Heart Untangled: Speaking My Love Language

This month I have been thinking quite a bit about love languages. 

I always thought I knew what mine was but decided to take the official online quiz for couples on Gary Chapman’s website. It was so insightful.

Knowing your own love language is a great way to understand what you look for in relationships and how you feel loved and appreciated. It is also good to know what your partner’s love language is so you can show them your love and appreciation for them in a manner that means the most to them.

I want to share mine because it includes descriptions and hopefully makes you think about what your own might be.

After the quiz, my results were scored. The highest score indicates your primary love language – how you really understand your partner’s expressions of love. It’s common to have two high scores, although one language tends to have a slight edge. The lower scores in your profile indicate those languages you seldom use to communicate love and which probably don’t affect you on an emotional level in your relationship.

My top two were tied…Physical Touch & Words of Affirmation. My next highest was Quality Time followed by Acts of Service. My lowest was Receiving Gifts.

Here is a little more insight into what they mean straight from my personal love language profile:

Physical Touch

“This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.”

This is so true in my opinion but was a little surprising because I was in a long distance relationship for years. Being apart never bothered me too much. I missed my partner of course but we talked all the time and saw each other as often as we could. It worked for us. I am glad now we are no longer long distance. 

Words of Affirmation

“Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.”

As a lover of written and spoken word, words have special meaning for me. Actions are incredibly important but to me, so are the words you say. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks and I want to hear what you have to say. Words really do matter in building relationship with someone.

Quality Time

“In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.”

Acts of Service

“Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.”

When I think about my love, I think one of his top love languages is Acts of Service. He gives love through Acts of Service. He feels appreciated through Acts of Service. He goes above and beyond when it comes to finding ways to serve. He is always willing to take the burden of something and make things easier on me. He wants to know I have his back too and I do. It feels good to have someone you believe in. 

Receiving Gifts

“Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.”

My boyfriend and I are just the right match here. This was the last one for both of us. Gifts are not our focus and I like that. We spend our time on the other areas above.

These descriptions just scratch the surface. To really understand the love languages of you and your partner, read Dr. Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages.

The biggest tip to walk away with is you should take time to understand your love language.

Knowing how you prefer to be loved is important for your relationship. It’s romantic to think your partner should just know how to love you—but it’s also a bit unrealistic, and can even be unfair to expect something from your partner if you’re not willing to tell him/her how you prefer to be loved and appreciated in your relationship.

My Gym Romance

For the past couples months I have been pretty faithfully attending the gym. It’s shocking really. I have done so faithfully because my boyfriend pushes me and trains me when we get there.

On days when I just want to go out and order a dozen buffalo wings and chill in front of a tv, I balance with days at the gym or getting some workout in. It has not been easy all the time but so worth it.

I choose to step out on my tv nights to build my love affair with the gym. My boyfriend has been incredibly supportive on this journey. It feels good to pick a healthy activity together to make ourselves better. 

We used to do our own things in the gym and he would leave exhausted and I wouldn’t even be sweating. I wasn’t challenging myself and building up any kind of endurance. I was more than happy with 20 half-assed minutes on an elliptical while watching some ridiculous show. 

Now having an accountability partner, I am building muscle and endurance, helping my heart, mind and body get stronger all the time. I literally do every thing he already planned to do on his own, just at a lighter weight. We have different days to focus on different muscles and some days are the hardest thing ever. That feeling though to push past what you think you can do, is the most liberating feeling. 

Getting all that excess energy out is a stress reliever. It slows down the brain busyness because I have to concentrate on not hurting myself or dying in the gym. It’s perfect for draining me to get a good night’s sleep. 

I am not good at everything though so I also learn lessons in being patient with myself.

I used to be nervous I was holding my guy back in the gym and I would look goofy holding 2 or 5 lb weights doing my thing but I focus on myself and him only. He taught me to track my progress and I have seen true change in my appetite for more. Now I can push the limits and it feels good.

Our gym routine is also another great positive way for us to build our connection with one another. A couple that works out and sweats together can learn to conquer so many other things in life together. We lean on and trust each other as we mold our weakness into strength and share vulnerability in our health and wellness journey. 

I used to tell people that I refused to pay for a gym membership for things I can do at home. Before my guy moved to Chicago, I used to do more workouts on my own. I would pull up YouTube on my tv and do yoga right in my living room. Whatever works is worth it if you work it. 

