5 Love Languages?
Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages books have helped so many couples. It's so valuable to recognize that showing your love by being helpful can fail if your mate feels especially loved when she hears praise and enthusiasm. She may even take helpfulness, in the absence of the praise and enthusiasm that signified love and safety in her early years, as criticism of her ability to take care of herself.
And it's great to know that if you're using physical touch or thoughtful gifts as a measure of how much your man loves you, mismeasuring will happen if he's desperately trying to arrange more quality time with you, because this is how he measures it.
But are there only five love languages? I'm not so sure.
What about open-mindedness? Have you never heard a woman gush about the man or woman she married and adores because her beliefs and ideas are listened to and welcomed, even when her partner initially disagrees with them?
What about teamwork? Some people get far more distressed than others when they can't even carry a large package in from the car together. Is it because cooperative, communicative teamwork feels loving and its absence might be a huge warning sign?
What about zest? Do you feel more or less loved depending on how enthusiastically your partner engages you and the things you do together?
What about modesty? Do you know anyone who feels their partner's revealing clothing or public nudity reflects a lack of caring for them?
What about creativity? If you're one of those people who doesn't do drugs or dive out of airplanes to get their hit of dopamine, do you feel more or less loved depending on how creative your spouse is with their gifts, your sex life, or the things they want to do together?
I could probably continue on through the entire list of VIA Character Strengths here. But isn't it interesting to consider how many of your top strengths, the ones you feel so great using, might be bonus love languages for your spouse, just because you share these strengths with someone whose love was vitally important during his or her earliest years?