Imaginale Design
[[ This is a series of summaries and personal "confessions" and opinions on "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman ]]

I have to start with the acknowledgments. Why? Because there were some key points that immediately caught my attention and made me want to continue reading this book.

Let me start with the main idea:
"We must be willing to learn our spouse's [or insert partner/friend here] primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love."

"People speak different love languages ...
Most of us grow up learning the language of our parents and siblings, which becomes our primary or native tongue. Later, we may learn additional languages but usually with much more effort."

"In the area of love, it is similar. Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other."

Wow. Is that what has been wrong all this time? We become frustrated that we are "doing all we can" to show them love and even sometimes think they "take it for granted," when in fact -- we're speaking a foreign language to them!

Here is the last section that I love (summary):

"We have long known that in early childhood development each child develops unique emotional patterns. Some children, for example, develop a pattern of low self-esteem whereas others have healthy self-esteem. Some develop emotional patterns of insecurity whereas others grow up feeling secure. Some children grow up feeling loved, wanted, and appreciated, yet others grow up feeling unloved, unwanted, and unappreciated.

The children who feel loved by their parents and peers will develop a primary emotional love language
based on their unique psychological makeup and the way their parents and other significant persons expressed love to them. Children who do not feel loved by their parents and peers will also develop a primary love language. However, it will be somewhat distorted in much the same way as some children may learn poor grammar and have an underdeveloped vocabulary. The poor programming does not mean they cannot become good communicators. But they will have to work at it more diligently than those who had a more positive model."

*The goods* (yikes! Talk about honesty...)

I consider myself in an "in between" model. I was raised by a single mother and this was an eye opening experience beyond my relationship with my fiance. Growing up, my mother became frustrated easily, criticized us
a lot, and was very sensitive. I, growing up, was a pretty temperamental child. My mom yelled = I yelled. At the same time, my mom was incredibly supportive of my dreams and SUCH a proud mother. She always, always, always talks about her kids. Ask her. She will beam.

However, reflecting on my childhood and applying the way "love" was shown in my house, there are many things that I have taken into perspective. I realize how sensitive I am to criticism. In respect to my relationship, I became very defensive when Jose was critical of something that I did. He is a rational minded individual. At times when he would simply be questioning out of curiosity, to me felt like an interrogation and questioning of my motives (in a negative way). I then would become upset and answer irritated, to which then he would become defensive and ask why I was so upset. The funny thing is, I grew up as the "attitude" child that when I LIVE up to this "expectation," I become really upset = I encourage my stereotype. I think "ugh! I'm proving them right" and I get so upset at myself. But unfortunately, I am portraying a negative attitude because I dislike that Jose surfaced these emotions, when in fact, the only person to blame is
myself.

My whole life, the relationships I was closest to surfaced my "attitude" -- the part of me that I battle with, trying to keep her in the closet. Unfortunately, that "attitude" is so closely tied to my language of love because of the criticisms I received so much as a child, it is
bound to surface with the people that I love. Ask my family. Ask Jose. It's pretty retarded how defensive I get when I it APPEARS (key word: appears) that I am belittled, disrespected, or judged by the people closest to me. Why? Because my childhood was full of opinions and criticisms (negative) that I associate that with being "unloved."

This is just the beginning. I felt empowered when I read this chapter because there is logic to my behavior. What this means is that there is a
solution. I thought "I can let go. How can I move past that?"

Next sections:
"Keeping the Love Tank Full"
"Falling in Love"

Then we start with the
Love Languages -- #1 Words of Affirmation
9 Responses
  1. Sonjacharde Says:

    LOVE THIS! what book is this? can i borrow it when ur done w. it? and if two ppl love differently do you think they can learn to love each other? or are they just doomed? what do you think? can ppl really change when it comes to love?


  2. Ale Says:

    I know! I love it too! This is why I am putting myself out there because I think SO many other people can benefit from this book.

    YES, I do think that 2 people who speak completely different love languages can love each other -- but with SOO much work. There will be moments you HAVE to be self-less and that is so hard (especially when you're independent and protective of your feelings or have been hurt in the past).

    It's not necessarily people "changing" WHO they are -- it's learning to speak their partner's love language that will CHANGE your relationship. YES, it is possible. But it takes time and commitment.

