Thursday, April 3, 2014
The 5 Love Languages for Newlyweds
When Brian and I moved in together, there were a lot of tasks we did differently than each other. For example, he washes dishes right after dinner where I throw them in the dishwasher or leave them until morning. When I clean, I turn on a good Kesha mix and drift from room to room where Brian likes his party mix to be playing and tackles one room at a time. It took some time to get used to these differences but we have fallen into them after living together over a year.
We all have different processes, different ways of doing things. It should be no surprise that we feel love in different ways and expect to be loved in different ways. It's our own Love Language. And just as we have different processes, we all have different love languages we need to adapt to.
Gary Chapman introduced the Love Languages in his bestselling book, "The 5 Love Languages." He tells us that each person has their own love language and being shown their language allows for a more satisfied and deeper connection.
As newlyweds, I think this is a fantastic tool. The first year of marriage, you are really learning the other person as your spouse. It's a different kind of love that you need to be able to learn to show for the rest of your life.
There are 5 Love Languages you can have, one being your most dominant and therefore, your love language. As newlyweds, here is how you can adapt your Love Language to your newlywed year of marriage.
Acts of Service
My Love Language
Cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming floors, taking out the trash. All say I love You to to this Love Language. It's showing you care by easing them of the burden of these tasks. And anything that adds to your burden shows you care less about this person's feelings.
Newlyweds: Make a list of what tasks you would like your spouse to be doing. Compare notes and adjust. Remember all the small acts of love you did back when you were dating; they would work now.
Brian's Love Language
This is about spending time with this person but not just that. They want meaningful conversation with depth. It also means turning off the phone, really being there and in the moment with your partner. All of this shows them you care. Where being constantly distracted shows just the opposite.
Newlyweds: Communicate to really understand each other during your first year of marriage. Any frustrations, joys that may arise. Putting date nights into your budget and calendar. Putting your new spouse first.
Words of Affirmation
Just simply saying, "I Love You" is enough for some people that love with this language. They just want genuine compliments to know how much you truly care. And any negative comments can really hurt this person, more than most.
Newlyweds: Love notes with "husband" or "wife" written around your home. Not raising your voice during the first year squabbles. Forgive as the first year of marriage is all a learning experience.
Holding hands, a brief peck on the cheek or just a good cuddle is all this person is looking for. It doesn't always have to lead to more intimate physical acts. Just feeling your presence is all this person asks for to demonstrate love.
Newlyweds: This might not be the hardest thing you have to do the first year ;) Holding hands on date nights, a hug everyday when you get home from work, a nice massage. Just physical signs to say "I Love You."
This doesn't mean the person judges love by material things, it can even be a simple gesture that demonstrates it. A homemade card, making dinner or remembering little moments from your relationship. This person loves the thought that goes behind all of these the most and that is how they see the love from you.
Newlyweds: All the "firsts" matter. 1st Christmas, 1st date night, 1st birthday. Making them special with your own personal touch would go a long way. And it doesn't have to break your budget!
Since we have taken this test, we have truly looked at the love language of each of us. When we are watching tv or a movie, I try to put the phone down, step away from Twitter and cuddle with Brian. Working nights and weekends on occasion, have me missing these special moments and the opportunity to show him love at those moments. I need to make more of an effort to understand his love language.
Brian has really taken to helping me out around the apartment even more since we have discussed this. He celebrates his own wins "Hey! Look! I took out the trash!" and I do too. I love him for doing it and for being so receptive to understanding how we each feel love. It has definitely helped me feel less of a burden when he is taking on extra chores or responsibilities.
If you are married and haven't taken the Love Languages quiz, I strongly suggest you do. It really has opened our eyes to how the other person wants to be loved and we have already adjusted how we do things. And it actually doesn't take as much convincing as I thought for the husbands!
What is your love language? Do you agree with your results?