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It Sure Beats The "D" Word

Divorce is referred to as the “D” word around our house, and when it even comes up it is usually because we’re concerned about someone we know. We never use the “D” word in the context of our relationship because IT IS NOT AN OPTION.

Most marriages go through a period of time, usually in the first year, where it is imperative to learn how to discuss differences, give constructive feedback without being condemning or demanding, and eventually it really helps to learn to speak each others primary love language. Then even when there are negative feelings between spouses they can make the choice to love in the right languages and prevent anger from turning in to hate which eventually leads to the “D” word.

In The Five Love Languages Dr. Chapman tells a story of a woman on the brink of divorce who asks him a loaded question: “Is it possible to love someone whom you hate?” The answer is basically YES. But you know I’m not going to leave it at that. There is more to say about it.

This passage might sound familiar from the bible:

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you… Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” love those who love them.

I think in the marriage context “your enemies” would be your spouse and Jesus himself is commanding us to love your enemies. Is it really possible though to love a spouse who might be expressing hate toward you or mistreating you??

This passage might also sound familiar:
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Is there a guarantee that principle will work to turn your relationship around? No, but generally speaking when we are kind and loving toward someone they will be kind and loving toward us. Manipulation doesn’t work, but God does. How big is your God? Are you torn between your religious belief that doing the “D” word would be wrong, and your emotional pain which is telling you the only thing to do is get out? To stay or to leave?? Both options will bring a great deal of pain.

Dr. Chapman did an experiment with the lady who asked him that tough question about love/hate. His hypothesis was that if her husbands deep emotional need for love was being met he would respond positively to her. All the initiative was in her hands – to find his love language and show him love even though she wasn’t feeling loved herself. In their case her husband wasn’t trying to save the marriage. She was, so she had to take the initiative. It could be the husband taking initiative in your case.

To shorten the story the experiment succeeded and the couple’s marriage was reborn. The husband responded just as they hypothesized and got on board with the 5LL principles. They told everyone they knew that Dr. Chapman is a miracle worker.

There were several specific examples in the story of things the lady had to do that would be helpful for you to read for yourself – chapter 12. But I’m going to simply share Dr. Chapman’s summary of the experiment so you can start trying it right away if you need to:

“Tell your spouse that you have been thinking about your marriage and have decided that you would like to do a better job of meeting his/her needs. Ask for suggestions on how you could improve. His suggestions will be a clue to his primary love language. If he makes no suggestions, guess his love languages based on the things he has complained about over the years. Then, for six months, focus your attention on that love language. At the end of each month, ask your spouse for feedback on how you are doing and for further suggestions.
Whenever your spouse indicates that he is seeing improvement, wait one week and then make a specific request. The reqeust should be something you really want him to do for you. If he chooses to do it, you will know that he is responding to your needs. If he does not honor your request, continue to love him. Maybe next month he will respond positively. If your spouse starts speaking your love language by responding to your requests, your positive emotions toward him will return, and in time your marriage will be reborn. I cannot guarantee results. But scores of people whom I have counseled have experienced the miracle of love.”

Sometimes I daydream about being as good as Dr. Chapman. Seriously, this information has made a huge difference in my own marriage, but I can’t get out of my mind that this information might have saved the marriage of someone close to me several years ago – if only they would have had the information.

You’ve read enough now to at least have enough information to work on it. So go love your spouse and get over some problems. At least try. It sure as heck beats the “D” word.

Choosing To Love – It Matters

Just a few more posts about the Five Love Languages. This one is a reminder that falling “in love” is an experience that doesn’t last forever and after that love is a choice.

We are creatures of choice. Therefore we have the capacity to make good or bad ones. Some marriages on the brink of divorce can be rescued by simply making the choice to love. Love can’t erase the past, but it can make the future brighter.

Meeting your spouse’s need for love is a choice. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t agree with that statement – unless they are still having the “in love” experience. I’m not afraid to admit it and I know Shawna wouldn’t hesitate to tell you – love is a choice. The good thing is that almost never do both individuals in a relationship fall in or out of love on the same day, so if you choose to love on all the days you don’t feel in or out of love then one of you should always fel loved and you both should be able to make it together… Just think about that one for a minute, but if it’s too confusing read the book to clear it up – chapter ten.

