With over 12 million copies of his book sold, Gary Chapman has made “love language” a commonly used term these days. I can admit that I didn’t really care for the term (or his book) until I had an epiphany at the beginning of the relationship I’m in now.
In this post, I’ll explain what that epiphany was, and how Chapman’s theory completely opened my mind about something I thought I was already a pro at- communication.
Through his theory, I gained a whole new perspective and sis.. I am WOKE!
And just like when I was woke about other topics on my blog, I’m bringing you on board so you can live your best life too, hunty.
Even if you don’t have a partner right now, knowing what I learned can be applied to relationships with friends, family, hell- even your job.
“Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity.”
By the end of this post, I hope you’re snapping your fingers and shimmying your shoulders singing, “I can see cleeeeearly now, the rain is goooooone.”-HEY NOW!
Alright, now let’s begin.
My post will be structured like this:
- My Epiphany
- 5 Love Languages Test
- Ways to speak the languages
So my birthday was a few months into my now almost-four year relationship. We were in the beginning stages (“honeymoon” if you must), because I wasn’t totally comfortable speaking my mind and did what most people do in that stage- I hid the way I really felt because I didn’t wanna seem “whiny” or “picky” about certain things.
Example: During our “honeymoon” phase, my boyfriend used to let me blast Ariana Grande alllllll freakin day- with no complaints because he wanted to impress me.
Nowadays- it’s only in MY car he let’s me blast her tunes and sing passionately, with one hand placed on my chest, and the other reaching out to my invisible fans- boy do I miss that freedom!
Anyways, my birthday rolls around and my boyfriend gives me Beats (headphones), and was like “Happy birthday love!”
You guys… this was my face when he gave them to me:
- They were unwrapped… he literally gave them to me in the original box he bought them in
- That was all he had planned for my birthday that day
- Damn it can you at least put a bow on it??
Okay to some, this may seem bratty to give a stank face at something he deemed special.
But let me explain to you why I was not impressed at the time.
Growing up (on my mom’s birthday), I watched my dad run to the grocery store before the sun was up- grab roses, balloons, a cake, candles, and a card- run back to our house, wake me and my 3 brothers up to sign the card, lit the candles, grabbed his guitar, and then led us into their room while all of us sung Happy birthday in unison like we were the Beatles.
My dad did this for my mom every. single. birthday you guys. And as a matter of fact, still does it to this day.
Now, I’m not saying what my boyfriend did for my birthday was wrong- because it wasn’t.
Something I learned through a ton of books and self-realization, is that everyone grew up seeing love in different definitions.
What looks like love to you, may not look like love to someone else. And vise-versa.
My boyfriend grew up in an apartment where they used the oven for central heating through the winters. So to him, buying those $350 headphones- on a broke college student budget mind you- meant everything to him, regardless if it had a bow or fancy wrapping.
He also later mentioned that he got them in pink, because that was my favorite color. And he bought them to support my goal of conquering a 5k later that year.
I’ll also add that he’s the type of person who dislikes big gatherings and would rather celebrate his birthdays quietly.
And for me, since birthdays growing up were more umm… how can I describe it… “theatrical” (ha!), my ideal birthday would’ve been to gather with friends and family- around a cute little cake, with a chance for me to blow out candles & wish for a big booty for a 5th year in a row (and no, I will NOT change my wish until it’s granted ok!)
Now this.. This is a prime example of why love languages are so important folks.
To him, I looked like an ‘unappreciative, bratty, you have no clue what it took to acquire these headphones’ type of girlfriend (I say this because I’m repeating exactly what he said to me during the fight lmao).
And to me, he looked like a ‘can’t even put it in a dollar tree bag, can I at least get the CHORUS of the birthday song, is that too much to ask for, bare-minimum’ type of boyfriend.
He wasn’t doing the minimum. In his perspective, he was actually doing his maximum.
But it looked like minimum to me because we simply weren’t speaking the same language.
Like when you’re in a foreign country, and you’re impatiently asking the waiter where the bathroom is because you’re trying not to piss your pants.
Now back to my honeymoon reference- I didn’t say anything about the way I felt about his gift choice… not a peep. And for a while too.
Just like he didn’t tell me my recurring Ari concerts weren’t necessary every time we got into a vehicle (although I beg to differ).
You guys… why are we afraid to tell people what we want?
