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STOP USING THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES as the blueprint to love your spouse!


In Episode 033 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott discuss how the five love languages shouldn't be the be all, end all to understanding how to love and connect with your spouse.



Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nick Scott, one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband,

Rich:

What's going on is your boy Rich, and today we're gonna talk about the love languages.

Nik:

Right at the start of every episode, we always remind our listeners that we are not trained, licensed or professional therapists or counselors. We've been married for almost two decades, and we use Naked Proverbs as our platform to share our experience our stories, our advice, and as always, our opinions. If you haven't already, make sure that you're following the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you are listening on. And if you like what you hear, because I know there's a lot of Apple users out there, take a moment to give us a five-star rating and leave us a review on iTunes.

Rich:

As we do each week, we would like to take a moment and say thank you to all of our listeners. We truly appreciate you tuning in. And also, I'd like to have a little shout out to all of our people that have been tuning in on YouTube.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

We did not realize that we actually have a following. It's not large yet but we have a following on YouTube and we appreciate your love and your support.

Nik:

Thank y'all.

Rich:

When you just be sitting at home all day, working from home and helping the kids with schoolwork and eating food and eating snacks and eating some more. Not a whole lot is going on.

Nik:

There's not a lot going on. But this was the first week that our girls completed their online school.

Rich:

They did and they teachers one of them was stupid.

Nik:

It was, you know, it did not go off without some hitches because it was kind of rocky.

Rich:

Yeah, I mean, they're not online students. So, they're, this is a new experience to them all together.

Nik:

It's a new experience for them. It's a new experience for us. It's probably a new experience for the teachers. We have a senior in high school, and we have a sophomore in high school and our senior she's basically done.

Rich:

Yeah, she been. She been done since she started singing here. In her mind.

Rich:

Yeah, she's basically done

Rich:

once she got accepted into Grambling she was done.

Nik:

Yeah, she really, she's like, oh, what do I need to do this for? I'm going to college. But then for the sophomore, like this is a very critical year for her in her high school education.

Rich:

Yeah, I was talking to my mom, who you know, is, was a teacher. And she was just saying her concern is that some students are going to have a gap in their learning from this experience. And most teachers are not going to properly work to catch them up next year. Because you can't teach a whole half a semester of school. You have to keep moving forward because you have these benchmarks you have to hit. Right. So, she was saying unfortunately there are some students that this is going to cause them to just fall further behind than where they already were. And so, I think that's something that I don't think a lot of people have really thought about.

Nik:

Here's the thing and I do give our administrators and the people that are over our school district just a little bit of grace because we are in times and situations that none of us have ever had to deal with, deal with before.

Rich:

Not since the 1918, flu 1919 flu

Nik:

Or something. Yeah.

Nik:

19

Nik:

Early 1900s Oh, you know what, that was almost like 100 years ago.

Rich:

So, this is the hundred year flu.

Nik:

So, in 100 years, do you think

Rich:

I won't be around

Nik:

I won't be here but I'm just saying

Rich:

I'd be 143 years old

Nik:

I hope I'm long gone by then.

Rich:

I'll be ancient and people gonna be carrying me around on a pedestal.

Nik:

Okay, here we go.

Rich:

Cause I'ma be, I am the oldest man on the planet.

Nik:

143 years old.

Rich:

So, when the next, next virus comes to me like just take me away. Calgon take me away. It's been, I've been here too long.

Nik:

Seriously. But you know what? This is a little off topic from what we're talking about. But I wanted us to let our listeners know how old we are because people think that we're children.

Rich:

Oh, I'm 43.

Nik:

And I'm 42. You're not 43.

Rich:

I mean, I will be in October. If y'all want to know my birthday is October 17. So, if you want to send me a gift, feel free. We are talking about the Five Love Languages later. And while gifts are top of the list, I do like gifts.

Nik:

You like gifts. You definitely like gifts. He was born in 1977. I was born in 1978. So, at this time, we are both the same age. I'm 42. My birthday is February 15. So, we are not children, like people think we're like 25 or something like that.

