According to the book of the same name, the 5 Love Languages are Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. Thing is, your love language/s may not be what your loved ones "speak" (or "hear").
You see, there's something called the "burn toast syndrome". It goes like this:
Because his wife was in bed sick, a man got the idea to make her breakfast. He lovingly squeezed fresh oranges for juice, scrambled some eggs and darkened the toast. He finished her tray with a single red rose.
Seeing her husband carrying the tray of food towards the bed, the wife sat up and smiled. As he got closer, though, a shadow darkened her face. She couldn't take it anymore. "Why do you always make me burnt toast?!" she exclaimed...the began sobbing.
Getting a tear in his eye, the husband said, "I'm sorry, my love. Because I love burnt toast, I was just trying to offer you what I would have wanted as a favorite meal".
So it goes with the 5 Love Languages. What we "need" in order for our "love tanks" to feel full may not be what our partner, child or loved ones need. Here's a quick run-down of the Five Love Languages and what they entail:
Words of Affirmations - This is when words of praise or encouragement fills up your love tank, making you feel all fuzzy and nurtured.
Gifts - This is when you receive a homemade card, a child's drawing, a present--and it sends you over the moon with feelings of well-being.
Quality Time - This is when someone spends time with you shopping, walking, talking, drinking coffee, watching movies, reading by your side...or "just doing nothing"--and you feel like a million bucks.
Acts of Servce - This is when someone does your dishes, cooks you a meal, takes out the trash, balances the checkbook, cleans the bathroom, runs to get groceries...and your heart swells with gratitude.
Physical Touch- This is when hugs, hand-holding, pats-on-the-back, shoulder rubs, back scratches, tousling hair, tickling or horseplay makes you feel like your heart may burst.
After consider each of these, what Love Languages do you speak? What ones do your parnter speak? Your children? Your parents? Your siblings? Your friends? Remember: what you're "giving out" may very well be your Love Languages...but not the "languages" that your loved ones "speak" for a filled love tank.
Helpful books: The Five Love Languages; The Five Love Languages of Children; The Five Love Languages of Teenagers; The Five Love Languages: Men's Edition; The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition; The Five Love Languages of Apology