Did you know that your love language can CHANGE due to time, personal growth, and circumstance?
I first took the Love Language test early in my twenties. Recently married, my husband and I took a course through our church group. My results showed Words of Affirmation as the way that my partner could best express his love to me. Looking back, that makes so much sense. I was married to an introvert, who had a minimal amount of words per day, and he used most of them at work. I craved that verbal communication and connection from him.
Personally, I was also much less secure in who I was back then. I needed outward affirmation to bolster my confidence. I remember going on dates and waiting all night for my husband to tell me I looked pretty. And on the way home, I would dejectedly and pathetically ask him, “Did you think I looked pretty tonight?” And he would say, “Of course, I always think you’re beautiful.” And I believed him, but my love tank was still empty. I cringe at how insecure and needy I was at that point in my life. Fast forward to today. At 39 years old, I know my value whether or not someone tells me every day. I am confident in who I am, my strengths and weaknesses, my beauties, and my flaws. I don’t NEED words to make me feel loved. (Although they are still nice and I definitely glow when my husband compliments me! )
I’m now married to a very verbally expressive man who works a lot. He’s a realtor, which means he often works around the clock, is available all hours, meets with clients nights and weekends, and sometimes goes weeks and weeks straight with no days off. Between his work and my work, having two kids in two totally different life phases and typical family and social obligations, we don’t have a lot of time to focus on each other.
The other day, the topic of love languages came up, and it dawned on me. My love language isn’t the same as it used to be!
Wanna take a guess at what my #1 Love Language is these days?
Yep, this mama needs some old-fashioned good ol’ quality time. I need regular, frequent, focused time together, a time where we are not on our phones, not socializing with other people, not doing a project. I need time with my husband that is explicitly spent on connecting and appreciating each other, remembering what it feels like to be IN LOVE, not just choosing to love each other.
Truthfully, my love tank is pretty empty right now. It’s hard to go on dates. We are often too worn out to even have a meaningful conversation. Now don’t get me wrong. We talk a lot. But it’s mostly just figuring out logistics and making sure our calendars are in sync. It’s wearing on me. I feel disconnected, unseen, impatient, cranky, resentful, used up, and empty. And as a result, I’m doing a crappy job loving my husband. So, I’m pretty sure he’s feeling the same deficit. Something has to change.
I read a quote the other day, and it kicked me in the gut. “Instead of saying, ‘I don’t have time’ try saying, ‘it’s not a priority’ and see how that feels.” When applied to my marriage, it feels wretched. Somehow, we let life and parenting and work take top focus, and our love slipped down on the priority list. Now, I’m not about beating myself up. I’m about getting real with myself, recognizing my problems, and then actively trying to fix them. I know I’m not alone here. Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. Loving can be hard. And it’s always changing. Just like our love languages change over time, so do our relationship strengths and weaknesses. Parenting can seem like the main priority. But I’m here to tell you, parenting can get a whole lot harder when the parents aren’t feeling connected as a team.
So every once in a while, take stock of your feelings. Do a love tank check and get real with yourself. Have your needs changed? Have you communicated what you need to your partner? Have you asked your spouse what he or she needs? I’m about to go have this conversation right now, and I’ll be honest, I’m really hoping to get an emergency fancy date night out of it!