At this time of the year we are continually reminded about love. Valentine’s is an annual reminder that it’s important to display and share in your love for your partner, your children, your family and friends. Of course February 14th is not the only day that love needs to be shown, and searching for love is an individual’s choice not something that is controlled by the 45th day of the year. But whatever we believe, love is all around us in February.
What is love, though? It is an abstract and subjective emotion that takes many different forms. My idea of love could be completely different to yours, so I won’t even begin to explain my thoughts on love’s definition. However, I do think that it is important to analyze the way in which we show love and the manner in which we receive it. Love is a two-way street and our interpretation of our partner’s love language can play a big part in how each relationship works.
Love is a huge commodity to many industries around us. Movies use it constantly, marketing agencies use it regularly, and with so many online dating sites now, it is quite difficult to escape from it. We are shown by these industries a love that is magical, electric, coincidental and romantic. But this might not apply to all of us. According to Gary Chapman, there are five different love languages and each of us order these in varying levels of importance. Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts helps to explain how we love, and more importantly how we all love differently.
Luckily I have never felt the need to seek help on relationships, Bryan and I are a strong couple, but this explanation of how love is displayed in
various ways, can help the most secure relationships too. I would even go to say that it can help in all relationships, those with your family, with your children and your friends. I took the test on the book’s website here and it really works. The questions are multiple choice and eventually lead you to the five languages in your order of importance. The five love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving of gifts, quality time and physical touch, and each language comes with a description. It was fascinating to see how my list was ordered (no, I’m not telling you) and it was even more eye-opening to see how Bryan’s panned out (I forced him to do it!).
So as love is in the air, take a few minutes to try the out the questionnaire and get a better idea of how you display your love, and if you are in a relationship, ask your partner to do it too. The results are intriguing and can give a better idea of how your relationship works. It may also give you a clue on what to give your partner, maybe an act of service will be better received than flowers. Either way, it is an interesting and important thing to learn, and can make you realize what your definition of love is.
Photos by Jarrett Ford Photography