Do you know about the 5 love languages? I read this book years ago and it's always made a lot of sense to me.
The basic premise is that there are 5 love languages:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Everyone gives love and feels love in different ways, different languages.
Last weekend I had a bit of an epiphany about the love languages. I guess it was just a reminder of what I already knew but it was amazing to see it so clearly in action.
My man and I had had a great day together. Lots of laughs, working together, loving each other, feeling really connected.
Then over dinner we had a conversation that triggered a feeling for him that kept him quiet and withdrawn for the rest of the night.
As we drove home in silence, I was feeling insecure. I asked if he was upset with me, he said no, I believed him. But it still didn't feel good. I wanted him to tell me he loved me. I wanted him to talk about how lovely our day was together and what he loved about me and us. Words of Affirmation is my love language.
I also wanted him to touch me. If he could just take my hand or touch my leg while I drove... I think Physical Touch is another big one for me (that's new).
But he didn't do either of those things. He looked out the window. We listened to music and didn't talk. I felt not awful but definitely not great.
However, I've done enough work to coach myself through this. I gave myself some love by recognizing what I was craving and giving me some of that. I complimented myself in my head. (Yes, I really did. I know it's super hokey but it works). I enjoyed my music. I enjoyed the drive. I even pulled over so we could take a moment to gaze up at the Milky Way (my fantasy was that it would be a beautiful romantic moment, it wasn't, but it was very nice anyway).
When we got back to his house I took a shower and put on cozy clothes, noticing we had left the bedroom upstairs a little messy, unmade bed covered with piles of clean laundry... It was late, I was tired.
I went down to the kitchen and we switched places, he headed up for a shower.
That's when I saw the coffee maker. All washed and set up ready for me to use first thing in the morning. I almost cried.
It was a clear message of love. I got it. And it was enough. I didn't need the words or the touch. This was enough.
This is real. Everything isn't perfect all the time. Sometimes we need to be a little quiet and withdrawn. Lord knows I've been there.
But in that moment I realized I had been showered with love, all day. Just in a different language. Acts of kindness.
My man spent his Saturday helping me disassemble my kids bunk bed (a huge pain in the ass, but we laughed through it). Then he helped me clean my air bnb, never complaining that both those things took longer than we expected and we didn't have time for a hike or even a walk, like we had planned.
It was a long day. He was tired too. But he knows how I love to have my coffee first thing in the morning. And he loves me.
When I went upstairs, he was in the shower. The bed was made, the clothes had been cleared away, it was nice and ready for me to get in.
So, the lesson is:
See the love where it is. When you're focused on getting love the way you want it, you might miss it. Look for it, and be open to finding it in a different language.