"Twenty years of dating and I never knew that my husband thinks going out to dinner is boring."
I recently read a book by Gary Chapman called “The 5 Love Languages”. Chapman is a therapist and a man of faith. Both have helped him in his own marriage and in writing books about identifying how we love and want to be loved. From childhood through our adult lives, we thrive to be accepted and loved by our parents, partners, children, and friends.
Chapman claims that each of us possesses a primary love language and this language is how each of us feels love. There are five languages: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Physical Touch. We fill our “love tanks” mainly from receiving love through one of the five. One interesting point Chapman also made was that we tend to give love the way we want to receive it. However, the receiver may not speak that same language. This can be the cause of so many divorces.
After discussing the five languages concept with my spouse, we agreed that it made sense. We have been married for over 18 years now and are lucky enough to have a happy marriage with open communication. That doesn’t mean we always speak the same language. As we talked through the ideas presented by Chapman, we started to see why certain things upset us, and the reasons we act the way we do.
Twenty years of dating and I never knew that my husband thinks going out to dinner is boring. Each time we finally secure a sitter and go to a restaurant, I am usually disappointed by a lag in conversation and my husband’s aloof demeanor. The romantic dinner I envision doesn’t match up with our portrait of reality.
Then I found out the truth. My husband would rather do an activity that is more engaging. We never have a problem conversing while at home, in the car, hiking, etc. I felt relieved and even amused. It is something seemingly small, but now I’ll plan our dates differently. And if I really do want to go out to dinner, I’ll prep him ahead of time - to fake it.
The point is to discover how to love your significant other and cater to that need. If your partner is happy, they will make you happy in return. I believe this to be true.
As I write this, my spouse is vacuuming behind me. He likes to joke with me now while doing chores around the house, “See?” he says, “I am speaking my love language - acts of service,” he yells over the loud noise.
Well, maybe gazing into my eyes can wait until after he’s done vacuuming; I mean having a clean home is okay too.