When my husband and I were first married, I made the (silly) assumption that my husband should be able to read my mind. “I shouldn’t have to tell him how I feel or what I want. He should just know.” (Cue the laughter.) Ten and a half years into marriage and my husband and I are still learning how to better communicate with each other, but we try to take the guesswork out of it by actually telling each other what we want or need from the other. When I was in 7th grade, I decided to take French class to learn how to speak the language. I stuck with it for five years and by the time I made it to my junior year of high school, I could carry on a decent conversation and felt fairly confident that if I ever made it to a French speaking country that I’d be able to get by. But just like learning a foreign language takes time and practice, so does learning how to speak your partner’s love language.
The idea of a love language seems fairly straightforward: each person has a specific way of being spoken to or treated that they best understand, and when they are spoken to or treated in that way, they feel valued, loved and understood. The problem comes when you and your partner speak different love languages or even different dialects of the same love language. Yikes! As if trying to communicate clearly with your partner isn’t tricky enough at times, you now have to add in this other aspect of how to communicate your love to them as well. The good news is that this language, just like French, can be learned with patience and practice.
For example, one of my two main love languages (according to The 5 Love Languages book by Gary Chapman) is words of affirmation, but the dialect is words of praise. I feel love from my husband when he recognizes something that I’ve done or accomplished, especially something I may not have been particularly confident in prior to starting. One of my husband’s love languages is quality time. When he and I are able to spend one on one time together doing an activity, like watching a basketball game, going to movie or rock climbing, he feels loved by me. (You can find out what you and your partner’s love language is by click on this link HERE.)
While my husband and I know each other’s love language, we aren’t always the best at expressing it. I think it’s pretty common for people to express love to others in the way that they would like to receive it, rather than thinking about how the other person feels love the most. More than anything, it takes time and practice to learn how to develop and express this skill of speaking your partner’s love language. Dr. Gary Chapman says that “If we learn to express love in the other person’s love language, he/she will feel loved. And if that person reciprocates by speaking our love language, he/she will meet our emotional need for love. We love each other, and our love will endure because we choose to nurture love by learning how to express love effectively.”
My husband and I finally had a chance to do our at-home date night from Crated With Love this last week. With a theme like Romantic Renaissance, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. We opened the box to find some different artistic mediums like paint and clay along with some envelopes labeled “Our Secret Love Language”.
Our first activity was centered around creating a special “code” or love language and then writing a note to each other using this new language. The trick was that we had to decipher the note written to us without seeing the code our partner had created. We had a lot of fun trying to see who could decode the note first and laughing at the symbols the other had used to write the note.
Next we played a game where we had to come up with a special memory or moment we had together and then paint it using the watercolors. The twist on it was that we only had 20 seconds to work on our painting before we had to swap with each other and try to continue painting the picture, not knowing exactly what the memory was. It helped that we could ask clarifying questions and it was really funny to see what we each came up with and even how we remembered the same moment.
We grabbed the clay for the next portion of our date. The instructions that came with our box directed us to each think of 3-5 words that describe the strongest parts of our relationship. Then we had to use the clay to come up with something that represented those things. It was neat to find out what each of us thought were the strong parts of our relationship and to talk about why they were strong.
Last, we played a game of Would You Rather…? where we took turns reading the cards and guessing what the other person would choose before attempting to build a house of cards. The cards were slippery so it wasn’t easy but through trial and error, we came up with a way to make our house stand up. It was a fun way to end the night before cleaning up our clay sculptures, watercolor paintings and love notes.
If you think that a date night subscription box might be just what you need in your relationship, I highly recommend checking out Crated With Love. Their subscription boxes are super affordable and in most cases, cost less than going out! The Story Mode box is $19.99/month and their Diamond Membership subscription is only $26.99/month, with an even bigger discount if you sign up for 6- or 12-month memberships. They’ve also given me an exclusive code for you to receive 50% off the first month of a Diamond subscription! Just use the code: SUNSHINEANDMUNCHKINS at checkout to take advantage of this awesome discount.