Friday, March 2, 2012

Long Distance Love Languages

Many people have challenges expressing the five love languages when living under the same roof. Try expressing love when you're 90 miles apart most of the week. As you probably know, the five love languages are affirmations, quality time, gifts, acts of service and physical touch. Right off, when 90 miles apart, physical touch is out. Sure, you're under the same moon and all that, and that's wonderful, but the only reaching out and touching someone has to be done by phoning, and nowadays fingers don't do much walking, they just press one button and -- viola! -- the person answers on the other side of the Blue Mountains. It's a miracle. But it's not a love language.

On the days we are apart, I try to remind myself that I still can practice some of the love languages. For example, I can still practice affirmations. I can give Teri encouragement. I can tell her how much I appreciate her creativity and sense of humor. I can praise her McIver and Columbo-like problem-solving skills. Paper clips can do amazing things. I can also give her quality time by calling on the phone and sharing the best and worst parts of my days, and a few laughs to boot.

The gifts I give Teri, on the days we are apart, are the intangibles. I give her some of my time and some of my heart and some of my wisdom. And the only acts of service I can give are to lend an ear and truly, deeply listen.

Still, every day is a chance to practice the five love languages, to remember what's important in life, to keep things in proper perspective. I am so thankful for Teri's cousin, Delbert Durfee, the minister at our wedding, who in a rigorous series of pre-marital counseling sessions shared with us the five love languages. Even 90 miles apart, we can practice the languages and continue to build our love.

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