The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding.
There is nothing wrong with teaching someone how to love you.
Just because they don’t know how to love you, doesn’t mean they don’t love you.
Love is selfless. So if they actually try to learn how to love you? That’s love in itself.
I’ll give you a friendship example now.
I have a friend who’s very OCD and particular with the way she does everything in her life.
I used to think she loved when I helped out around the house, or helped her arrange things.. but she actually hated it.
What I was doing for her (considered “acts of service”) was NOT her love language… it was MINE.
Because she was so particular, she would rather do those things herself. And in contrast, I LOVE when people help me out with chores.
Over time, I learned that words of affirmation (like telling her I’m proud of the woman she’s becoming, and telling her how bad-ass she is) meant a lot more to her than helping her clean.
Same for kids- while one kid would love surprise stickers, small toys here and there, and being gifted silly little things like rocks- one may cherish hugs, kisses, and cuddles more. (I personally have a niece that absolutely does NOT like physical affection, but loves gifts and quality time).
Knowing the love languages of those you care about, as well as your own, can help you express your love and help others understand your needs in return.
It decreases the chances of gestures being lost in translation, just as my boyfriend’s gift was.
My epiphany was that there wasn’t just one way to show love- there were multiple ways.
Now some may ask, well what if you love ALL five languages?
Gary Chapman says:
“Love can be expressed and received in all five languages. However, if you don’t speak a person’s primary love language, that person will not feel loved, even though you are speaking the other four.
Once you are speaking his or her primary love language fluently, then you can sprinkle in the other four and they’ll be like icing on the cake”
I found out that my primary languages are:
- words of affirmation (expressing affection through spoken affection, praise or appreciation)
- acts of service (the things you do to ease the responsibility and burden of others).
And just for a relationship update, let me tell you guys what my man gifted me last year (AFTER we learned each other’s love languages)…
A freaking letter you guys.
He wrote me a two-page love note explaining (IN DETAIL) how amazing I was and what he imagined our future would look like.
You know when the City Girls said: “Big Birkin bag- hold five, six figures”? —THIS was a Birkin bag for me!!!
I died so much that I hung it on my wall- just like I’ll do with my future kids’ mediocre art that I’ll give them Picasso-praise for.
You guys- THIS was my love language.
Oh… and acts of service?
Every time I cook- he does the dishes. Washes every pan, utensil, and even cutting board I use.
And I remember one time I needed shoes for a wedding, but didn’t have the time to shop, so HE OFFERED to go shoe shopping for me.
Yes. You read that correctly: a man. at the mall. looking for a pair of heels. (This was a big deal to me as he doesn’t even know what mascara is)
Girl…. I felt like Cinderella when he got home that day. Ready for him to fall to his knees, slip on my beloved shoes from Forever21, and take me away on a horse and carriage.
These things, you guys- mean more to me than the other love languages.
It means more to me than the language of quality time (mainly because I’m just so busy right now). And these certainly mean more to me than being gifted a new watch, or essentially… gifted anything. To be honest, I’m not a “gift person” at all.
My point is: Everyone is different.
One of my favorite quotes is, “ask and you shall receive.” But sis… you gotta know what to ask for first!
What sparks the most joy for you?
Take this love language test I link below, and find your love language.
And I’m beggingggg you, like the exasperating ex that makes fake numbers to try to reach you when you’re living your life peacefully in their absence, to COMMUNICATE THAT with everyone you know.
Your partner, your friends, your family, your dog, your barista – “Caffeine is my love language”
But really- do it.
And then watch how it changes your relationships.
Nothing- absolutely nothing beats the feeling of being appreciated and being shown that in YOUR love language (although taking your bra off at the end of the day comes at a close second).
Let’s find out how people can love us, and how to love others damn it!
Take Gary Chapman’s Love Language test:
And then when you get the results, peep these charts to guide you (Feel free to save these pics!)
Remember guys, a lack of communication breeds assumptions of what the other is thinking or feeling. And assumptions are- more often than not- incorrect.
Communicate. Even if it’s uncomfortable or uneasy.
Everyone deserves to be loved, and most importantly- in a way they’ll understand.
If you want a deeper understanding of the love languages, read this article: [Understanding the Five Love Languages]
If you wanna read the 5 Love Language Book, click on the photo below to order it: