Last week, my friend and I had an interesting conversation about engagements, proposals and marriage. She and her husband are very different. She is fairly serious and can come off as very intense, but she has a silly side about her if you get under the tough exterior. He is incredibly outgoing and goofy, and he will do anything to make sure his audience is entertained. We discussed their premarital counseling and my lack thereof. She told me that they were required to take a quiz of 30 questions that would tell them how they each expressed their love and expected their partner to reciprocate. She said that she needs Gifts and Acts of Service to feel loved, where he needs Words of Affirmation. I was curious about myself, did some internet searching and found this: http://www.5lovelanguages.com
Most people will have one area where they scored the highest with a close second. My scores made perfect sense: I was tied 9 and 9 for Physical Touch and Quality Time. A close third was Words of Affirmation with 7. Gifts and Acts of Service were very low with scores of 3 and 2 respectively. I always knew I was a touchy-feely person and didn’t need tangible things to feel loved. It makes sense that I need quality time because I’m hurt easily when I’m looking forward to seeing someone and they break our plans.
I spent more time thinking about this affects my current relationship and didn’t give much thought to my past relationships until this afternoon. If my ex-husband and I had taken this test as part of premarital counseling, would we have married? Would we have worked harder to stay married? The two things I rarely received from him were physical touch and quality time. I would reach for his hand or try to sit next to him at functions, but he would often brush my hand aside or get up and move elsewhere. He would avoid my kisses and shrugged away from my constant hugs. Not that he didn’t want to be around me, but he didn’t grow up in a household of huggers and touchers and didn’t understand my need. He also wanted to spend time with his friends on the weekends, when I wanted to spend time one on one with him. He felt that as long as we were together we were having quality time, but I wanted his undivided attention. I wish I had known about this test years ago. I don’t think it would have saved my marriage but it would have helped us/me to understand why I felt constant rejection. However, it’s so easy to say “I wish I would have known,” but it doesn’t keep the past from happening. The only thing I can do is continue to learn, understand, love myself and communicate my needs to my current partner. Now that I’ve found someone who enjoys me as much as I enjoy him, these things seem so easy.