what's your lo-la?

Welcome to YOU Week!

There’s really no Game Plan. I just want to find out a little more about each of you–and give away some free stuff.

Since I have NaNoWriMo on the brain (which I keep inadvertently calling NaNiYoRiMo, because I know a Japanese song with that phrase in it) I thought I’d talk about LoLa today. Some of you might know LoLa by her full name–Love Languages.

You’ve probably heard of Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages. He has one for kiddos too–The Five Love Languages of Children.

A year or so ago, I shared a story about my middle daughter, Ava, who was in first grade at the time. I had been writing notes and putting them in her lunchbox for months when I found out she wasn’t even reading half of them. It crushed me, but then I realized that words of affirmation (at least written ones) might not be her love language. Love language = something others do/say that makes you feel especially loved.

Gabe and I began talking about the 5 LoLas and could only come up with 4.

1.) words of affirmation
2.) acts of service
3.) physical touch
4.) receiving gifts

I had to look up the 5th one.

5.) quality time (apparently, this isn’t mine, or I would have remembered it)

Gabe decided that his is acts of service. “Or maybe physical touch. One of those two.” I reminded him that physical touch does not mean you know. He knew that. He still likes it. But not in public. Gabe’s not a PDA guy.

Mine is acts of service too. Do something helpful for me, and I feel super-loved. Words are okay. Gifts are okay (if they’re something I really needed anyway and now I don’t have to buy it). Quality time = okay, I guess. But selfishly, I like quality time with myself. And touch? Yeah, not so much. I do like hugs, and I give them out frequently. And I do like it when Gabe or my girlies play with my hair–or when my sister Bethany scratches my back. Okay, maybe I like it more than I thought.

I told Ava the next morning that we were going to have a little talk about love languages, so Mommy could figure out how to love on her best.

Me: Which do you like best–when people do things for you…?
Ava: Mmm..hmmm!
Me: OR when people say nice things to you…?
Ava: Mmm…hmmm!
Me: OR when people get you gifts…?
Ava: Yep!
Me: OR when people touch and cuddle you…?
Ava: Mmm…hmmm!
Me: Or when people spend time with you…?
Ava: Yep!
Gabe: (in Brian Regan mode) All favorites! Many much favorites!

So, tell me: what’s your Love Language? And give me an example.

I’m going to choose one random commenter to win a copy of Blushing Bride. And if you’ve been around for awhile and are all Blushinged out, I’ll send it to the person of your choice as a gift from YOU!

Have a great week, friends!

36 thoughts on “what's your lo-la?

  1. Melissa R

    Fun stuff! My love language is acts of service from my family. With friends, it’s quality time. Physical touch is my husband’s top and my bottom. Seems like we should have looked at this before we got married. LOL. I tend to love on him with acts of service and for the most part, he could care less! I relate almost exactly to how you feel about love languages. Quality time with myself…aaaahh!! Can’t remember the last time I was alone at home!

  2. Emily

    I am quality time and physical touch. When they are combined I feel the most loved. Acts of service is up there too!

    The good thing about quality time is it can be combined with other love languages. 🙂

  3. Valerie

    I am pretty tied between physical touch and quality time. I think the physical touch is mostly just what I need from my husband though, and other family and friends would be more quality time with some words of affirmation thrown in. I think I tend to try to show love by gifts…maybe I’m just a big combination of lots of things:)

  4. Leslie Marshall

    What a great topic Marla! As a counselor, I talk about this in premarital sessions and with couples constantly! I love learning love languages of my family members too, it’s a boost for our relationships for sure! I’m a quality of time girl. I recall a time when my mom, who is huge gift giver, (despite that not being her love language), gave me 2 (YES, 2) diamond rings for valentine’s day (and yes, I’m an only child). I literally pushed them back to her and asked her to just spend time with me… so, we went to Martha’s Vineyard instead… we both discovered how much we enjoy traveling together and so we do a couple times each year… Dec. 4, 2009, for her birthday, I’m taking her on a cruise to the eastern caribbean! We’re both quality of time people for sure!

  5. Jessica Murphy

    Mine would definitely have to be acts of service. As a busy mom I KNOW how hard it is to do nice things for others so it is very much appreciated and always makes me feel loved. However, I do think your LoLa changes as you change and grow in different phases of your life. I wonder what a toddlers LoLa would be, what an interesting thing to look for in a child?

