Monday, October 17, 2011

The Language Of Love: Please Don’t Bring Me Mice

One day my cat ran into the house and dropped a dying, bleeding field mouse at my feet. I screamed and jumped back as this half-dead creature spilled its guts on my kitchen floor. My cat, baffled at my reaction, tried to pick up the mouse and deliver it once again, at my feet.  “No! Stay back!” I screamed, as I ran to get a broom to shoo away the cat from the mouse.
I since have learned that this is one of the ways cats show their love. This is how describes it:

Mighty hunter cats that catch everything from toys to bugs, mice or frogs, often share the bounty with those they love. Kitties who present you with this bounty deserve praise. They wouldn’t bring these special gifts if they didn’t love you.”

I have recently been reading the book “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary Chapman. According to the author, there are five languages of love and each one of us uses one of these languages as our primary love language and one or two more as secondary languages. They are:

Words of Affirmation: Some of us need to hear words that tell us we look good, that we are needed or that we are appreciated. A man can tell his wife, “ You are good for me,” or “Thanks for keeping the house clean”. He can say, “ You look good in that outfit.” Saying, “I appreciate the fact that you work all day and still come home to mow the lawn”, can also go a long way.

Quality Time: others’ idea of demonstrating their love or feeling loved is, through spending quality time with their partner. It means giving someone your individual attention, not staring into the screen of your mobile phone during dinner.

Receiving Gifts: Some people love to give or receive gifts to show their love or feel loved. It doesn’t have to be anything big. A single flower, a nice card, or a token of a moment shared is very meaningful for those with this primary love language. 

Acts of Service: Doing things you know your loved ones would like you to do such as cooking a meal, keeping the car in operating condition, trimming the shrubs or walking the dog.

Physical Touch: Holding hands, kissing, hugging, touching your partner on the back, and having sex. But says the author, “don’t make the mistake of believing that the touch that brings pleasure to you will also bring pleasure to your mate.” Find out what works for your partner.

After reading this book I have realized that my primary love language is physical touch and secondary languages are quality time and acts of service. It doesn’t take too long for anyone to figure out his or her primary language from the list above. The tough part is figuring out your mate’s or loved one’s love language and learning to appreciate their expression of love and to service their way of feeling loved.

My favorite passage in the book is this one:

“People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need. Their criticism is an ineffective way of pleading for love. If we understand that, it may help us process their criticism in a more productive manner.”

For the longest time I had wanted my cat to cuddle with me and sit on my lap like any normal cat, but he wouldn’t do it. Throughout the years he’s fetched things and brought them to me. Apparently, his primary love language is gifting. Nowadays he brings me dry leaves from outside.  It only took him once to understand that bloody mice only made me scream. I on the other hand, I have learned to show my appreciation for his gift gestures and praise him. He now sits on my lap and purrs while he allows me to cuddle him.  If a cat can figure it out, we humans should be able to do the same for our loved ones and significant others. 

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