If you have been telling yourself you need to work on getting fit or back in the gym, start as soon as you can. If you don’t think you will stick to it alone, find yourself an accountability partner like I did. 

Now I force myself to take more opportunities during the day to walk. Instead of taking the bus home which is closer, I often walk to the train which is a few blocks further and gets my heart pumping. As a city girl, I walk fast so more activity is better to really get my blood flowing. 

Life is simply too fragile and short not to take care of ourselves. My next step is really examining my diet because I LOVE to eat and 83% is not healthy lol. 

For now I will continue my love affair with the gym. 

National Sister’s Day

Today I celebrated National Sister’s Day. I didn’t even know that was a thing until recently. 

I love some of these random days to enjoy the little things in life. They have national ice cream day, national friendship day, national poem day. There is something to celebrate every single day of the year. 

This post will be short so I can get back to the company of my friends and sisters but what ladies in your life could use a little love from you? Maybe a hello, a smile, a laugh, a call, a card, a coffee, an ice cream or a brunch date? 

I went to brunch today with my actual sisters but celebrating things like national sister day can include the more general sister definition of just a lady in your life. Your sisters might include your family, friends and any other lady who could use a spirit uplift from your kindness. It might be a a lady you admire or have fun with or someone you call mom even. 

Who could use an extra dose of your attention this week?

Share the love in the spirit of National Sister’s Day! 

Cry It Out

When was the last time you had a good cry? 

It could have been a result of pent up frustration, stress or sadness. I even cry sometimes when I’m happy or overwhelmed with emotions because of something really touching I see or hear. 

Sometimes shedding a tear is the only way you can express what’s going on, when there are no words. Of course, don’t take the extreme and cry all the time at every drop of a hat. 

Sunday morning I spent some time at church…but first I strugggggled. 

I woke up groggy and congested. I had to wake up earlier than usual because I committed to attending an orientation about opportunities to volunteer. The bus was going to make me late so I tried hailing a cab which wasn’t working so I called an Uber but canceled at the last second because a cab did come. I didn’t feel like going to church. I didn’t feel like doing anything but catch up on more sleep. I didn’t want to go at all. At all. 

This morning because I woke up on a side of the bed feeling some kind of way, I decided to Spotify me some gospel music while I showered and got ready. I wasn’t in the mood to take the day on yet but sometimes you  just need to plant the seeds for the atmosphere you want anyway.  Yolanda Adams and Fred Hammond helped me change my mind about some things. I jumped into the day more grateful and contemplative. 

Music is such a powerful tool. Not just worship music. 

I spent a lot of time today listening to music today and creating a peaceful space in my own. As I write this, I have Pandora spilling tracks from Chance the Rapper, Drake and Kendrick Lamar, real conscious lyricists. 

Anyways back to this morning. Towards the end of the church service, the band went back to the stage to lead a few songs. One in particular really touched me and I became overwhelmed with emotion. 

Eyes closed, I sang and listened with silent tears streaming down my face. It didn’t last much longer than 3 or 4 minutes. I just let the magnitude of what I felt like the words were saying to me in that moment, take over. I began to reflect that sometimes I am exactly where I need to be. Not just physically in that building this morning but in life generally. 

Days of feeling tired, stressed or overwhelmed affects us all. Maybe more than we would care to admit. Sometimes life feels like you’re in control and have kiddie-pool size issues going on. Sometimes life feels like you are wading in the ocean during shark week. 

At times you may look around like, “How does it all connect?” or “Why is (fill in the blank) happening?”

The song I heard this morning felt hopeful and confirmed I may resist at times but I am exactly where I need to be.

At this point in my life, I give myself permission to feel all my feelings. Truth, honesty and authenticity from myself, to myself is key to me. 

This morning I needed a good cry and under the direction of powerful music, I let some things go. I cry when I am thankful for blessings or also in times I feel like life is really testing me. Crying was therapeutic and a way to recognize, release and move forward with a clear mind. 

When my loved ones have lost jobs or found new jobs, have health scares and just try to figure out what life has for them in relation to the relationships in and around their lives, I share in what they are feeling. Sometimes they need a good cry too for the blessings and the pain. 

This song “Oceans” is what did it for me:

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and you won’t start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Even if you don’t shed a tear, what is something you need to release and let go of physically or emotionally?