My #1 love language is receiving gifts. When I got this result, I was extremely surprised. I thought, “But I don’t like shopping. I’m not materialistic in any way. I don’t even like having a bunch of stuff in my house. I’d rather be giving more things away than acquiring more.” And that’s when it hit me: I love to give gifts because I love to receive them.
Many people show their love in the ways that they want to be loved by others. I knew that Christmas was my favorite holiday because seeing the faces of my family when they opened their gifts brought me so much joy. I didn’t stop to consider that perhaps they didn’t really care about receiving those gifts, or at least didn’t value it as much I would have. It turns out I was assuming that they received loved in the same way I did. It is an easy and understandable mistake to make.
Now, just imagine if you continually gave gifts to your spouse when they would much rather be getting busy in the bedroom. Enter: massive disconnection, confusion, resentment, and more disconnection from your spouse.
If you are asking yourself, “What the hell is a ‘Love Language’?” let me explain. In 1992, Dr. Gary Chapman started sharing his ideas about what he considered “The 5 Love Languages” in any relationship. Simply put, they are the different ways you can give and receive love. Not so simply, many people in relationships do not value the same love languages as their partner and not communicating about these differences can cause major problems.
The 5 Love Languages are:
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
Most notably, Chapman published The 5 Love Languages, which continues to help millions learn what kind of love to ask for and how to “speak” the love language their partner most highly values. If you have ever asked yourself, “We are so out of sync right now, but I don’t know why” this book can be incredibly helpful.
If you've never taken The 5 Love Languages quiz, I highly recommend that both you and your loved one take it.
For the military relationship, Chapman published The 5 Love Languages Military Edition which takes his overall concepts and delves even further into issues like separations due to deployments, military-style communication, and dealing with trauma.
I am writing this from the terrace of an amazing hotel room that my husband booked for the two of us. We are rarely able to get away for a date night, so he has gone all out for this one. I checked in early while he is driving back from a fishing tournament, so no, I’m not rudely ignoring him during our date. Technically, it hasn’t started yet.
What got me writing today was the feeling I got when I walked into this beautiful room and knew that my husband had given this experience to me. Of course, it helped that the hotel is gorgeous, and we could never afford it without the friends and family discount he hooked up. (Thanks Adam!) Just the same, my husband took the time, and thought about what he could do to demonstrate his love in a way that I really get. Sometimes, a gift is not something you can open (like a MilSO Box). Sometimes, it is the gift of knowing that your loved one has put effort into showing you how much you mean to them in a language you can truly understand.
Okay, someone literally just started playing “At Last” by Etta James on a nearby terrace. I now have to wrap this up so that I can swoon, bask in this beautiful moment, and get ready to give love the way my husband best receives it… and it is not through gifts. :)
Lindsay Hinger is the founder of MilSO Box LLC. She is an Air Force veteran, wife, and mom. Her passion is to show support and bring joy to the female significant others of our US Military one box at a time.