What if the love language of your spouse is something that doesn’t come naturally to you? Get over it! Or should I say GET OVER YOURSELF! Really think about this. If somehting doesn’t come naturally to you but you do it anyway it is an even greater expression of love. Love is something you do for someone else, not for yourself.

If we didn’t do anything that doesn’t come “naturally” to us many of us would never even get out of bed in the morning. But we do get out of bed don’t we? Cause there is something worthwhile to do – like work to earn money. By the end of the day we’re glad we got up (at least most of the time). This is an example of action preceding emotion. Long lasting love is no different – you have to do it by choice before you realize the positive emotional reward.

Changing gears now… I know some guys that if they read this might be thinking “Does all this love stuff really matter as much as you’re making it out too?” You better believe it! All of us need security, self-worth, and significance. Love is a common contributor to all of those needs.

When you feel loved by someone there is a sense of security that they don’t mean you any harm. When you feel loved by someone your self-worth is increased because you feel you must be worth loving. When you feel loved by someone it makes you feel significant, and you are freed to develop your potential.

No, love is not the answer to everything. But it does make a difference. It makes it possible for you to get past your differences and live in harmony bringing out the best in each other. Love really does “make the world go round”.

Now we’ve talked about what all the 5LL are, how to identify yours and your spouses, the fact that you have to choose to do it and why it matters so much, but what if your relationship sucks so bad you hate each other? If you ever loved in the first place you’ll try Gary Chapman’s experiment that I’ll talk about in the next post.

Discovering Your Primary Love Language

Thought I was finished with The Five Love Languages. No, there’s more to the wisdom and advice of Gary Chapman than just describing what the love languages are. Now that you know what they are it is time to discover what your primary love language is – and your spouse’s.

There are several ways to make this discovery. For some it will be easier than others, but Mr. Chapman offers a few simplified techniques to try first:

1. What does your spouse do or fail to do that hurts you the most? The opposite of that is probably your primary love language.

2. What have you most often requested of your spouse? Whatever that is probably an indication of your primary love language.

3. In what way do you regularly express love to your spouse? You might be speaking your own love language.

A quick note about sex for men who might mistakenly think physical touch is their primary love language. (This is a little explicit so hide your children’s eyes) Men are physically driven to have sex because of sperm production. This clouds our judgement and makes us think physical touch is high on our list (more about this subject in future posts). Think about if you were totally fulfilled sexually but each of the other love languages were being very neglected. If you would still be happy without any of the other love languages then physical touch might really be your primary love language. That little idea will work for prioritizing the other love languages too. Some people are actually bi-lingual if two of the love langauges are equally important.

There are two types of people who have extreme difficulty pinpointing their primary love language – the person who has felt so loved for so long in so many ways they can’t determine which way is most important to them, and the person who hasn’t felt loved in so long they can’t remember what it feels like. Those people have to dig deep. Think back to the falling in love experience and what was important then, or think about what an ideal spouse would be like and that might reveal the primary love language.

Dr. Chapman also has a game he recommends. Come home and ask each other on a scale of 1 to 10 how full is your love tank? Then ask what you can do to fill up your spouses love tank. After about 3 weeks you both should be having fun showing love to each other and should be getting good at it too.

Love Language #5 – Physical Touch

This is the last but by no means the least of the Five Love Languages – Physical Touch. This is the one at the top of my list. Nothing speaks love to me more than physical contact from Shawna. This is quite a complex love language too because there are so many simple AND significant ways to speak it – depending on what dialect is more important to you. I’ll try to keep my notes short, but in my copy of the book this chapter is almost entirely highlighted…

So how important is physical touch – really?? Numerous studies show that babies emotional health is greatly affected by how much positive physical touching they receive early in life. This isn’t a new idea. It wasn’t by coincidence that Jesus himself insisted that the disciples allow parents to bring their children to be touched by him.

Physical touch is just as powerful in marriage – especially for the individual whose primary love language is physical touch. There are so many ways or dialects for communicating love through physical touch. It can be holding hands, kissing, embracing, sexual intercourse, or just coming in contact with any of the sensitive receptors throughout the body. What is liked or disliked needs to be communicated between spouses and both need to be respectful of what the other doesn’t like and don’t do it.