Rich:

Well that makes me feel good. Because I mean, I do look good for my age. I'm not gonna lie to you. I look great.

Nik:

Yes, yeah.

Rich:

I do. I know.

Nik:

You look real good.

Rich:

I don't need your words of affirmation. I know. I know what I look. Good.

Nik:

You look good. But yeah, so, I just wanted to clear the air that we are not children. You know, that's no shade towards the young couples that are out here.

Nik:

No, that's getting it in.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

I mean, you know what though the one thing I think the older I get, the more I realize is there is something to say about age and experience.

Nik:

Oh yeah,

Rich:

that doesn't mean that everybody that has aged has learned and matured from those experiences. But you do have more life experiences, the longer you live. So, to me, especially when we're talking about marriage, I'm not gonna sit here and tell somebody who's been married for 50 years they don't know something when they tell me something, because, well, they've lived this marriage thing a few decades longer than I've been alive. So, yeah.

Nik:

I just feel like there's opportunity to learn from everybody.

Rich:

Yeah,

Nik:

So, just because you have been married 50 years doesn't mean there's nothing to learn from us who have been married for almost 19, or from somebody who's only been married for two, because times have changed,

Rich:

yes,

Nik:

times have changed the way people are meeting each other has changed the way people are holding their marriages together has changed. So, I think experience has a little bit to do with it. Right. But I also feel like people should be open minded enough to be able to receive and look at every opportunity as a classroom.

Rich:

Well, definitely, because I would even say that the things people are facing in their marriages have changed.

Nik:

Mm hmm.

Rich:

Like,

Nik:

oh, yeah,

Rich:

you know, can't nobody that's on this Earth right now say they've ever dealt with a pandemic right before. And been stuck in a house like this before. So, to me, that's something that people that have been married for two years, two months, two days, are dealing with someone that has been married for 50 60, 70 years is dealing with as well. So, they don't know what that looks like or how to handle it or what's right look like or what Wrong look like so, to me, I agree. I think that that doesn't really matter.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

Do you want to tell them about doing our live?

Nik:

Oh, yeah.

Rich:

You know every week we be having announcements now. We got to do like, what they do at church at the end. We have any announcements? Is that like in the middle of service.

Nik:

The special announcements?

Rich:

Yeah, we got some special announcements. So, we are going to start doing a live video chat.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

Starting tomorrow, I'm lying.

Nik:

No, starting today.

Rich:

So, it's same day?

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

It's not the next day.

Nik:

No.

Rich:

Oh, wait a minute, y'all. So, today at 6pm

Nik:

Mountain Standard Time, Denver Mountain Standard Time,

Rich:

you can tune in to

Nik:

our Facebook page in that www.facebook.com/nakedproverbs

Rich:

And there you are going to find us live, answering questions, talking about today's podcast, and just really connecting on a different level with you.

Nik:

Hope to see you all there.

You're listening to the Naked Proverbs podcast with Rich and Nik Scott. If you like what you're hearing, show your support by becoming a patron. All of our patrons receive exclusive benefits like behind the scenes content, access to bonus audio, and Naked Proverbs merchandise. To learn more, and to become a patron, visit the Naked Proverbs Patreon page www.patreon.com/nakedproverbs

Rich:

If you have never heard what the five love languages are, I'm gonna read them off real quick. Okay, so you have words of affirmation. gifts, or gift giving or gift receiving, I guess? Gifts. Acts of service quality time and physical touch. Those are the five love languages. Now do you want to break those down more or we good.

Nik:

Not really,

Rich:

I mean cuz it's been around since 1992

Nik:

it's been, that's a long time.

Rich:

I mean, I was in high school

Nik:

I was a freshman in high school.

Rich:

So, if you have not heard about the five love languages, I don't know where you've been.

Nik:

Well, let's be clear the,

Rich:

In the Amazon. Like deep, deep down in the Amazon.

