Goodness, I can't believe that it has been one whole year since Miles and I said "I do". These past 365 days have been a whirlwind of everything that you can imagine. It has been hard. No doubt, it has been hard. Miles and I began dating in October 2013, got engaged in January 2014, married in May, and then we moved in June. But with what I would consider one of the toughest seasons of my life has come copious amounts of love and grace and ultimately, some glorious revelations of God's almighty work.
I don't think that we have it all together now, because we will always be learning, but I would love to share with you some of the tough things that we had to experience and work through and grow from. At first I planned on making this one short and sweet post for you all, but after coming up with my points, I knew it would be a painfully long post and I thought that I'd just start a little 5 week series for you.
This week, I'm going to expand a bit on Love Languages. What are they? Why do they matter? How are they helpful?
So for those of you that are unfamiliar with this concept, here's an excerpt straight from the book's website: "Falling in love is easy, but maintaining healthy relationships is a lifelong pursuit. Once you understand “love languages,” you’ll be able to nurture...relationships effectually." Now I know that that can sound a bit forced, but please, read on! The book goes on to outline each of the five love languages (Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch) and how to actually, effectively, execute those types of love.
I think that one of the first things I worked to figure out about Miles when we began dating was his love language. Once I figured it out, I tried to give him a different one because I wasn't very good at expressing my love to him how he felt it most.
My top two love languages are physical touch as well as quality time. I feel so loved when Miles spends an extra few minutes in bed in the morning cuddling. There's just nothing on Earth that I would trade for those precious moments of being held by my husband. Now
Miles, on the other hand, prefers Words of Affirmation. This was a toughie for me because my communication skills are lacking. How do I communicate that "I love you" without saying it?
I probably didn't really have the hang of loving Miles well (if we can call it that) in this area until a few months ago. I got really good at sticky note love notes early on in our relationship, but that's pretty surface level. Now, I'm better at telling him to his face things that any husband would appreciate hearing: "Thank you for working so hard to support us"; "Dang hun, you are the most handsome man I've seen!"; "Gosh, you're jamming in school. That last paper was so solid."
Before we figured out each other's love languages, things were sort of just a big hodge lodge of emotion. Miles would be telling me a bunch of things that sure were great to hear, but didn't really fill my love tank the way they would for him. He'd try to buy me things or do housework for me, and yes, don't get me wrong, those things are all swell and dandy and yes, they make me feel loved. But, they can't compare to what a back tickle or some time just sitting together drinking coffee fells like. Likewise, I tried mostly to hangout with Miles at the gym to make him feel loved or go out of my way to give him foot massages and back rubs.
Yes, those things made him feel loved.
Yes, he appreciated them.
However, if he woke up to a card on his sink full of encouragement, his love meter was on E for exploding.
Sure, our love languages will probably evolve over time, but for now, this works for us, and loving each other is so easy when we know how to best fill that Love tank.
If you're interested in finding out your love language, take this short quiz, and maybe send it over to your spouse to take as well and then share the results with each other!
+ Come hang out next Wednesday for "5 Things I Learned from 1 Year of Marriage: Be Best Friends"
Liked this post? Check out the rest of the series: