“What’s your love language?” my friend asked.
She didn’t bat her eyelashes at me when she asked, even though it sounds like that kind of question. In fact, it’s a question in the same realm as “What’s your Myers-Briggs type?” (Pro Tip: ENFP every dang time, obviously.) We were talking about Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. It’s a little bit cheesy and a little bit gimmicky, but it’s a book I’ve found helpful in working with engaged couples and in thinking about my own relationships.
Chapman’s premise is that there are five main “love languages”–five ways that people give and receive love–and the way to sustain a relationship is to know both your own primary love language and the primary love language of your partner. (There’s a whole library of these books, of course–the principles can strengthen relationships with friends, children, pretty much anybody.)
The five “languages” are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and . . . .Receiving Gifts.
My friend and I both scored way higher in the first four languages than we did in that last one. As we talked, we both wondered how anyone’s primary love language could possibly be Receiving Gifts. (Pro Tip: Pastors get judgy sometimes, too.)
But when I checked the mail at home, I found an unexpected Amazon box. At first I assumed it was something Mike had ordered, or something one of the grandmas had sent to our kids, but it turned out to be for me. My dad sent me a book one of his friends recommended. He thought I would enjoy it.
Then, due to a tragic miscalculation on Mike’s part, everyone else got a sundae cone and I did not. When I came downstairs after putting the kids to bed, Mike said, “Your Dairy Queen is in the freezer.”
Besides their obvious tangible benefits, both of these gifts also gave me great delight. I felt seen. I felt known. I felt . . . loved.
You got me, Gary Chapman. It turns out: my love language is Books and Dairy Queen.
What’s your love language?