    I will be summarizing each language -- pretty much the whole book. You are more than welcome to borrow it after I do the series, but you'll almost have read it by then, haha. I can't wait to hear YOUR thoughts too!!


  3. Anonymous Says:

    i think knowing what ur weakness is, is a start..i mean i have always felt loved by my family...i love my mom and i am a girl who loves to show affection..i feel like ppl need to know that i trully loved them and thats y im so touchy feely...however coming from a household from a single mom i feel like i dont need a man...sometimes i feel like my husband is dispossible...i dont need him..n its not about needing each other is about the love..about having someone there at the end of the day who will love no matter how flawed u are..no matter how ugly the arguements get u know that u loved them n they love u back..its about family..its about friendship..its about having someone listen to you and accept u and u doing the same...its about LOVE


  4. Erika T. Says:

    Wow Ale! I really love this. The part that sticks out the most is how quickly we are willing to say that we've "tried everything" and that our partners "take us for granted" without getting down to the root of the problem. I can definitely relate to this issue of "foreign love languages" from my past relationships and now that I am in a healthy, loving, respectful relationship I can appreciate that we are both fluent in ours! hehe :) However, I do agree that it CAN be worked on and the dynamics can definitely be changed to ensure the best outcome in any relationship. It's all about both people being as honest and open with each other as you were in this post. LOVE IT!! Can't wait to read more!


  5. Jenn Says:

    Oh my gosh, I can so relate to this post. I too was raised by a single mom, but she got some help from my grandparents. I always felt like my family was so critical of me and in all actuality, I took their playfulness in the completely opposite way because I am so sensitive. My fiance was the first person to point out what I already knew and of course this angered me because I didn't want anyone to see me as THAT girl, the one who people watch what they say because she's soooo sensitive. My fiance knows my flaws and continues to love me regardless. I sometimes question WHY but then I realize that I AM worthy of someone loving me unconditionally. This has been something that I've struggled with in past relationships and it's taken some getting used to. Ahhh, I could go on and on but this is already turning into a novel! :)


  6. Lora Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Lora Says:

    My goodness, first I was awed by your amazing photography, now this! Your honesty is awesome. I've been married for almost two years (and time has flown by, dont waste a moment!) and your post really spoke to me. It is so encouraging to hear someone else's journey and to know that I am not alone. I definitely want to get this book and read it along with your posts! Looking forward to the next one!
    -Lora Petersheim


  8. Meg C. Says:

    Hi, Ale. You're a brave soul indeed to take on this topic! :-)And I admire you for doing it. I don't know anyone among us who hasn't experienced frustration in their relationships surrounding differences in communicational styles. It's a challenge for all of us.

    I think that your desire to examine your own style, as well as your willingness to try to adapt it accordingly, shows a tremendous amount of maturity on your part, and it serves as a testament to how much respect you have for your relationship with Jose (and others close to you).

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I for one am looking forward to reading additional posts from you on this book, and think that I may learn a lot in the process. Keep writing, and keep bein' you, girl! We love you.


  9. Ale Says:

    Maggie, it is definitely about love -- but the main idea here is that sometimes we speak -different- love languages. Love alone will not keep a relationship alive, because it is not love that keeps it alive, it is US that keep it alive. Love is WHY we sacrifice and do the things that we do, but love alone will not hold a marriage.

    Thank you Erika! You are beginning a beautiful relationship and I am so happy for you and Paco.

    Jenn -- we are so alike!! I was also raised by my grandma :) She is a second mother to me. And I ALSO was so self conscious about being sensitive and ALSO would become upset when someone very close to me (past b/f, mom, fiance) would point it out. The reaction was an "in denial" state for me, refusing to agree I was being "sensitive" when in fact I was upset that I WAS.

    Awww Lora, you're so sweet :) :) Thank YOU for sharing your own thoughts with me. I was so scared to literally put myself out there so personally, but when I read comments like yours and the others -- it is SO worth it. Sharing the journey is the best part!

    And Meg -- I feel like you're still here (in ATL) when I can share this with you!! I'm so glad you're on for the ride and I know I will learn a lot from your own, very insightful, perspectives :)