We’ve all found ourselves on one side or the other of the ‘Love Gap’ on more than one occasion. But what exactly is it? A phenomenon as upsetting as it is prolific, the Love Gap can be compared to an eagerly anticipated letter that the sender swears was sent, but which the disappointed recipient swears never arrived.
Love is like a neutrino: though we struggle to define precisely what it is, we can each describe the impact of its presence. In short, we know what it feels like and we know what it looks like when love is present.
And therein lies the rub: your long and detailed ‘Loves Me, Loves Me Not’ lists are highly subjective and may not match your partner’s. In fact, since sexual polarity is the ‘fizz’ factor that throws people into relationship (think ‘opposites attract’) it’s highly unlikely that your partner’s Love lists will match yours, and extremely likely that they will bear little or no resemblance.
Nor are your non-sexual relationships likely to fare any better. So many factors combine to create our rulebooks that it’s equally unlikely your lists will more than vaguely resemble those of your friends, partner or family.
That’s the problem: what’s the answer?
So what’s my point? Quite simply, the way you express your love for those you care about matters. Unless your expressions of love match the love lists of the target of your affection, most of the energy you pour in their direction will simply flow into Love Gap Canyon, never to be seen again.
Even worse, when it comes to love, much like regular communication, we blurt. Meaning: we tend to deliver our expressions of love in ways we like to receive love. And our loved ones, in turn, blurt right back.
I’ve known the theory for a long time now, and can attest to some very real and very sizeable breakthroughs in all of my relationships as I’ve experimented with eliminating the Love Gap. But, you know, it’s been hard work and I don’t always get it right. So imagine my delight when I recently stumbled upon Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages.
Hitting the love nail on the head, he too identifies the cause of the Love Gap – but, more importantly, gives us a foolproof way to close it. Using the power of distinctions, he makes it easier to deal with the individual love list phenomenon by grouping people’s tendencies into five major buckets, namely:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
There’s a lot more to it, so buy the book! I don’t recommend it lightly. The 5 Love Languages is a great gift for yourself or anyone that you care about. What Chapman teaches (as is the case with any master) is simple, though not always easy, to apply. You can buy The 5 Love Languages on Amazon or in any good book store.
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