How Do I Love Thee?

love language

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.


Five Love Languages

2 thoughts on “How Do I Love Thee?

  1. Bill Thatcher says:

    Yep, as we all know, love is not an emotion, it is an action. I have long felt that the word “love” is one of the most misused words in the English Language!!! I do NOT love broccoli, I like broccoli, and I do not love my Mercedes, I like and enjoy my Mercedes. I believe that love is reserved for people ONLY, and not objects!!! Unfortunately, sloppy English is ruling the world, and the mispronunciation of words, is really a pet peeve of mine!!! Just get me started on the mispronunciation of the word vulnerable, most usually said as vunerable!!! Yes, the news “readers” generally say vunerable, and get paid thousands of dollars for being illiterate!!! GEESH, give me a break, people, and quit being so lazy about your speech!!!!! Not just a thought, but a sermon!!!

  2. Judy Jones says:

    Dearest Norma,
    I truly do love you!!!!!!<3 But I think you know that<3
    And i haven't received a love note from any vendor or sales pitch, and I am sooooooo glad i haven't!!!!!!
    The song "What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love" by Jackie DeShannon is echoing in my head! The key, as you noted, is the sincerity and the actual feeling of love for an individual. But we sure could use more love in this world.

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