After my last blog on dropping expectations and saving my marriage, it opened up many conversations with a lot of people. Couples asked for help and advice and along with my own experiences with dropping expectation, I recommended taking the Five Love Languages quiz.
The Five Love Languages
This simple quiz involves you answering 30 questions honestly which will tell you whether you like to receive love in the following five ways:
- Acts of Service
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Quality Time
I remember Shaun and I had done this years ago but I got him to do it again this week as I think my own love languages have changed in the last few years.
I was shocked to learn that Shaun’s highest scoring love language was Quality Time (33%), whereas this was where I scored the lowest (7%).
My highest love language was Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service (both 27%) and Gifts also scored high (23%) whereas Shaun scored 0% on gifts! Zero. As I explained in my last blog, he isn’t a gift giving person and so expecting him to be something he isn’t can cause expectations not to be met and friction.
It opened up a conversation between the two of us where we realised that Quality Time was important to Shaun and not a priority to me, whereas Gifts was important to me and not to Shaun. We got our son Blake involved in this and he has said he will help with presents for the future. I also made a commitment to try and go to bed at the same time as Shaun as I often stay up late working and it turns out this really pisses him off.
If you’d like to take the love languages quiz you can download an app called Love Nudge or head to this website: www.5lovelanguages.com
Are You a Gift Giver?
Talking about my own realisations about gifts was an eye opener for a few of my female friends. Yes, they realised they did expect a fuss on their own special occasions and always delivered a fuss for others.
I remember a friend being really upset that she’d gone overboard for her partner’s 40th birthday. There were balloons, banners, a cake that cost over £100 and thoughtful gifts. Then when it was her birthday she was given vouchers and was really upset about it.
This is sometimes just a case of two people’s love languages being mismatched and why I always say it is worth doing the quiz. Yes, it’s cheesy and your partner will probably moan about it but it is really helpful in communication.
My friend Lucie is a gift giver. She rarely arrives without bearing some form of thoughtful gift. She’s got a new little mission at the moment which blends her love of gift giving with her love of cooking. She brought round a home made chicken pie for us this week and made me make a promise that I’d use the quality time I saved not cooking to spend with the family. How amazing is that?
Lucie’s random act of kindness has inspired this week’s #SundayScribble journal prompt:
Could You Commit to a Random Act of Kindness?
There’s something so rewarding about random acts of kindness. Taking the love languages into account and knowing how your partner prefers to receive love, what random act of kindness which corresponds to their love language could you do this week?
Something small and simple goes a long way.
You might just make their day!
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Gemma Ray is a BBC Radio presenter, best selling author, communications coach and always the most filthy person in a WhatsApp group chat. Chronically honest, real and raw (she should probably establish the first chapter of Oversharers Anonymous) Gemma tells it like it is and opens up about the stuff most people would never even dare admit to themselves, let alone put out in public.
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