  6. Holly V.

    My preferred love language to receive is Words of Affirmation.

    However, the love language I tend to give to others most is GIFTS or ACTS of SERVICE.

  7. whimzie

    Oh, dear. Are we going to be taking personality tests and the like this week? Those induce anxiety attacks and hives in me. Which is ironic considering I have a psych degree. I’m not 100% sure what my love language is. I probably need to read the book again.

  8. Liz

    Alright – I talk about this all the time with my children’s pastor -because he is ALSO my boss and his is Words of Affirmation. However, mine and his wives are both – Gifts! 🙂
    So… he could care less about buying either one of us gifts and getting things for us… however, he then will sit and tell us both how much he appreciates us! 🙂
    Which to me is “blah… blah…blah….”
    Yes… mine is gifts — give me something…. LOVE IT!!!
    However, Scott, my husbands, is Acts of Service – one time for Mother’s Day he gave me a CLEAN HOUSE!!! WHO CARES!!! 🙂 Who cares if the house is clean for Mother’s Day…. I certainly don’t!!!! 🙂 I wanted a gift… something… a gift…. 🙂

    I also think that the reason mine is gifts… is because that’s how I grew up… people buying things for people ALL THE TIME!

    LOVE the LoLas!! 🙂

  9. Conny

    I like words of affirmation – especially if they are sincere. I hate flattery – and I don’t want to be condesended (sp?) to.
    Gifts are good – especially when they are personal & you can tell someone took some time to buy more than yet another candle (perhaps by remembering your favorite scent).
    Physical touch is nice … but I can go for days on end forgetting to hug or kiss my husband, and if he doesn’t take the initiative, I can live without.
    Acts of service almost make me feel like I’m obligated to do something in return. I have a hard time accepting help – too independent!
    And quality time is NICE when it isn’t some big social function. I enjoy one-on-one (or two) with my (girl) friends and definitely like to be with just my little family.

    SO, all that to say, I’m not really sure!!!?? I guess quality time is the only one I don’t have some fear of!!? LOL

  10. Stephanie your sister

    If I had to put one at the top of my list, I’d say acts of service. But it’s only slightly higher than the other four. I took the quiz once and all four except for physical touch were tied evenly. And I thought – but I love physical touch! Why didn’t that come up? Then I realized it was because Daniel’s (my then boyfriend, now husband) main LoLa is physical touch and I read in the book that when you’re getting a lot of one of them, you forget how much you need it because you don’t notice yourself desiring more of it. Interesting. So, yeah. All five for me.

  11. Denise

    For me, mine is words of affirmation. I grew up in a family where I never got much praise at all – I felt completely inadequate and like I could never ever do anything right or make anyone proud. My mom tried to be loving, but a lot of times, it just didn’t sound like she really meant it and my dad – yah – never heard any true words of affirmation. My siblings always seemed to get them – P and S were straight A students – I was not (I liked my C’s.) and B was the baby of the family. They always were praised and rewarded and got everything they wanted. It wasn’t until I was in college that I finally started feeling like I made my family happy and proud.

    So today I think that is why I am always in need of some affirmation and encouragement. I still live with the hurt from that, I put my own self down (my recent put down is that I am a terrible mom). I think that’s why little notes or emails or a call here or there help me tremendously.

    In a VERY close second is quality time. And that again goes back to my family and barely spending any time with them…and worrying that my friends pretend to want to spend time with me…

    I need love man! 🙂

  12. merry shipman

    This is so good…it’s really helped me be a better parent to my daughter. Mikayla’s love language is…
    1. Quality Time 2. Acts of Service
    It has turned our relationship around! It is a awesome book!

  13. Amy

    I love the book The 5 Love Languages!!! Billy and I read it before we got married. I am a quality time girl. Billy is acts of service. Billy and I don’t necessarily have to be doing something, but I enjoy just being with him. For example, we watched football together on Saturday and we just hung out together on Sunday. My bucket is filled to the brim!!! But there are times I need, what we call, “in your face quality time.” This is when want his undivided attention! I have to remember to serve Billy, since that is his primary love language. 🙂 Since his is acts of service, he does express his love by doing a lot of things for me…I must admit, I love it!! 🙂

  14. Rebecca

    I love words of affirmation! 🙂 My husband is always telling me things that lift me up, up, up! 🙂

    His is words of affirmation and physical touch…

    Prayers and blessings,

  15. Rachele

    My husband and I also did this when we were engaged, and mine are quality time and words of affirmation. I also like my quality alone time. That book changed the way I looked and loved on many of my family members, esp. my parents.

