The challenge with love in any relationship is learning how a person loves.
We were all taught to see love based on our family’s relationships or based on our own relationship. My mother was a single mother and it was for only a brief time in my life that I lived with her and my dad. I can’t say I learned much because I don’t remember much about how they treated each other. I mostly lived with my grandparents. They showed love by holding hands or giving each other a hug or a kiss. Physical touch was what I grew to understand as love.
It wasn’t until later in life that I learned about love languages, which are the ways that we feel love. There are 5 love languages, according to Dr. Gary Chapman:
- Words of Affirmation: By hearing I love you, or you did great.
- Acts of Service: When someone cleans for you or helps you do things.
- Receiving Gifts: When you receive gifts.
- Quality Time: Spending time with the person.
- Physical Touch: Being affectionate.
Each person experiences the feeling of love based on their primary love language. For me, that was physical touch. Physical touch made me feel loved in the wrong relationship, and it took some time to feel loved in the right relationship. It was only when I started dating my husband that I realized what love really is.
When I was in my abusive relationship, he would be very affectionate. To me that translated into love. It was difficult to understand how someone who made me feel loved could cause so much pain. Unfortunately, I had let my perspective of love tarnish my reality, I exaggerated the good times and diminished the bad. Once I decided to leave, I truly saw my relationship for what it was.
At that time, I still didn’t know about love languages. It was only when I started dating my husband that I realized love is so much more than just physical touch. I learned through him how to truly love and be loved.
My husband’s way of showing me love is through acts of service. When we were dating, he would make things for me, like a poem he wrote and framed it. His way of showing love was different from anything I had experienced before.
He would also come pick me up all the time to go out on dates even if it was more convenient for me to drive to him. He would always open doors for me and walk me to my door, no matter how late it was. All these efforts helped me to see his true love for me. He was not showing love to receive something in return, he showed love just to make me happy.
My husband is a man that truly knows how to love and care for me. He has always been kind and caring toward me even before we dated. He will make sure things are done in the home and that he can help me out. It is through his acts of service that he shows his love.
It took me some time to know how he felt most loved. It took some time for me to recognize this and to learn to show him love through acts of service.
It has taken me time to learn this type of love, but I have been able to show him love by doing things around the house that I don’t normally do just to make his day easier. I can say that I need to work on this more. But we all start somewhere. He in turn has learned to show me how much he loves me by just holding me sometimes or sitting next to me while we watch TV.
Don’t confuse receiving your love language with real love like I did. Learning your love language can help you understand the relationships you are in. By showing each other love in the ways that we can feel it, I continue to grow together in love with a good man.