Love touches can be demanding of your full attention, such as a back rub or sexual foreplay, or they can be simple and only require a moment of our attention, such as putting a hand on the shoulder or rubbing together as you pass in the hallway. The point is we should be aware and take advantage of every opportunity we get to communicate love in this way – both the simple and demanding physical contact. You are only limited by your imagination. Try doing “under the table” touching or kissing as soon as you get in the car. I personally love it when Shawna kisses me as I open the car door for her. It satisfies my need for physical touch and it kinda expresses gratitude (words of affirmation) for me opening the door for her. I’ve told her I like that so she does it often.

I’m not sure why the author of the book had to talk about “open marriage” and how couples who do that eventually fail in marriage based on either moral or emotional grounds. My opinion is that people who do the “open marriage” or even “open relationship” nonsense have some other deeper more critical mental and emotional damage. They need serious help.

The discussion of that topic leads in to the damage done by a spouse who is unfaithful. To someone with physical touch as the primary love language the damage done by an unfaithful spouse is compounded. The love they long for so deeply through their spouse’s physical touch is being given to someone else. Talk about messing up somebody’s emotions. I’m just not even going to say what I might do. God is protecting my marriage from that and Shawna and I are very cautious to avoid circumstances that lead to failure. I’ll talk about that another day. My church did an awesome service on the subject…

Moving on… One of the most important times to love through physical touch is during a time of crisis. During a crisis the love we show through holding one another and sharing tender touches may be more important than any words we speak.

For some people it is difficult to recognize that their primary love language really is physical touch. For some people it is just difficult to learn the true importance of that love language to their spouse because it isn’t their own primary love language.

Before the first time Shawna and I read this book I remember going through periods of time where we weren’t filling each others’ “love tanks” because we didn’t really know about love languages. I would withdraw from her physically because of her lack of touch. It was easier to withdraw than experience the pain of feeling rejected or unwanted if I pursued physical touch. Her love tank was empty too though, so there was really a cycle of both of us not feeling loved by each other and thus not being sensitive to the others needs. It took reading Five Love Languages and a lot of time working with each other to discover what our primary love languages are, and it is a never ending adventure finding new ways to make each other feel loved.

Now that all the love languages have been described the next thing to do is discover just what your primary love language is – there’s more to come from The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman…

Love Language #4 – Acts of Service

The author of The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman, learned a lot early in his career by teaching a couple about Love Language #4 – Acts of Service. Acts of service means doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. Often times it’s little things you don’t realize are important to them, such as cooking, doing dishes, vacuuming, washing the car, taking out the trash, cleaning the toilet, raising the lid on the toilet… ok I’m digressing. The fact of the matter is Jesus himself set the example of how to show love through acts of service when he washed the feet of the disciples, so I’d say it’s a pretty significant love language.

Now for those of you who have actually read the book and know a man who fits the story Gary Chapman is sharing… a big OUCH for those guys. I’ve been guilty of working too much or occasionally playing too much b-ball, and those are wrong too, but I’ve seen guys in to hunting and fishing so much their wife might as well claim widow status. Anyway, I will refrain from getting on that tangent.

What happens to most of us is during the in-love obsession (see earlier 5LL posts) we just naturally spend more time and energy helping each other and doing things for each other. Then when we get married we form expectations of what our spouse should do for us, and those expectations are often based on the example we grew up with from our parents. When those things don’t happen both sides begin to resent or demand things and before you know it you’re arguing about stuff that doesn’t matter and not agreeing on much of anything. Love is a choice. Demands and criticism drive a wedge between you, so just choose to love our spouse in the way they request to be loved and they will probably be willing to do the same for you. You might think you’ve been doing things as acts of service, but you have to do the right things that your spouse considers the most important.

Gary Chapman recommends making a list of about 4 requests you have for your spouse – things that communicate love to you. Talk about the lists, agree that they are do-able, then choose to do the list out of love – it is a choice. Try the original list for two months then add one per month until you’re getting so much acts of service love you can’t think of anything else to add…

Now I can hear some guy now arguing ‘I ain’t gone wash no dishes’ or some chick saying ‘I don’t take out the trash’ because that is not what men/women do. Male/female stereotypes that were developed in the good ole days are long gone. Some of them still linger because we learned from our parents, but these days the chances of your spouse having the same perception are much slimmer than when our parents got married. So you’ve got to be willing to change those stereotypes in your mind and do things out of love for your spouse because that’s what makes them feel loved whether you feel manly or princessy or not. Shawna loves it when I wash the dishes and I certainly feel loved when she helps me with the yard work (she rides the mower and I use the weed-eater). I used to feel bad for her to help but then I realized how much time it saves me so it is valuable and important to me, plus I like that we’re both dirty and have to get cleaned up afterward. Uhh, I’m digressing again.

