Christmas time – a time to love

Being surrounded with all things Christmassy (and feeling less Christmassy than I have in years – heck for the first time in my life I don’t even have a single Christmas decoration out!) I find myself reminiscing about childhood Christmases and wish with every fibre of my being I could just wake up as a child in my grandma’s house on Christmas day.

There is a stark contrast between the naive girl with dreams in her heart, an unwavering glimmer of hope in her eyes and the one sitting here with a broken smile trying to figure out, once again, where it all went wrong and if it is even meant to be for her and her hopes and dreams of the prince in shining armor, who would bring a happy ever after, dwindling fast behind tears and heartache and what if’s and why not’s.

It is supposed to be a time of love, family, giving and sharing; a time when all is forgiven and left behind. While (still) wondering what to get my 13 year old with the temperament and soul of a 25 year old, I am reminded of one Christmas where I bought my mom a gift, which, at the time, seemed like a good idea to me, but turned out to be a major disaster on the receiving end. Love, affection and giving is sometimes a double edged sword – it is o-so-easy for misunderstanding to rear it’s ugly head. What I might perceive as the perfect gift could quite easily be seen as a slap in the face by the recipient.

This took my mind to a book I read a long time ago – The 5 Love Languages. Now, I know that there is a lot of critique against this theory, but I for one believe that there is some truth to be discovered in it.

The long and short of it is that each one of us possess a primary and a secondary love language – the driving force behind how we perceive the love given to us. The problem that we have is that most of us is so focussed on our own love language that we forget that our partners have their own love languages, which they feed from. The book suggests that, instead of focussing on your primary an secondary languages, you should instead find and focus on your partner’s languages. If you both commit and follow through on this, you, in theory, end up with a relationship where both of you feel happy, secure and loved.

Before I explain by means of example, let me run through the love languages quickly:
1. Gifts
2. Quality Time
3. Words of affirmation
4. Acts of service (devotion)
5. Physical touch (intimacy)

For me, physical touch and acts of service measure way above anything else on the scale. Holding hands, hugs, a simple touch when you walk past me – boy, you’ve got me drooling like a puppy. Add to that opening a door, getting that glass of the shelve that is just out of my reach or offering to take out the trash and you’ve got yourself a girl who will cross mountains barefoot for you.

Naturally, this is also then the way that I express love – searching for his hand, waiting for a kiss and (happily) running around like a headless chicken trying to make sure that everything is tidy and in place and exactly where he wants it.

Now, if you put Ms Romantic in the mixing bowl with Mr Romantic who has, let’s say words of affirmation and gifts as love languages and you have the potential for disaster.

Little Miss will run around cooking and cleaning and being all domestic, fall down next to him on the couch, reaching out needing a kiss or being pulled into a bear hug. Mr Romantic over there will go: ‘good job love, let’s go buy you shoes’.

Love expressed from both sides but no love received by either one of them.

Neither of them right or wrong – according to their own love languages, but I am willing to stake a great deal of money on it that it will leave Ms Romantic feeling sulky an unloved while Mr Romantic will end up all confused because he has no idea what just happened.

Now, if only they were in tune with each other’s love languages it would have been a different story all together. Misunderstanding averted.

We should all be borne with this book as pre-conceived knowledge.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with love, laughter and peace

Until next time