It seems as if some people I don’t even know love me. Maybe it’s happened to you too.
Don’t get me wrong: I do believe I’m a fairly lovable person, and I’ll take all the love I can get. But the person saying it needs to really mean the words for it to count. Otherwise, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth since I know (because how could they?) that they don’t actually love me.
To whom am I referring? I’ve noticed that the last few newsletters / training updates I’ve subscribed to have come with an email signature of “Love, (the writer’s name).”
As in, “Thanks for subscribing! Love, Bob.” Or “I hope you found these writing hacks helpful! Love, Janet.”
And every single automated “touch” from these folks ends the same way: “Love”
Sometimes that automated touch is once a week. Sometimes it’s several times a week. More often than that and I hit UNSUBSCRIBE.
I think I understand how these businesspeople believe they can get away with saying love. We love everything from a story on Facebook to a photo on Instagram. We say we love the smell of coffee in the morning and watching a sunset. We love our friend’s new outfit as well as a just-read book. And Heaven forbid, don’t forget that I love dark chocolate! But when we love so many things, it’s difficult for a true I love you to stand out from the crowd.
Dr. Gary Chapman, marriage counselor and best-selling author/speaker, is famous for his Five Love Languages. He discovered in his earlier counseling years that how we prefer to be loved can be identified in five ways: “Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Each individual has at least one language that they prefer above the other… and this is where it gets interesting.” (According to his website!)
For instance, it seems I favor “acts of service” as a demonstration of husbandly love. When Richard asked what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I responded, “The front porch and its furniture cleaned for spring.” And he was happy to oblige! If he had instead bought me a $5 card tucked into an Edible Arrangement, I would have pretended to be excited. But I was truly thrilled to have a clean front porch without having to do the work myself.
As always, differences make for an interesting world. Someone who needs the affirmations as a display of love would have been very dissatisfied with a clean porch.
Love and how we prefer to receive it does make the world go ‘round. Except in an email from a stranger.