I have a friend who is a therapist. He was talking to me vaguely about a married couple who did not speak the same love language and how he was assigning them homework to practice learning the other's language.
So I came home and mentioned it to my daughter. Oh yeah, she knew all about love languages. She'd had to take the test in her CE Life Roles class in high school. She knew her language and what she needed from others to have a working relationship.
So the hubster and I took the test. My primary love language is touch. His primary love language is Acts of Service. Which is cool, since we both also speak those languages.
After we learned our primary languages, I was able to figure out why he freaked out so much when the kids had to be asked more than once to do chores. He was interpreting that as an "I don't love you enough to do it." And he realized that a quick hug a day was not nearly good enough for me. A 30 second hug, and maybe an arm around or a hand hold once in a while was much better for my state of mind.
There are two of the languages I don't speak at all: the gifts one. receiving? giving? Gifts is not a big deal to me; I don't much care about them one way or another. The second language that I don't speak is Time Spent. That one makes me shudder and cringe.
My brother and I were on the phone the other day and he mentioned that his language was also touch, but his wife's was Time Spent. I immediately thought, AAAAHH!! I would not, not, not be able to handle it if my husband had that one.
I love hanging out with friends once in a while, and I don't mind doing the family game night thing. But that's doing the time spent without thinking about it, and without it being hard.
But sitting and talking to my partner because they NEED me to spend time with them? Just for the sake of being there?? Um. I would kill my husband if he were that needy.
Now, that being said, I have a daughter whose love language is time spent. I don't feel like she's needy at all. If she needs time with me, she comes and sits near me and starts a conversation. It doesn't feel like she's leeching my energy, we just discuss stuff.
The note here is that *she* makes the effort to spend that time. Probably because she knows it would never occur to me to do that in the first place.
The whole "Hey, do you want to talk for a bit?" is the dumbest question I can think of being asked.
Talk about what? Because sometimes no, I don't feel like talking. That question makes me nervous and suspicious.
On the other hand "Hey, mom, let me tell you about my day." Or "Hey mom, I have a question." Or me saying, "You look upset, sweety, what happened?" Those I can do willingly and without issue.
Usually I'm doing something else at the time my daughter comes to find me, so my attention is divided between what she's saying and what I'm doing. This works for both of us unless I hear something that needs my full and complete attention. Then she wins, hands down. Because daughter.
It feels like girl-talk. I can do girl talk with my daughters because I'm their mom, you know?
However, as a married couple, the hubster and I discuss kids, bills, dreams, goals, (the latter two in short spurts) and once in a while have an "i'm feeling this way, how are you feeling about this?" but not often. Because if I talk about something for too long and too deep, he retreats into his "nothing box."
Which is understandable, because once I start talking it's pretty darn hard to make me stop.
Which is why I have girl friends. I can do Time Spent with them just fine because it's not like I think about it when we're hanging out. But to talk to my husband for that length of time about all the different subjects we girls bounce around? Um... no. In fact, I'm pretty sure he'd stop listening after about five minutes.
I just... wow. I cannot fathom the amount of work and patience it would take to have a marital relationship with someone who needed Time Spent. Pretty sure we'd be divorced by now.
I guess that makes me selfish. And I guess that's why I didn't marry into that. I am too lazy make a conscious effort to learn that particular language to make my marriage work, and I'm so glad I don't have to.
We did have fun on our road trip to Phoenix. But I mostly read out loud to him, so...
Anyway, massive respect to those who not only speak the language, but those who willingly learn it to make things work.
In my opinion, that's got to be the hardest love language.