I have always been extremely curious about this phenomenon. I’m someone who is extremely sensitive to other people’s feelings and even been extremely in tune with my own. So, when I first heard about this I definitely believed in it because how else can you explain failed relationships and friendships when at one point they were so much in love? How can that love completely disappear and turn into anger, frustration, sadness, and loneliness? But also, I knew from my own relationships that there came points when I felt unloved and mistreated and sometimes I couldn’t pinpoint why that was. There was no specific incident that I could blame it on and that was always so confusing to me. So, I sent myself on a deep search into this idea.
The first place I went was the official website where you are able to take a quiz that tells you your primary love language and the ones ranked accordingly after. I was so amazed how easy it was to answer these questions. It’s basically a series of questions that say “I find it more meaningful when” and you pick 1 of the two choices. It was like instinct, I just clicked one and I definitely noticed a pattern in my choices. It also started to help me make sense of some of the conflicts I had had in my relationships and why some of them have failed. It started to become clear that each person has a specific way they feel love and unintentionally give love. I had pretty good guess to what mine was before I clicked submit but even so I was so giddy to get my scores.
I definitely was not surprised with my primary love language. But, I was then curious as to how that comes about. Like why is my primary love language acts of service? So, I started really reflecting on my experiences and personality to find the answers. It might be helpful if you see the description for this!
So, Gary Chapman’s book is much more detailed on this description and helped me identify where this stemmed from. But basically, acts of service is doing things for another person that you know would help them out, ease their stress, or decrease their large to do list. Some of these things include doing dishes, tag-teaming a work project/assignment, filling up the gas tank, warming their car up in the morning (especially in North Dakota because it’s freaking freezing here), or getting a cup of coffee ready for them in the morning! Lots of little things that say a lot!
But, when I started thinking about it I’m more than positive the reason this love language is my primary one is because this is how my dad expressed his love for me growing up. My dad is actually more on the emotional side so he did always verbalize that he loved me but I knew how much he loved me when he would fill up my gas tank when he knew I was traveling the next day, when he would have supper made when I got home from school, or when he would wash my car when it was getting too dirty. I mean he did a lot of things that resonate with acts of service actions. I for sure learned to receive love that way! Another thing I realized was that acts of service really helps someone with anxiety. I was always stressed, oversensitive, and worried about all the tasks I have to accomplish and when someone tries to lighten that load for me, it almost brings me to tears. Dating someone or being friends with people who do things that limit my anxiety make me feel loved, through and through and I think the acts of service love language accomplishes that quite successfully.
I wasn’t necessarily surprised that these came next but I was interested to see which came first! I am a lover of compliments, detailed explanations of why someone loves me, and have always been extremely sensitive to anything other than that. If I am sent a sweet text, thoughtful note, or told a compliment I can quite literally feel my heart melting. I don’t necessarily know where this one came from, I mean my parents are pretty verbal people when it comes to their love but not to the extend of words of affirmation. I think one reason I resonate with this love language is because I’m a sentimental gal and thoughtful, kind words mean a lot to me. I’m also extremely sensitive like I’ve said so hurtful words hit hard too!
Receiving gifts for sure didn’t surprise me because sometimes I think they blend well with acts of service! For example, I was having issues waiting a long time for my car windshield to defrost and it was wasting a lot of my time and I ended up just sitting in my car frozen while I waited – not fun. So, my boyfriend’s dad bought me this windshield cover that prevents that from happening! I don’t think it was too expensive but it honestly made my entire day. Like knowing someone cared enough about you and your being to go out of their way to get you something? Or my senior year, after homecoming court I was pretty bummed that I didn’t win. Yes, I know stupid to be bummed about but it was high school and I wasn’t good at much other than talking to people and I felt like that was sorta my thing! Anyway, my dad sent flowers to the school the next morning with a card that said, “You’ll always be a queen in my eyes” and that sent me to an instant burst of tears (as well as the ladies who worked in the office). It’s something so incredibly small but it made the world of difference to me.
I think it’s really important to take this quiz and really dig deep into your love languages because it can help strengthen and deepen all of your existing relationships and hopefully start a new one with a strong foundation. I don’t think that this has to be limited to just romantic relationships either – any relationship you have with anyone can be strengthened using this idea. It also helps when both parties take this into of equal consideration. You can’t move forward when one person is holding the other back. So, I really encourage you to take this quiz right now – it only takes about 5 minutes to do the whole process! If you have some extra cash I even would go as far as encouraging you to purchase the book too! It’s a great resource to go back to whenever you are confused or losing ideas to incorporate the love language into your relationships. It also gives a much more in-depth explanation of the entire phenomenon and detailed tips, experiences, and advice for each individual love language. I hope you found this interesting and are super excited and curious to learn more about the 5 love languages!!