, or in conversation or just being together and focused on each other.

Some people want you to work for it. For these people, it’s the acts of service that matter. Cooking a meal, getting a car fixed, running a bath, these are more than just chores, they are expressions of love and caring.

Problems occur when you and your partner have different styles. We tend to communicate with others in our language. You love to hear you are loved; but Hubby loves to be shown that he is loved. You telling him you love him may work for you, but it isn’t the best way to reach him. On the other hand, surprising you by getting your car washed and serviced is nice to you, but it isn’t exactly love.

Knowing your style is half the battle. Actually, knowing your style is a third of the battle. Knowing your partners style is the second third and communicating those styles (with examples!) to one another is the missing third.

Many a Valentine’s Day and countless relationships have been ruined by one word – should . It’s not about what he should know or what she should have done. To be fair, it can only be about what you have communicated directly to your partner. Take the guess work and assumptions out of it and be clear about stating your needs.

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