Isn’t it irritating when we consider the theoretical and then ‘move on’ teasingly without engaging in the practicalities of the subject in question?
Many males (and I include myself very much in this) often forget that one of the major factors of stress in marriage or adult partnership, as far as women are concerned, is the issue of a lack of relational safety and security. Even Gen Y women, who are challenging many traditional gender stereotypes, want to be loved this way.
An approach of consistently consulting the love languages can do a great deal to engender more safety and security for women:
Words of Affirmation
è Send a lovely email every now and then, not to the point of monotony, but just to affirm your love.
è Affirming body language—the little encouragement—always works at the right time, especially to reinforce affirmative words.
è Writing a nice warm ‘n’ fuzzy sticky note and placing it under a pillow, in a lunchbox or at the desktop computer so it can be ‘found’ at a time when you’re not around.
è Spending discretionary time—even if it’s fifteen minutes—when it’s not expected can be very special.
è Blocking an afternoon out to surprise your partner (who you know is free) and pretending that the world has stopped still just for the two of you.
è Soothing caresses on the lounge whilst watching television or a movie.
è Pressing in physically when reading the paper together, perhaps with a warm and sincere ‘peck’ on the cheek without prompting.
è Combining other forms of attention with a shoulder, back or upper arm rub.
è Foot massages! (Nothing more need be said.)
Acts of Service (Helps)
è Even the little things (especially) count. Doing the smallest (and big) thing around the house.
è Thinking and planning forward and doing something/anything to make life easier, especially when there are no strings attached.
è Combined with any of the foregoing but done as a surprise, comes across appealing to those speaking the ‘gifts’ love language. Enter the double- and triple-whammy.
è Don’t discount freebies. Freebies given with thought and good timing are often the best of gifts. Normally people speaking the gifts love language are not materialistic at all.
è Chocolates, flowers and diamonds... in no particular order!
A Note on Intimacy
Intimacy as manifested in the warmth of our communications together is a great gauge of real satisfaction; sure, passion is important, but intimacy is the true rock of commitment, not passion. The right level of intimacy with spontaneity can also engender passion. Intimacy is at its core great communication—both verbal and non-verbal.
Recapturing intimacy is sometimes also an issue of recollecting the past—what it was about the early days that sent the love sparks hurtling through the air; even recalling those old dating and courtship stories.
Back to those love languages...
As we apply the love languages to our specific situations we can always find special ways of loving our partners, loved ones, and indeed even our work colleagues—i.e. everyone we’re blessed to know at a deeper level.
There’s no excuse not to love everyone we can—especially those we know well.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.