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The Five Languages of Love. Saturday July 13, 2013

My mother never goes anywhere empty–handed. In fact, it's a family joke with my husband and my sister's husband: "Oh, you were mother-in-lawed" – meaning that they've come home to find something in the house that wasn't there when they left. It's the opposite of being burgled.

It's never anything expensive; some food she thought we might be able to use, some article she picked up at a car boot sale and thought we might like, but it's what she's saying with the gift that's important.

Like a lot of people, she's not very easy with saying "I love you" in words so she says it with food and car boot bargains instead.

It can be really helpful to know how you say "I love you" and how your loved ones say it.

Sometimes we can be yelling "I love you – I care about you" as loudly as we can, but we're not saying it in a language that can be understood by the recipient. More often, people around us are saying "I love you" and we can't understand them.

Words are my thing – obviously. I have no problem with using words to express my love. But I'm lousy at spending time with the people I love; it's not my language.

What about the other ways? One of my daughters needs touch; cuddles are really important to her and she automatically nestles in if you sit next to her. My other daughter only wants to be hugged if she's ill or really upset. The rest of the time – she'd like it in words, please.

Then there are deeds. Some people just seem to notice what needs doing, what you're having problems with, and they'll quietly step in and do that task for you. That's love expressed perfectly.

So gifts, words, time, touch and deeds: all languages of love. Consider which ones you speak fluently and which it might be useful to learn; not necessarily to use yourself, but certainly to understand so you know when people around you are letting you know they care.

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Cat_se7en Sat, Jul 13th 2013 @ 8:25am

Excellent! Beautifully written and so funny because my mother does exactly the same thing!

Anonymous Sat, Jul 13th 2013 @ 9:17am

Lovely piece. Helped me undeestand my mum more.

Anonymous Sat, Jul 13th 2013 @ 10:21am

Another really good blog. And something I've been thinking of quite recently in terms of how my friends are all supportive in different ways, and how differently my 2 grown up sons express their affection and needs. One of my sons is very physically affectionate - v touchy feely, the other is a talker - we have long telephone conversations about what's going on in his life, but he's not so comfortable with physical affection. I sometimes wish I could cuddle him more - I would like that, but not sure that he would. Maybe I should experiment! I guess relationships, even very good close ones are about both people and what they each need. Which might not be exactly the same thing.

Anonymous Sat, Jul 13th 2013 @ 9:51pm

I took an online test to find my language, verbal affirmation, but the test depends asks about your experiences. If I am touch-deprived, it may be what I need, but have not had the life experience to cause it to show up in the test.

Mary Sun, Jul 14th 2013 @ 8:53am

As with so much relating to emotional aptitude, I wonder why this invaluable lesson is not taught to us early in life, rather than us having to learn by (sometimes painful) experience.

Bamboo Painting Mon, Jul 22nd 2013 @ 7:57am

Thanks for sharing...Now I understand why my mother do somethings that I feel uncomfortable !!!!!

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