I am a man. A being made up of testosterone and logic. There might be a very small % of emotion in the mix, which is evident when our favourite team loses. We like sport, woman, action movies and beer. It is what it is. It has to be said that most men only love one woman, but they might like more.
So I am writing this blog to share my experience in expressing love, no not making love, expressing it. (I think I just lost half of the few male readers I had up to this point!)
The wife and I attended a marriage enrichment seminar a few years ago. A couple of my friends were suckered into the same event. There was a couple of obvious entertaining topics for the guys, which I am not writing about, and then there were other topics.
At one point a guy got on the podium and his session was on the language of love. (Yawn) It actually turned out to be very interesting. His theory was that there are five different ways to express the emotion of love. The five are:
Using words; spending time; giving gifts; physical touch and acts of service. This is not his brainchild, there is even a website dedicated to this principle.
(Must admit, didn’t surf the site, so don’t blame me if it is useless. I am a GUY!)
The point is that I always thought woman wants to be constantly reminded about how much we love them. We have to say it in words, as taught by Hollywood. A group of female characters would have lunch, with huge goblets of white wine and one would complain to her friends: “He doesn’t talk to me.” The “he” is some firefighter/secret agent/cop dude with pecs the size of Superman, blue eyes and a square jaw with a two-day old stubble.
So imagine my surprise to hear this guy on the podium telling me that there were other ways to express love. It. blew. my. mind. I like gifts. I like receiving them, but I also enjoy giving them. Tick the box for my “language”. I have given my wife a bouquet of flowers for EVERY month since the day we met 16 years ago.
Don’t shoot me guys, it doesn’t make me special, it is just my way of saying I love you, it comes naturally. The secret is to determine what the preferred language of the other person is. And like life would have it, normally in married couples the language would not be the same. That would be to easy, right?
We have a conundrum. When I give flowers every month and take home all the jewelry money can buy, which she appreciates tremendously, it still might not be enough. You see, all people have a mix of the five different languages so we all appreciate all acts of love, but there will always be a preference. (I think in most men it would be physical touch, which is my very close second…)
My wife’s is spending time. The issue is that “time” is probably the most expensive commodity we have today, because there is just not enough. Demand exceeds supply, Economy 101. With work, school, parenting, sport, friends, homework, grandparents there are barely time for me and the wife to discuss daily schedules. Never mind spending one-on-one time. (And no guys, I don’t mean THAT kind of one-on-one time!)
So we had to make some plans. We found that watching TV together works well. That is why I know what happens on Grey’s Anatomy on a weekly basis. Going out to dinner once a week or preparing meals together. She doesn’t even need to talk, for her it is just about spending time together. We try and break away once in a while for a weekend without the kids. There we incorporate other languages as well. 😉
The reality is that being in any relationship beckons for constant adjustment and consideration. My wife have to be consciously aware of my need to receive gifts. And anything small will suffice, like a CD or an I-pad or a 50 inch Flat screen 3d tv.
This is the constant give-and-take that so many woman talk about.
In conclusion, I have to thank the guy on that podium who allowed me to understand my wife just a little bit more. But I will never claim to have a full understanding of the alien race that arrived on Earth from Venus, whom us men cannot live without.