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I love you, you love me.

At some point in the recent past Fleur de lis and I were talking about love languages.  She hadn’t ever heard of the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  That surprised me a little because it was all the rage back in the day.  The day being the late 90’s or so.  Then I remembered that it was probably all the rage in the Christian circles where I traveled and not so much in mainstream secular America.  While the book is written by a Christian it is remarkable in it’s applicability to mainstream secular America as well.  The basic idea of the book is that we all give and receive love in different ways.  By default we tend to show love by doing things for others that we like done for ourselves.  This book talks about the five basic ways people feel loved.  It gives insight on how to love others in a way that they will feel loved.  For example…some people love to be told that they are loved.  They like comments about how beautiful they are, how nice their hair is, how amazing the meal was they cooked, how appreciated they are, etc.  That communicates love to them.  And while it’s nice to hear others might not care so much about those sorts of things.  Instead they might need quality time to feel loved.  Time dedicated specifically to them.

Years ago I took the little test in the book to determine my love language.  The language that when spoken to me communicated love.  Back then my primary love languages were Quality Time and Acts of Service.  Acts of Service being things like cleaning the bathrooms, putting gas in my car, vacuuming the house, cooking dinner…all because you love me.  After telling Fleur de lis about it she and I both thought that I should take the test again.  It was obvious to both of us that over the years my love languages had probably changed.  I took the test online and received the following scores.

Love Language Scores:
4 Words of Affirmation
11 Quality Time
0 Receiving Gifts
5 Acts of Service
10 Physical Touch
Interpreting and Using Your Profile Score:
The highest score indicates your primary love language (the highest score is 12). It’s not uncommon to have two high scores, although one language does have a slight edge for most people. That just means two languages are important to you. The lower scores indicate those languages you seldom use to communicate love and which probably don’t affect you very much on an emotional level.

I just laughed when I saw my results. Physical Touch had never really been on my radar until recently.  And by touch I’m not referring to sex in any way.  I had been touched my whole married life and while it was ok it wasn’t something I needed.   I know the need to be touched was there in the early days of my marriage.  I remember it.  I remember being frustrated that physical touch always led to sex.  A back rub was never just a back rub.  It was foreplay.  Touch became less and less important to me because while fulfilling a need it was also creating a sense of dread for what came next if I wasn’t in the mood.  And for some reason unknown to me I was rarely ever in the mood.  (And let me insert here that I didn’t hate sex.  It was fine.  I just didn’t need it.)  Later my need for physical touch was fulfilled by babies and toddlers.  They hugged me and kissed me and played with my hair.  They needed me and loved me.

These days my babies aren’t babies anymore   They’re junior high and high schoolers.  I can’t pick them up and hold them.  Oh they still sit right up against me on the couch.  They still give awesome hugs.  They still play with my hair and my youngest two still fight to hold my hand in the store.  (which can be a problem since most store aisles aren’t wide enough for me, a 10 year old and a 12 year old)  I figured those touches were enough.  And really they were.  Until I met Fleur de lis.

And because she is so amazing I have to start a new paragraph to talk about her.  Fleur de lis is a toucher.  A petter.  A caresser.  Colbie Calliat must have met Fleur de lis at some point because she could only have been talking about her when she penned the lyrics “You’ve got magic inside your fingertips; it’s leaking out all over my skin.” That’s exactly how it is.  Fleur de lis has amazing hands.  When we are together she touches me often, and it’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before.  She touches my face, my neck, and right under my collarbones, and I automatically relax.  She rubs my arm with the perfect amount of pressure.  It’s like her hands are giving me little hugs.  Perfect little hand hugs.  I can be in the middle of a sentence, and her touch will make me forget what I’m saying.  Without realizing it I lean into her touch.  She claims I must have been a cat in a former life.  I just can’t get enough.

I also scored high on Quality Time.  That didn’t surprise me.  I am all about spending time together, and I don’t usually want that time interrupted by the TV or radio.  Going to the park, to dinner, or doing some other activity that isn’t a distraction from each other will do.  I’m ok with watching TV, surfing the net, and going to the movies, but I don’t want that to be the only time that I get.  I can spend a good amount of time with someone, and if it’s all spent in the midst of distractions I will feel like I really didn’t even see them.

Fleur de lis took the test online as well.  She scored high on Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation.  I have work to do.  I am not very good at either one of these.  Since Physical Touch is one of my love languages it seems like it would be an easy thing for me to do.  The only problem is that whenever I start to touch her she touches me back, and I’m rendered useless.  I melt.  I forget that I’m rubbing her arm or massaging her head.  My body becomes jelly, and I lean into her touch.  As far as Words of Affirmation goes I honestly forget.  She is always saying nice things to me, and because it isn’t one of my love languages I don’t automatically do it back.  It doesn’t come naturally.

I have work to do.  I want to love in a way that is felt.  In a way that can be counted on.  Time to get busy.


2 responses »

  1. I mentioned that book in a post on my blog a few weeks ago. I won’t be all blog whore-y and link to it in your comments, but I do wish you’d been around that day to participate in the discussion. No one had any idea what I was talking about. I’m glad you’re working on giving Fleur what she needs. That “little hand hug” was a great line.

  2. Fascinating! Very interesting how your needs changed, and how now, touch is so important to you.

    I don’t think men understand how harmful it can be to a relationship to only touch when they want sex. In straight marriages, especially.

    We don’t really have that problem, because a) We touch often, without sex as a goal, and b) We are almost always in the mood for sex!


    And it sounds like you and Fleur de lis are also win-win.


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