Love Language— the defined, intentional way we both experience and demonstrate the affection, respect, appreciation and value from/for others.
Years ago, I was “diagnosed” with my love language as being gift giving and acts of service, sprinkled with words of affirmation.
At the time, I was a new mother, in a fairly new marriage.
The thought of things defining something like quality of time seemed unnecessary, unneeded. I had a new baby at the time. Raising her as a home-educating, staying-home-with-her-mama meant she had all my time, attention, lots of hugs and kisses, and more than enough of my mental and emotional focus. My husband remembering to bring me something, or taking care of a responsibility that was weighing down on me— that spoke volumes to me of his love, appreciation, affection and value for me.
Fast forward 22 years later— something in me has changed.
Don’t get me wrong— bringing me something home (like an unsweet tea), and helping with some responsibilities I now just am not able to easily do for physical reasons, boy do I ever value those!
But I really believe my love language has changed, has adapted to changes in our family and my life.
Now— I value spending quality time with him. Going with him on errands, him sitting down to fix a puzzle with me, or watching a comedy we both laugh at together— that’s what I need. That “speaks” to me how he values me— wanting to do things with me.
Quality of time has become an obstacle-laden minefield with so many forms of technological interruptions and distractions. Always looking at some device, attention diverted by notifications— always something interrupting staring meaningfully into one another’s eyes (record scratching sound)— I mean, talking about his work or my day, or what we need to get at the grocery store…
When we first met then married, we actively sought to spend time together. As we got more used to our relationship dynamics, I busied myself with our children and trying to keep up with the housework. He worked crazy hours which forced us all to learn flexibility with plans and scheduling things. He also played video games (anyone married to a gamer can relate, I have no doubt). He served at our church on the worship team— which took so much of his time away from us. I served also, but just wasn’t able to as much as he did. Over time, the video games waned down while more work and church responsibilities now presently claim much of his time and attention.
I suppose I just got used to having very little time with him, and I tried to adapt to where I felt nurtured in our relationship. I jumped into his hobbies with him so we were doing things together, growing together with interests in common. There were days where we barely spoke or saw each other. Those were my hardest days.
Sharing life with my husband has often been him doing things away from, or without me. I think this might be typical of many marriages.
While my love language for others is finding ways to demonstrate that they are important, in my marriage— I believe quality of time has moved up to the top of what makes me feel loved. He knows this, I think, and he has been adjusting things so we are doing things together.
Learning to speak and interpret a love language takes time, effort and understanding.
I wonder if his love language has changed, as well? My own food for thought.