  16. Rachel

    My husband and I did this study a few years ago. Mine is quality time, although, like you, I do enjoy a lot of time on my own. I’m just an indoor, bookreading, enjoying the silence kind of gal!

  17. Jenna

    Oh I LOVE the Love Languages. I have done the one for singles and co-lead a high school Bible study where we did Love Languages for teens. SO good!

    My top two are Quality Time and Physical Touch. So give me a hug and sit on the couch talking to me and you are sealed within my heart for all time. 🙂

  18. Krysten

    My husband and I had to read “The Five Love Langauges” as part of our marriage counseling. I reccomend it for every couple. My top two were physical touch and gifts. The gift one causes problems sometimes because my husband does not get the idea. For physical touch I love to have my shoulders rubed and my hair played with.

  19. Sarah Montanye

    I love Gary Chapman’s book. Our small group at church just got done going through a study on this. My primary love language is quality time. I love spending some good qt with friends and family. And when someone carves out that special time to spend with me too – well that just means the world to me!

  20. Crissy

    I would have to say my first is Acts of service. However, gifts is a close second! For Brian words of affirmation and physical touch are the top contenders.

    Even though someone’s top love language may be one of these five we all need a little from each of the groups. We all need to feel love in all the different ways. We all need touch, praise, to be served, etc.

    However, as a wife and mother I want to know what ways make my husband and kids feel loved the most so I can focus in on that one love language. I have found that it is easy for me to serve my husband yet I have to work the physical touch. These books have helped us in our marriage as well as with parenting!

    Good stuff Marla!

  21. Mandy

    Primary Love Language: Quality Time (followed by Physical Touch)

    Examples: I love to spend time with people one-on-one. I feel so loved when my husband (or a friend or family member) takes the time to just sit and talk with me face-to-face. I also enjoy long walks and talks or good conversations over dinner at a restaurant.

  22. Karen

    Acts of service. Clean my kitchen for me, fold the laundry, etc, especially if I never asked for it. That’s LOVE to me. Oh, but tied is Quality Time. If I recall in the books, there’s 2 kinds of QT. One is doing an activity together, like hiking, scrapbooking, watching a movie, whatever,just as long as you are together. The other QT is communication based. That’s the one I like more. A place to share my heart, my dreams, to connect.
    Oh, and the hair being rubbed and getting a foot massage or back massage….I discovered that I perceive them as Acts of Service to me, because they help me sleep better or get rid of a headache. I’m not an overly cuddly/huggy person so its not physical touch, in my books. It’s service to me.

  23. deanna

    I love to receive cards/letters/notes/emails from my loved ones. It makes me feel super special.
    But I also love a good hug every now & then too!

  24. Jen Griffin

    I smiled when I saw your post. I am on Chapter 2 of The Five Love Languages for Children. 🙂 Shan and I read the adult version when we were dating….a long time ago! I do acts of service all the time for him thinking he’ll be so excited…NOPE. He loves words of affirmation…I am a quality timer. I feel neglected and unloved if I don’t have some good quality time with the ones I love. 🙂

  25. Kelsie

    Mine would have to be words of affirmation. I really appreciate receiving thank-you cards in the mail. I also love writing and sending thank-you cards. But then I want people to THANK me for those cards that I sent them – just because I want that act affirmed?? Hmm. When I email my family pictures of our boys, I want to hear back from them. I crave affirmation. As far as speaking words of affirmation, this is a biggie: My 17 year-old sister-in-law said a few months ago, “I’ve been thinking – being a Mother must be very hard. You must have to sacrifice a lot. Kelsie, you’re a really good Mom.” I bawled. That was the sweetest thing ever. And typing it causes me to tear up…Anyhoo, genuine encouraging words build me up BIGTIME!! Have a great day, everyone! 🙂

  26. Charity

    Mine is gifts, which doesn’t mean it has to be big. For example: my husband and I went on a cheap date (to a restaurant for which we had a gift card and a good friend watched our kids for free). But in his truck he had hidden little things he knew I liked – Burt’s Bees chapstick, Mentos, small tube of hand creme, package of chocolate. It was very sweet and showed me he had been thinking about me. I remember that outing so well.

