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Old 09-19-2008, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,253,389 times
Reputation: 18984

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With the holidays approaching, I though it might be fun to debate the merits of different ways of expressing love.

Words: Literally, saying "I love you." Now I'm a big fan of these words. I think people often don't hear them enough. The words "I love you" act like WD-40 in a family--when things get sticky, those words keep everything smooth.

But... sometimes too much lovey-dove talk can make me nauseous. I have a lot of stoic, tough-guy military types in my family, so maybe that's why. They cringe and get embarrased if you try to say ILY.

And what about hypocrites who think talk is cheap? Sometimes people say ILY, but their actions clearly show they do not.

Actions: Taking out the trash. Making dinner. Checking the air pressure in tires. These are all ways of saying ILY. I personally think this is the best way--but that's because I'm a practical person and I like the idea of two things being accomplished at once. You are expressing love and chores are getting done! Talk about efficient!

But... is that taking the easy way out? If the chore was something you were going to do anyway, does the other person feel loved because you did it? And does the other person even know that your action is an expression of your love? Sometimes people have to hear the words.

Gifts: Many people think buying a gift is the best way to express love. Gifts are given at holidays, or when visiting people. One question I've always had is: is it better to give an inexpensive "gift from the heart" or does the price of a gift let people know how much you love them?

Gifts can be especially touching because they show you were thinking about someone at a previous time (when you bought or made the gift). They show you cared about them enough to put out some effort (buying/making a gift and wrapping a gift takes effort).

But... gifts kind of rub me the wrong way. I hate to see a relative who's lost a job spending money on a gift. I don't like how the amount you spend always seems to escalate--like there's a competition. The gift for your sister must be as good as (or better than) the gift she gave you last year. And then her next gift to you must be even better. And so on and so on.

And some people think gifts should be frivolous things. I'm a practical person, I'd rather get something like a case of motor oil than a book of "sonnets to read to your cat" or some other thing you buy at a "gift shop." I've always been puzzled by gift shops. To be honest, there's almost nothing in these shops I would ever buy for myself. But I'm open to other opinions... so I'd especially enjoy hearing one of you debators out there pointing out the value of the frivolous gift.

Last edited by normie; 09-19-2008 at 11:06 AM.. Reason: I decided to have some fun with color!
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Old 09-19-2008, 11:21 AM
 
697 posts, read 1,775,338 times
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What about a little of everything all wrapped up in a bow? Or a little of everything stretched out over the course of the year.

Different occasions (hurt feelings, cause for celebration, anniversaries, holidays, etc.) and every day life all call for different kinds of expressions of love. The variety is what keeps love interesting and fresh.
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Crossville TN
179 posts, read 497,309 times
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Ok, as for gifts I can care less. I'd def. kick someone outta my house if I got gifts 24/7 but zero attention of any kinds during the day's throughout the year.

Love's gotta be like a real good team battling a game called life.

If there's really something I want as "gift" ... i go work, so if there's something I want that bad I get my butt in the car & to the shop myself. Worst parts are ppl trying to be nice (i give em that) and they get your girly junk gifts you REALLY dont need.

Last but not least the word....nice to hear but action speak louder then words.
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,253,389 times
Reputation: 18984
I just asked my sister-in-law her opinion and here it is:

Actually, so-called "frivolous gifts" are the best way to express love. In my opinion.

A practical gift gets used, discarded, and forgotten. But you still have the crystal whale I gave you when you got engaged. It sits on your shelf and reminds you of me, year in and year out. It reminds you of the day I gave it to you, and all the other things that happened that day.

When people come to your home, they can admire the whale and you will tell them about me. Someday I'll die, and the whale will be a piece of me for you to remember me by. Someday you might pass it on to your children and if you do you'll tell them about me.

This is also why I gave you a nice whale. A crystal whale. It isn't about how much money is spent, it's about having the piece that reminds you of me be something of quality. If I had given you a little glass trinket from the dime store, what would that say?
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Texas
42,203 posts, read 49,753,916 times
Reputation: 66975
Actually, I read a book (5 love languages) that I think makes a lot of sense. Everyone expresses and interprets acts of love differently. It helps to know which ways you and your partner/family/etc appreciate love the most and tailor your actions accordingly.

Ex. I could give a crap about gifts or chores, but I really respond to lots of positive attention/compliments and time.
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,253,389 times
Reputation: 18984
Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
Actually, I read a book (5 love languages) that I think makes a lot of sense. Everyone expresses and interprets acts of love differently. It helps to know which ways you and your partner/family/etc appreciate love the most and tailor your actions accordingly.

Ex. I could give a crap about gifts or chores, but I really respond to lots of positive attention/compliments and time.
OK, this is normie typing this time, not my sister-in-law

Sounds like an interesting book. Is that the full title? What's the fifth way to express love (we had the three from the OP, plus you brought up a fourth one, spending time.)

BTW, spending time with a person is a great way to show love. Funny how we so often take it for granted. We forget that other people have plenty of things they could be doing besides spending time with us.
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:58 PM
 
34,990 posts, read 33,858,849 times
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What a lovely, articulate reply from your sister-in-law, normie.

Some people suspect and discount all loving gestures, because of personal trust-type issues.

Also, just your presence, your time, physical or by communication, is a good small gift and a sign of love.
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,253,389 times
Reputation: 18984
Quote:
Originally Posted by delusianne View Post
What a lovely, articulate reply from your sister-in-law, normie.

Some people suspect and discount all loving gestures, because of personal trust-type issues.

Also, just your presence, your time, physical or by communication, is a good small gift and a sign of love.
LOL, thanks--I just showed her your reply and now I think I've got her hooked on city-data. Of course, I helped her a little bit, since she's not that familiar with internet chatting. I told her to say "in my opinion" but I couldn't get her to type "IMO" LOL!!!
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Texas
42,203 posts, read 49,753,916 times
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It's called The Five Love Languages. Understand that I am not one to normally go for this drippy drivel relationship book thing. But this one came highly recommended and my wife and I had a few hours to kill on an 8 hour flight to Hawaii...

The 5:
Words of affirmation
Quality time
Receiving gifts
Acts of service
Physical touch

Basically, it's a short book. Explains what each means, gives examples. Then you take a quiz which is kind of telling...gives you a pretty good idea of what you respond to. We were astonished. The book was right on. And it helped me pinpoint problems I had in previous relationships that led to communication breakdown.

The guy who wrote this went on some crazy marketing spree and wrote a bunch more books...I don't know if they are really worth it.

I think that these same points could apply to almost anyone you know. If you know what _they_ really appreciate (vs you doing what you think people would like), then you can have a much more effective emotional relationship with them.
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,253,389 times
Reputation: 18984
Ah yes, of course the physical expression of love. How could I have forgotten that? Man, I must be getting old!!!
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