As many of you know, once you become aware of something, you tend to notice it everywhere. Well, I have been up to my eyeballs with Dr. Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages for the past month getting ready for his show on August 13th. Now everywhere I turn I am seeing examples of these five languages; from friends or at work and even online. So, I wanted to share what the Love Languages mean to me, a husband of 15 years and a dad to 4 boys.
Quality Time = Hallmark Movie on the couch when kids are asleep
With our hectic schedules running to baseball, the pool, and friend’s houses, it is tough to find time to just be us. Thankfully it was Christmas in July. Huh? Yep, my wife and I enjoyed Christmas in July as Hallmark played all their Christmas movies the entire month. I always make the joke that within in the first 5 minutes of their movies you can tell the two characters that will run into a dilemma and then end the movie with a kiss but, they make you feel good and getting to snuggle up with my wife for two hours alone is a win/win!
Acts of Service = Choreplay
A bunch of our friends were sitting around enjoying a few drinks one night and as guys do, we got off topic and started talking about what gets our wives in the mood. One of my buddies piped up and said that choreplay did it for his wife. I had never heard of that phrase, but I knew exactly what he meant. He said that when his wife gets home from work and the dishes are done and the house is clean, that’s all she wrote. I am a believer that all guys should step up around the house and if it makes your wife happy, you are the man!
Words of Affirmation = Texting for no reason
I was sitting behind my computer at work (looking at Facebook to be honest) and I saw a post that reminded me of my wife. So, I texted her “I miss you, let’s go out soon.” Now in reality, I know that is not going to happen due to our busy lives, but it started a chain of texts including what we will do tonight after the boys are in bed and looking into events coming up. For a few minutes it was just about us and it was great. And as always, it ended with “Love You,” a phrase that we should all share with the ones we love as much as we can.
Receiving Gifts = Amazon Prime
The best thing ever invented is Amazon Prime. On Prime Day, my wife told me about all the deals and although I did not give her any gifts, when we received our goodies with free shipping, it was like Santa had just put presents underneath the tree. But it’s not just the goodies, it is the everyday stuff that we can get that saves us money and keeps us from having to go to three different stores. Three cheers to Alexa, thanks for speaking our love language, to which she would reply “you’re welcome.”
Touch = Massage
It does not matter how tired your wife is or how busy she is, if you offer to massage her shoulders, back, feet or head, time will stop. One night, as we were sitting on the couch, my wife asked me to rub her back. I did and within five minutes she was out, leaving me to watch the Hallmark movie all by myself. But how awesome is it that five minutes of my time could relax my wife so much that she fell asleep. She works so hard everyday and all I had to do was push on her back to make her happy (and maybe tell her how the Hallmark movie ended).
Read the Book = Speaking everyone’s language
The more I think about The 5 Love Languages, the more I see the different ways we express them on a daily basis. They are everywhere. Whether it is an impromptu trip to the bowling alley on a rainy night with the kids or an email to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, these languages are used every day. It is such a simple concept, but it makes complete sense. If we know what language our wife speaks, we can keep her tank full. If we know what languages our kids speak, we can make it through the summer. If we know the language of our coworker, we can make work a little bit easier. Heck, in all relationships, these five simple languages could be the difference in making the sale, acquiring a new customer or gaining a new friend. We all want to be loved and knowing the way we like it makes it even easier for us to do.
Chris Beach is the Executive Director of the Relationship Foundation of Virginia. He lives in Henrico County with his wife of 15 years and four boys. He is a life-long Richmonder and loves to help couples strengthen their relationships, encourage dads to be active in the lives of their children, and teach youth about the fears and joys of healthy relationships. For more information about the Relationship Foundation of VA, go to www.rfva.org.