Love Language #3 – Receiving Gifts

Everyone reading this should consider it a gift of Mark’s Notes (similar to Cliff’s Notes but they’re mine). Hope you feel the love.

So how do gifts REALLY communicate love?? They say “he/she was thinking of me” to the person receiving the gift. The gift symbolizes the thought. It isn’t whether or not it cost money and it isn’t jus the thought itself. It is the thought, the securing of a gift, and the giving of it as an expression of love.

From the time we’re kids we’re inclined to give gifts to our parents (the flower picked from the yard) as an act of love. It’s in our nature for love to be communicated through gifts. Wedding rings “are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual bond that unites your two hearts in love that has no end”. That means they’re gifts, symbols that have emotional value. Unfortunately for a lot of people they don’t realize the value of those rings until they’re holding their spouse’s in their hand after the marriage has fallen apart.

Visual symbols of love (gifts) are more important to some people than others (different love languages). Some people will put greater value on gifts they receive and cherish them for years. They may even question love from their spouse if they’re not receiving gifts.

A disclaimer right here to keep manipulation out of the picture… A person who receives gifts as a primary love language will consider almost anything you give as an expression of love. So, if your spouse criticizes everything you try to give then their love language is not receiving gifts. If you’re the one doing this you’re not as smart as you think. Don’t be trying to manipulate your spouse to get you stuff by telling them that makes you feel loved if you’re just going to criticize every effort. Now if it’s a brand new manual can opener for the kitchen your spouse might need a little help understanding what a gift actually is, but almost anything better than that should be received well if your love language is really receiving gifts.

For those of us who don’t have receiving gifts as our primary love language we have to work at this. For me, working at it has a lot to do with being creative, because money doesn’t grow on trees at the Asbell house. (Although, I’m getting money under control with the support and encouragement of Joe Sangl). Remember, gifts can be not only bought, but made or even found as well. Then be creative with how you do it. Fru fru creativity isn’t my forte, so usually I buy small things that carry more significance to Shawna because of what it is not what it cost. It’s important to keep in mind that to people whose primary love language is receiving gifts the cost of the gift doesn’t matter much, unless it is really out of line with what the giver can afford. In other words – bringing home dollar store gifts when you can afford more will defeat the purpose. Here’s why…

All of us have different attitudes about money. Some are easy spenders and others are strictly savers. Gift giving is easy for the spenders but difficult for the savers. For the saver it’s easy to form excuses like “I don’t buy for myself why should I buy for them?”. What the saver is failing to realize is they ARE purchasing self-worth and security for theirself when they save, and they’re neglecting the emotional needs of their spouse if they refuse to loosen up and buy a few gifts. That’s pretty selfish. The savings minded people need to understand that investing in loving their spouse is one of the best investments they will ever make.

There is another dialogue to this gift giving thing – the intangible gift of giving of yourself. This is similar to quality time but different. It isn’t the time spent enjoying activity together and stuff like that, it is the time spent being there for each other during significant moments or just simply when one of you wants the other around. One extreme example of this is when there is a crisis. If receiving gifts is important to your spouse then your presence is very important during a crisis. Another example is when your spouse just wants you around for the sake of being there and having your company or your assistance. I recently signed up for our church basketball game. I’d like it if Shawna is able to come to some of the games just so I think she is pulling for me.

One thing to note right here is if the physical presence of your spouse is important, you should verbalize it to them. I have failed more than one time even when Shawna did try to verbalize it to me. Last night was one example. We have been busy almost every night of the week for a while, but last night we didn’t have any plans. She had asked me to help her do some things around the house. She was requesting my presence and asking for my help. Something came up that was more important to me and I took care of it (at least it wasn’t basketball). I made the mistake of not realizing how important the time Shawna requested was to her and it hurt her feelings. I was wrong and had to apologize.

