My reading is rather scattered right now - I've been attempting to discuss gender differences in communication in a generally healthy relationship...but decided to bring it here.
"The Five Love Languages" (Gary Chapman) is based on the idea that everybody as at least a "primary" love language. (Take the 30 second quiz here.)
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
If a wife's "language" is receiving gifts, verbal compliments may not make her "feel" loved. If her spouse's language is "Words of affirmation", he may very well believe that his praise will make her feel loved, when a single long stem rose would mean the world.
If a husband's language is "quality time", a good home cooked meal (act of service) may not mean as much to him as a long dinner talking.
It helps to not only know your own love language, but your loved one's as well. Even if your mate's language is not as "natural" to you...if "physical touch" is the language, make a point to touch him/her in a way that you know he/she likes. This is one that I need to focus on -
These languages are not gender specific - but they are helpful in avoiding "communication pitfalls". The book has two quizzes (his and hers) that reflect each other. The questions are not mutually exclusive, but you do have to choose one over the other.
- I love having my husband's undivided attention
- I love that my husband helps clean the house
- I love when my wife tells me she's proud of me
- When my wife cooks a meal for me, I know that she loves me
Most people have a primary and at least one secondary love language.
And it not only matters how we "speak" the love language, it matters what language the partner "hears" best.
And then...there are also the gender differences...