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Imagine you are holding a glass cup full to the brim with water.
Now imagine a significant other, friend or family member takes the cup from your hand and drinks the entire thing. Once their thirst is quenched they go to the sink to presumably refill your glass of water and give it back to you with the same amount of water in it as there was when they originally took it from you.
Instead, something weird happens.
They turn the water on and hold your glass about an inch away from the faucet. Water keeps coming but absolutely none of it is going into your glass.
All they need to do is move the glass an inch and your glass will be full to the brim again. Water keeps pouring out of the faucet and you’re left wondering why in the world they don’t just move the glass an inch and fill your cup right back up?
Welcome to the five love languages.
Now imagine that within you is a reservoir of loving energy. When you give your love to somebody it’s as if they are drinking from your glass of water. This is great and incredible that as humans we can share this connection-but it can get tricky.
Just like your glass of water being drank by somebody, your love reservoir can feel like it’s being depleted by somebody and if that person doesn’t know how to refill your glass things can start to get a little messy.
If you thrive off of somebody telling you how much they love and appreciate you and a specific person (partner, friend, family member) spends all day long with you and never says an affirming word you’re going to feel as if your reservoir is drying up.
On the other side, that person may feel that because they spent the whole day with you that they have proven their love and appreciation for you.
Here’s how it works.
The theory states that everybody has a different love language that best resonate with them.
Words of Affirmation: You thrive off of physically hearing support, love, appreciation, and compliments from your significant other, friend or family member.
Quality Time: Spending eight hours uninterrupted hanging out with your person/people is everything you could ask for. You love to run errands together, watch movies, cook dinner, anything that involves that precious QT.
Receiving Gifts: You love when somebody says, “Hey I saw this and thought of you.” and hands you a meaningful gift that shows they were thinking of you. This doesn’t mean diamonds, watches, and all things material. It can be as simple as a flower or a cup of coffee.
Physical Touch: You feel the love when somebody holds your hand, hugs you tight, rubs your back, or kisses your forehead. Any physical touch that qualifies as a loving action will do for you because it’s through that connection that you fill your reservoir.
Acts of Service: Nothing says I love you like helping out with errands, house chores, and all those projects that you don’t have time for, extra points for not being asked.
If you have a partner who’s love language is quality time, but yours is words of affirmation you’ll feel as if that person is drinking from your glass of water and then holding it an inch away from the running faucet for no apparent reason.
For them, they’ll think since they spent eight hours with you painting the house and their love reservoir is filled to the brim that yours is too. Yet on your side you’ll wonder why in the world they don’t just move the glass an inch to the right and tell you how much fun they had painting the house with you today.
Apply these love language to your life and you’ll notice that just as your love reservoir might have felt drained, you may have actually been draining somebody else’s by unconsciously speaking to them in the wrong language to help fill their glass back up.
Fill your glass and then help others fill theirs and stay attuned to what seems to positively build up those around you so that you can become an endless reservoir to quench everybody’s thirst for love.