The next love language is acts of service, which is another one of Shawna’s big ones (another reason me not helping with what she wanted was a dumb mistake), so hopefully I’ll see how good I’ve done since the last time I read this book … Check back later to see.

Love Language #2 – Quality Time

Ok, It’s taken me long enough to get back to this, but better late than never. Love language #2 is Quality Time. This is one of Shawna’s favorites that I have to make a conscious effort to do. Anyway, I’ll summarize what Five Love Languages says about it.

Quality time means giving someone your undivided attention. It isn’t watching TV together or reading in the same room. It isn’t just being in the same room together – close proximity. It is engaging one another (having a meaningful conversation, doing an activity one or both of you enjoy, getting away alone for the weekend, or anything that is all about just the two of you). This is sometimes a tough one for me because I’m usually happy just being in the same room as Shawna doing whatever I need to get done, but that’s not quality time. Some of the other love languages are higher on my priority, but I want Shawna to know I love her so I try to work very hard on this.

Think of it like this. When you’re spending time with someone you love you are giving minutes of your life to them that you will never get back. That is how powerful quality time says I love you – especially to someone who has quality time as a primary love language.

It is easy to get caught up in the “success” trap though. We’re so worried about the almighty dollar and our personal achievement that we’re too busy to spend quality time. We have goals we want to reach and time is ticking. Well the book presents a perspective that challenges you to think about how good all that success will be if you no longer have the love and respect of your spouse and family by the time you achieve it – if they’re even still around. You have to make time.

When I first realized just spending time together is important to Shawna I had a misconception… Quality time doesn’t mean you have to be gazing in to each other’s eyes whispering the same sweet stuff you said last week (although you’d be surprised that saying some stuff never gets old). You can do other activities together. For example, when Shawna and I were dating I had a tennis court at my apartment. That was quality time because we would just play and enjoy being together with our undivided attention on doing something together. We weren’t focused on the game itself, just that it was something we enjoyed doing together. There are lots of things you can do – make a list. As long as it is something one of you enjoy and you’re both at least willing to do it then do it knowing that you’re sharing love.

Conversation is a very important part of quality time. It isn’t always saying the sweet stuff, but it is sharing dialogue of experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires with the undivided attention I mentioned before. It is being interesed in everything about one another, kindly asking questions that get each other talking, and listening very intently because you’re interested. Listen doesn’t mean offer solutions to problems that might be shared. Listen doesn’t mean offering advice that isn’t asked for. Listening in this context means being sympathetic and understanding.

Sometimes all this conversation isn’t easy. Growign up we were all conditioned not to share our thoughts or feelings or we’d get in trouble or feel guilty because of how our parents reacted. That’s another whole book, but you’ve got to learn how to get over it and share your thoughts and feelings. Then there’s the factor of different personalities that makes good conversation difficult. You probably attracted your opposite personality. One of you is talkative and the other isn’t and that’s why your dates seemed so perfect, because you both were on the end of the conversation that is naturally comfortable to you and it was easy. That’s part of the illusion of the in-love expereince I wrote about in this post. Nice how that all comes together.

I’m going to spend some quality time with my wife now. More on the 5LL later.

Love Language # 1 – Words of Affirmation

Ok, so the first love language in the book is words of affirmation. It is amazing once you read about suff like this that you realize how far off people are with their spouses. Shawna and I work on this stuff, but it takes conscious effort on both our parts. What saddens me is when I see people who aren’t even trying or worse yet they don’t even really know what to try.

Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are powerful ways to communicate love. Simple stuff like “you look good baby” or “thanks for ironing my shirt” or “thanks for washing the dishes”. Give some sincere appreciation. Don’t try using flattery to manipulate your spouse to do something you want them to do though – your spouse can see through that. “The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love.” But you never know what your spouse might do for you if you start showing some sincere appreciation.

Encouraging words is another dialect of the words of affirmation love language. Encourage means to inspire courage. We all have areas in which we are insecure and never reach our full potential. Sometimes all it takes is encouragement from our spouse to unlock our potential and get us past our insecurities. Learn what is important to your spouse and communicate that you know, you care, you are with them, and you want to help any way you can. Believe in your spouse.

