I Dare You (3 Languages, 5 Questions)

Yesterday I had the privilege of listening to Dr. Gary Chapman present on his New York Times Bestseller The 5 Love Languages.

Dr. Chapman’s work is one of many in his series about love languages. A love language is simply the way in which we best receive love from others. Chapman’s 5 languages are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Gifts,and Acts of Service. While we may receive love in all of these ways, chances are, we each have a primary way of receiving love, and knowing this can allow our relationships to flourish. I recommend Dr. Chapman’s works as simple ways to address issues in your relationships that may stem from not understanding one another’s primary love language. Want to know what your primary love language is? I thought so. Here is a link directly to Dr. Chapman’s site, where you may take the 5 Love Languages Quiz for FREE. Click on “Discover Your Love Language”.

Now, if you are in a relationship and you take this quiz, forward the link on to your spouse or partner and have them take it too! After you and your partner have your results, here are some questions to ask each other. I would also recommend asking your partner these questions that Dr. Chapman proposed even if they do not want to take the quiz.

1. What can I do to help you?

Seems really simple right? Like middle…maybe even elementary school simple? But we often overlook the easy things in life for the more complicated answers. We want to make our relationship a complicated game of sorts, holding on to resentments and past disappointments, keeping score of who has done what lately. This open question gets our partner’s needs out on the table, which opens the door to intimacy- real intimacy. You may not always be able to help in the way that is asked, but wouldn’t it be better to know what is needed rather than guessing? And while this takes away the “romantic guesswork” of “just knowing” what your partner needs, I would argue that such a thing only happens after years of asking this question and learning how to be the best help to your spouse. Go ahead, I dare you to ask your spouse or partner today this question and find out, through that answer, what might be their love language. Is it doing an act of service, spending some quality time, giving a hug? Again, I dare you to find out.

2. What would make life easier for you?

Again, this seems borderline insulting in its elementary nature, but if it is so easy, why aren’t most of us asking? Sometimes we are afraid that we will be asked to do or to fix something that we are not able to actually fix. But the beauty of this question is that the nature of it may lead to an answer that has nothing to do with you! So again, I dare you to ask, and in doing so, find a way to love your partner by making their life easier! Ask a follow up question- what would be a relief for you? Time together? A back rub? Doing some chores for you? Again, I dare you….

3. What can I do to be a better husband/wife or partner/significant other?

Yes, we are still in elementary school, though we are approaching middle school because this one is directed at us! We might fear the answer, but I can say that the opposite, which is not knowing how to improve as spouse and leaving it up to guesswork is really scary, at least to me anyways. I encourage you to ask and be hopeful! You may find that in as much as you may be falling short, you may also find that you are spending time doing something, such as cleaning the house, giving back rubs, creating endless time together, purchasing expense gifts, or heaping lavish praise upon your spouse, that is actually not necessary. You may get freed from your misguided attempts to love your spouse and get the encouragement of finally loving your spouse the way they want to be loved. Go on…I dare you.