Friday, June 20, 2014

What is Your Love Language?

You need to know what you want. You need to know how you feel love.

Sure, this is worth recognizing. But more important, I think is learning how other people in your life show love.

We are told to focus on ourselves. Tell other people what you want, so you can get it.

I think this is backwards.

Instead, I think you should teach yourself to receive love from all kinds of different people.

When you are so focused on your own love language, you can subconsciously decide that the other love languages are "wrong." You can spend so much time deciding people are loving you the "wrong" way and so much time waiting, always waiting, for them to get it right. In the meantime you will be frustrated, annoyed, and judgmental.

I know because I've spent plenty of my life this way. Offended that people don't change. Mad that somebody can't get it through their thick skull. And sometimes, apathetic or avoiding. I don't feel loved around them, I say. I'll avoid calling them or talking to them, I say. They certainly don't make an attempt to understand ME so why would I open up to them?

We are in this life to ACT.

Get to know someone well enough to know how they speak love. Ben speaks through actions. My sister through thoughtful advice. My neighbor through gushy compliments. My friend through a listening ear.

There is nothing inherently wrong with different love languages. One is not more "right" than the other.

I guess, if you were looking for the perfect love language, it would be somebody who speaks all of those, at the right time.

I guess, if if somebody was doing it "wrong" it would be that they didn't love you. But I think you would find more often that not that you just can't understand how they show concern and love. It would be a travesty to sever a relationship over miscommunication.

But rather than change people we can work on changing ourselves. How can I educate my "love receptors" to accept love in the form of work? Advice? A Hug? Silence?

It's not easy, let me tell you. I have been working on this for quite some time and still have not trained my desires. I have plenty of nights where I feel unloved, annoyed, or lonely. However I first realized it was possible to speak love differently, and now I am trying to recognize it when I see it. And I am willing to work towards eventually accepting all forms of love.

Because I know on the other side of it I will be happy. I will be peaceful. I will spend less energy trying to fix people and more on loving them. That's where I want to be.


  1. Ashley, I have been thinking about this post since I read it a while back it and it is very helpful. I had thought about learning to show people love the way that they feel it and it is even more exciting to think about training myself to accept love demonstrated, however it is shown. I needed that reminder today, thanks!
    - Jill Tobler

    1. Thanks Jill! Hope you and your cute little family are doing well!