Sunday, March 18, 2007

Speaking Their Language

I was out on the town after another dinner by myself on the road last week. Killing time. The natural place to go, to my lonely mind anyway, was to a grand opening of a new super department store. Didn't really need anything. Just figured there would be some pretty women to go look at. Yeah, I'm a guy.

So, as I'm walking around not buying anything I cruised through the extensive book and magazine section. Being a reader at heart, I browsed. And I bought - a copy of a book that Kitty over at "Fantasy of a Wife" has been recommending to me:

"The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman.

I read it all that night in one sitting. Interesting. Concepts not entirely new to me, but that can always use refreshing. Basically, he posits that all of us perceive "love" in one of five ways, or "languages":

encouraging words
quality time
gifts of service
receiving gifts
meaningful touch

You'll have to read it to get full descriptions. But, the important part is that our language - or how we perceive we are loved - is not necessarily the same as our spouse's or our kid's. You have to put some work into figuring out what theirs is.

Hmmmm. A good reminder to me. I thought I would try it this weekend.

Starting with Mrs. SCM. What's her "love language". Which of those tells her that I love her? How should I know? I've only been with her for 30 years or so. :)

Okay, it's not encouraging words. I know that. They bounce right off of her. Same with receiving gifts. I'm thinking it's two, maybe three. Touch. Time. Service.

I decided to start with gifts of service. All weekend long. I sent her out for dinner with a friend. I straightend the house. I cooked meals several times. I cleaned the kitchen. I had her go in the bedroom and watch a movie while I watched the kids. Basic stuff that I do some of anyway, just all concentrated throughout the weekend and on purpose.

I think she was totally baffled. But she did smile a lot! She kept saying "you don't have to do that", but I did anyway. And I'll keep doing it.

My youngest son, that was easier. As I thought about him it popped right in my mind. Sure, he likes quality time and he loves getting gifts ("What did you bring me Dad?"). But mainly he's a toucher. Loves to crawl up in my lap. So, I paid a lot of attention to that this weekend. Some fake wrestling. Tossling up his hair when I walked by. Picking him up upside down. I got your nose. That stuff. He was all smiles this weekend, too.

My older son, not a toucher. He's helped by encouraging words. But, thinking about him I decided his was probably quality time. Doing things together. So, I made sure we did. Shooting hoops. Watching some March Madness b-ball together. Fixing his bike. Helping him with a school project. It was all quiet Father/Son time, but he responded.

It was a good weekend. Lots of smiles. Very little of the anger that often fills our house. That's worth the minimal effort it took me.

I learned a lot this weekend. I love all 3 of them, and I need to pay more attention to the languages that they hear that in. It was good to see those smiles.

So, which of the 5 would you guess my love language is?
posted by Semi-Celibate Man @ 11:54 PM | 0 comments


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