Love, to me, is one of the most exciting experiences! Holding a close second to ecstasy, in any form. But I never knew that it was possible to love someone incorrectly. That was until my most recent relationship ended, with my girlfriend citing “you don’t know how to love me” as the reason for her departure. I was confused, to say the least. I provided a home for us, I buy you things, I take care of the household, I take care of you, and I am amazing in bed! That last part is not my opinion, she actually told me so on several occasions. :)
How was I not loving her correctly? I told her I loved her. I showed her I loved her…or so I thought. I was doing everything that, to me, constituted love. The problem, I was not speaking her love language at all. Comparing English to Spanish, I was speaking French! So now that I have all of this free time on my hands…side-note, you never realize just how much time you spend with your significant other until you break up! I literally did not know what to do with myself for the first two weeks. But, now that I have all of this free time on my hands, I decided to really dive into how I love and just what she meant by I did not know how to love her.
If you have not read The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman or at least taken the quiz to determine your love language, do yourself a favor, stop reading this, and do it now! 75% of the fights in my last relationship could have been avoided had I known then what I know now about how a person receives love. I spent over a year with a woman who I was loving selfishly, and I had no idea.
Upon taking the quiz, I discovered that my primary love language is Acts of Service, followed by Quality Time (which would explain why after we broke up, I had no idea what to do with my free time). Looking back at the relationship, I would have to conclude that hers was Physical Touch, probably also followed by Quality Time. I never complained about how she loved me, because as long as I knew I was loved I did not feel it fair to dictate how she did it. Hugging me was fine, but emptying the dishwasher was more recognizable. I enjoy being touched and caressed, but she would have gotten a better response by picking up the dry cleaning that I had forgotten to grab. She was the complete opposite. I did the laundry, the dishes, I made dinner, I bought her gifts, not even realizing that none of this is what she wanted or needed. She preferred a dirty house over me not loving on her when she came home in the afternoon.
I was loving her MY way, therefore not fulfilling her needs in that area. In fact, the more I loved her my way, the more unloved she actually felt. Talk about heartbreaking! To know that the person I loved more than anyone else on this Earth, felt like I did not love her much at all. All because I never took the time to learn to love her the right way, the effective way, the unselfish way…HER way.
Love, to me, is one of the most exciting experiences. It also proved to be one of the most challenging. Be sure that you know their language.