The tendency we have in this area is to show people we love them the way we want to be shown love, but that is not always what that other person needs or wants. I great book to understand this better is Gary Chapman's " The Five Love Languages" Here is a link to take the test, http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/
Here are the five basic ways people want to receive love:
- Word of Affirmation: Encouraging, kind and humble words. Example: Compliment them on something that's personally important to them.
This could have something to do with work or a hobby. It helps if you're saying something in public that builds them up. It also feels good to have something nice said behind your back make it's way to you.
- Quality Time : Being together, quality conversation, quality activities Example: Take an interest in what they're doing even if it's not something you'd normally do. You may not be a sports fan or like the same type of movie, but go anyway just to spend time with them.
- Receiving Gifts: Moneyless gifts/thoughtful gifts,gifts of your physical presence Example: Not just on Valentine's Day but on a typical day where it really would be unexpected. Pay attention to what a person finds interesting and base the gift on that.
- Acts of Service: Household duties, outward duties (run to store, pick up kids) and special favors done (make dinner, change diapers) Example: Do something nice for them around the house so they can spend that time doing something they enjoy. The gift of time is a very good gift, especially for moms who have hectic schedules.
- Physical Touch: (Holding hands, back rub) Hugs for no particular reason--they're free and never get old.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)