Kind words is another dialect. This is one I have to watch because it refers to the phrase “it isn’t what you say but how you say it.” Unfortunately I sometimes respond to Shawna with the right words but the wrong tone or volume. It is best to watch not only what you say but how you say it, and don’t reciprocate harsh words or tone when your spouse is upset. You can show love even in an argument by listening and responding kindly even if you’re disagreeing on something. I’ve heard it said that you can’t tell someone they shouldn’t feel the way they do because that doesn’t help anything – it’s too late – they already feel that way. But you can speak kindly and find ground for forgiveness in the argument.

Speaking of forgiveness – love doesn’t keep score. We can’t change the past. All we can do is ask forgiveness and try to do better. If you constantly bring up the past then intimacy becomes impossible. But if you choose to forgive intimacy can be restored. Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a commitment, a choice to show mercy and love despite the wrong that was done, to not allow what has happened to come between you. This one really challenges me because it is hard to make that choice all the time. It isn’t “forgive and forget”. It should be “forgiveness forever”, because you will always remember the wrong that happened and the pain will linger, but you have to focus on the commitment to get past it.

Moving on to humble words. Love makes requests, not demands. You aren’t your spouses mom or dad, so telling them what to do isn’t productive. We need to know our spouses desires and it is important for us to communicate our desires in ways that are requests not demands so that both spouses have the choice of responding to or denying those requests. Hope that makes sense. Go back to the “in-love” experience. You probably told your spouse “I like it when you help me do the dishes” rather than “isn’t it about time you do the dishes for once”. When you say things humbly you are indicating that your spouse has something or can do something meaningful or worthwhile to you. Then when they CHOOSE to respond to your request the love you feel is more meaningful.

As you can see there are many dialects within any particular love language. Find out if words of affirmation is a primary love language for your spouse and learn how to speak it well. Gotta keep the love tank full. The next love language will be Quality Time – one of Shawna’s primary ones. I’ll probably read that one next week.

"Falling In Love"

We’re reading The Five Love Languages with our home group. It is the second time Shawna and I have read it, but the first time for some of the couples in our group. It is starting to get good in chapter 3, so I want to start sharing from there.

The book describes the “in-love” experience as an obsession that isn’t true love at all. We lose interest in other pursuits, we do things we told ourself we would never do, we think our beloved is perfect and that this love will last forever. The fact is the “in-love” experience only lasts an average of 2 years before we land our feet back on earth and realize that our mate is human and little by little we begin to fall out of the “in-love” fantasy world.

For Shawna and I the “in-love” experience was just as the book describes it – an obsession. We thought each other was perfect, we never fought, we disregarded each others history (baggage), we spent money we didn’t have traveling and buying things we couldn’t afford, we got married, took the first jobs we were offered, and moved away from family and friends to start a life of our own. Not that all of that was a mistake in my opinion. We think most everything happens for a reason and we’ve learned a lot along the way, but as far as our relationship goes we can look back on about a 2 yr period that could realistically be called obsession.

Some researchers argue that falling “in-love” isn’t real love at all for three reasons – it isn’t an act of will or conscious (if you knew how I was living at the time I met Shawna you’d know I wasn’t looking to fall in love and settle down), it is effortless (doesn’t require discipline or conscious effort, it’s almost instinctual), when we’re “in-love” we’re not interested in growth and development any longer (we have a false sense that we’ve arrived). In fact some researchers even describe the “in-love” experience as a natural component of mating behavior.

Now that I’ve totally reduced being “in-love” to being horny monkeys we’re left with the question of what to do after the obsession has ended. Well, there are basically three options: accept a life of misery with your spouse, end it and go find another obsession (unfortunately in our day and time this is what people are doing but I think it is because they don’t understand the last option), we can recognize the “in-love” experience for what it was – a temporary emotional high – and now pursue “real love” with our spouse.

The third option is better for a couple of reasons. Dating sucks is one good reason, but the real reason is because EVERYONE has an emotional need to feel genuinely loved by another (not a need to fall “in-love”), to feel a love that grows because the other person chooses to love you and sees something worth loving in you. This kind of love requires discipline and effort that both enriches the life of the one you love and your own – because you experience the satisfaction of genuinely loving someone.

So how do we meet the deep, emotional needs to feel loved? That’s what the rest of the book is for – learning the Five Love Languages and understanding how to meet your mate’s needs by speaking the love languages appropriately. I’ll post more about that later.