It’s one thing to define love, but what does it mean to be loved?
I believe many people are familiar with the “love languages“. Understanding these can be very helpful to marriage. However, I think it’s unfortunate that they’ve often only been applied to marriage or dating relationships. This is because—as I’ve said before—our love languages don’t change in our other relationships outside marriage/dating.
- If someone’s primary love language is words of affirmation, are they being loved if they aren’t routinely receiving encouragement and appreciation?
- If someone’s primary love language is acts of service, are we loving them if we never do anything for them?
- If someone’s primary love language is gifts, are they feeling love if they don’t have people to receive their gifts?
- If someone’s primary love language is Quality Time, are they loved if someone only has time for them occasionally?
- If someone’s primary love language is Physical Touch, are they being loved if they are rarely hugged, given pat on the back, a hand on the shoulder, etc.?
When people say they love someone, my impression is that (outside of family) they often mean that they desire the persons well-being. The “love languages” put more tangibility to love. The troubling thing is, when I look at the questions above, I realize how few people it seems that I could truly love well.