Is it possible though that you may be missing the messages of love, because they aren’t delivered the way that you prefer to see or receive them?
When we have a young family, it can seem like a whole lot of work and frustrations. We can lose connection with our partner, or at least it seems like it.
This is important because we all have different priorities and things that we notice. Our SO (significant other) or LO (little one) might be showing us love in their preferred style and without conscious awareness we are missing those subtle offers of love.
Gary Chapman, PhD, is the author of the bestselling The 5 Love Languages® series, which has sold more than 12 million worldwide and has been translated into 50 languages.
What happens in a mismatch.
When our communication is a mismatch, we can create a belief that the other person doesn’t care. When it comes to love languages it’s a super common issue that contributes to disharmony and dissatisfaction in the home because we miss the signals because our partner or child sends them in their preferred style.
In the masculine
A very common one is Acts of Service, which tends to be more of a masculine priority, so your man might be DOing lots of things for you and for the family, displaying love the way he feels. Yet, if your preferred language is Gifts, Words of Affirmation or one of the others, you can entirely miss the volume of love that is being shared.
In the feminine
Gifts is often a high priority for the feminine, yet for me is actually number five of five. As I was reflecting on this, I wonder how much is nature v nurture. What I mean is, my birthday is 10 days after Christmas, and I have a sister who is 14 almost 15 months younger than me.
When I was little, gifts were pretty ho hum because at Christmas my sister and I usually got the same things. As an adult it made sense, though as a kid it was kind of disappointing. We learnt at a young age that we needed to unwrap the same shaped gifts together if we wanted a “surprise”. Otherwise it was all a bit of a loss.
My sister mentioned a few years back how much she hated that we got the same things, especially as she and I have quite different interests and personalities. Then she had two little girls 17 months apart and she learned, there were far too many arguments when the girls didn’t have their own version of things. We got treated more individually when we moved into our teens and there wasn’t the same focus on “fairness and equity” as is the case with little kids.
I know I’ve had to learn how to be more gracious at receiving gifts, as both my girls their love language is gifts. Though also important to consider what the offering represents to your child.
My younger son is an Acts of Service person. He’ll often DO something as his show of love. I also had to appreciate that when he was little, getting a bought gift was also a representation of his love language, in that the effort to consider what I might enjoy or appreciate was an act of service. It was special because it was special to him.
My acts of service son did things like make breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day. He was about 11 or 12 and complete with “French waiter” accent and outfit took order and presented cooked breakfast.
Seek Best Intentions
There will be times when the particular offering might be missed, like when your three year old brings you your prized tomatoes green from the vine, because they were “helping”.
Or the five year old who brings you a bunch of weeds because they think they are pretty and is a gift to you.
It’s worth looking for the best intentions of any of our children’s behaviour, because while some of their choices might drive us nuts, they are also them showing us the way they receive their love.
Understand YOUR child/partner and their Preference
We can get focused on connection, because that’s the priority offered in parenting books and by parenting experts. However, as our child evolves, connection is only one aspect of their personality needs, and the way they receive that need can be different to the way we do.
When my husband used to bring me flowers. Was a rarity because I wasn’t always gracious at receiving it. I eventually worked out that for him, flowers were an act of service, rather than a gift.
My top two love languages are words of affirmation and acts of service. My husband gives me cards that he as either taken time to write or as taken time to find just the right words to express what he wants to say because he knows how much that means to me.
The quality of our relationships can improve greatly when we take the time to understand the other person, and what’s important to them.
The Five Love Languages (quiz https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/) .
Whether its love language, personality, behaviour preferences, hobbies, when we take the time to invest in learning the other person we improve the quality of our connection.
What can you do this week to understand your partner/children even more?
Let me know what you discovered?
Author – Leanne G Wakeling – Relationship and Communication Coach, Parenting Mentor,
Behaviour and Thinking Styles Profiler.
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