  27. Ali

    No joke, Matt and I just completed love language profiles last night. And I discovered that his love language is physical touch – I had NO idea!
    Mine is Words of Affirmation, which surprised me. I thought mine would be Quality Time. Neither of us care for Receiving Gifts so we are a good match there.
    And I can’t wait to learn Henry and Harper’s love languages someday.

  28. Liz

    We just talked about this last Thursday in MOPS!
    My husband and I, early in our marriage, discussed our love languages with each other. Mine is definitely quality time. I love spending time with my family and friends. I am always researching activities to do or places to go. On the other hand, my husband “speaks” acts of service. It is so easy for us to speak to others through our own Love Language. I have learned (and am continuously learning) it is an entirely different manner to speak to others in their own Love Language.

  29. Kelli

    Mine is definitely gifts and words of affirmation. And I don’t mean big gifts but a letter, post it note (gift of words), a diet cherry coke when I have had a long day, a flower from our front yard, etc. Just that little I was thinking about you!!

  30. Jonna

    This is the first I have ever heard of the “Love Languages”. It wasn’t difficult for me to choose, but I like others have a combination. I feel REALLY,REALLY loved by acts of service! I am a single mother of three… my 21 year old son (22 on the 15th of this month) has flown the coop already. I now have my 17 year old son and 13 year old daughter at home. I home school one child, am a senior in college am attempting a business, plus regular day to day mom stuff… you’ve all heard it before and I’m sure can understand how this LoLa fits in. However, after a hectic day from all of the above, Physical touch is just the relaxation that my tired self needs!… Guess I’m right there with ya Marla… I just wish I didn’t have to bribe the kids to feel the love… Ya dig?

  31. Emily Kay

    My daughter has just started getting to the point where she likes to play with my hair…oh.my.goodness it makes me MELT!!

    Quality time is definitely a big one for me (I don’t enjoy being a loner, although that tends to be my lot in life). Physical touch and acts of service are good too though. (Does anyone really just have one??)

    Example: my husband has started making it a weekly tradition to take our family out to breakfast/lunch at a local restaurant (Jim’s) on one of his days off. And then after our meal we sometimes pick a store to browse around in for an hour or so until the kids get too bored. I LOVE IT! Just being together as a family enjoying each other makes me feel all warm and cozy. IT’S AMAZING!

    I already have “Blushing” (and love it!!) but I have a friend in mind that I’d love to give it to!

  32. L. A. Carter

    I’ve got NaNoWriMo on the brain as well, mostly just procrastinating on my outline and enjoying that beautiful process. It’s my first year so I’m as nervous as a bride on the wedding night of an arranged marriage but I’m excited as well. It’s good to know I’m not alone in this crazy venture.

    Anyway, enough of my NaNoWriMo jitters. My mother was the first to tell me about the Five Love Languages, and when she asked me which one, I scanned the list and thought I agreed with all five. Later as I gave it more thought, looking back on my childhood and past relationships, I realized I feel most loved when I’m receiving gifts or physical affection. When boyfriends praised me verbally, the words felt empty as air, but when a few boyfriends bought me a gift tailored to my taste (mainly books), I was over the moon about them.

    The same goes for Personal Touch. I’m a huggy-type person. Always have been. My mother still calls me the Mad Hugger from a period in my toddler years when I hugged everyone I met, including perfect strangers. She tells me I would run up to whoever walked into the room, grasp their leg tightly until I got a pat on the back, and then I was off again. Thankfully I grew out of that phase because I would probably be arrested for hugging a perfect stranger now but my love for physical affection still remains. A hug, a backrub, someone playing with my hair instantly makes me relaxed and calm.

    Some of my friends wonder what is the point of knowing the five languages. One friend asked me if she should just find a person who spoke the same love language as her so there would never be any confusion but I don’t think that’s why people should know; to be used to push others away. It’s an opportunity to better understand those we love and be understood.

    Before I go, just wanted to say I love your blog. Few are updated often (I’m guilty of that one) but yours is fresh and honest, as well as accessible to your readers. It’s just nice to see someone use social media and actually be social. Thanks for writing. ^_^

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