Nik:

Somewhere off the grid?

Rich:

Yes.

Nik:

Well, I first learned the five love languages at church. And I didn't realize that at the time, but it is a Christian based, biblical based book that was first published in 1992 by a pastor named Gary Chapman,

Rich:

Doctor

Nik:

Oh. doc, pastor Dr. or Dr. pastor?

Rich:

I don't know. Just Doctor.

Nik:

Doctor, I want to get it right. Give you all your credentials, Pastor, Dr. Gary Chapman, in 1992. And that is probably the reason why I first learned about it in church.

Rich:

Well, I had no reason to ever learn about the five love languages because it's really based around marriage. So, for me it wasn't like I was reading the five love languages so I could be a better boyfriend.

Nik:

No. This is while we were married when I first found out about it.

Rich:

But I'm just saying prior to us finding out about it. I was a kid.

Nik:

Yeah,

Rich:

So, I had no reason to even care about five love languages. That's why I didn't initially know. And yeah, I mean, I just didn't know because I didn't care to know.

Nik:

I don't want what I'm about to say to make it seem like I'm bashing or hating on. Dr. Pastor Gary Chapman and his five

Rich:

My best friend is Black.

Rich:

What you're about to say.

Nik:

My father in law's a pastor, my husband's a pastor. And I've said it before in our podcasts that I'm not a fan of the five love languages. And I don't remember if I read the book or not, but I'm definitely very familiar with the five love languages. And even before we started this podcast, we took the online quiz for the five love languages and the whole time I'm sitting here like this is just dumb. Like, I don't understand how I can categorize myself as one thing all the time.

Rich:

I think that that is one of the dilemmas with the five love languages is it tries to put everybody into a box. And even when you read it because I do remember we actually had like a whole Bible study based around the five love languages.

Nik:

Okay.

Rich:

And we actually have people sitting in this living room right here

Nik:

on the five love languages?

Rich:

Yes, on the five love languages. So, anyway, the five love languages to me, that's probably its biggest issue is while it basically says that everybody falls into one of these five categories, and one is going to be your predominant language. And I don't think that's always true. I think that like when, cuz when you did the quiz, you had multiple that were almost identical.

Nik:

Mm hmm. Yeah.

Rich:

And I think that it's like anything else in life as you age, things change.

Nik:

Oh, yeah.

Rich:

So, 20 years ago when I, if I would have taken this quiz if I took this quiz, I don't know, I doubt it. But if I would have, I would have been all about gifts. I like gifts

Nik:

you do.

Rich:

But today when I took it, even when you took it from me, and I took it for myself, it was on the list, but it wasn't top of the list.

Nik:

I was shocked at your results. And I, was it at the bottom of my list? So, what we did

Rich:

it was at the bottom of both of our lists.

Nik:

So, what we did

Rich:

tell other people,

Nik:

Y'all might be a little confused. People.

Rich:

Let me tell you what we did.

Nik:

Here's what we did.

Nik:

So, we took the Five Love Languages quiz on our own.

Rich:

Yes,

Nik:

from our own perspective, like me, Nik, what is my love language? How would I answer these questions? And then we took it a step further, and we took it through the lens of how do I see my partner? How do I see Rich while I'm answering these questions, and then we compared our answers. And when I started to do it by myself. I said it. I'm like, I'm not this all the time. Like, it's a different situation. You cannot love me like this today and expect that you're gonna love me like this same way tomorrow, and I'm going to respond the same way.

Rich:

At the end of the day. What my wife is saying is she's complicated y'all.

Nik:

I am

Rich:

And I think that we make jokes about women being hard to please and hard, you know, they're overly and reality is, I don't think that that's really the truth. What I think is, is more of, we all have different needs at different times. And our needs change, even our love languages change based on those needs. So, I think that's more of what this test, this quiz showed for me was that my wife is not hard to love. It's just, it's not like love is not something you should think, well, I know how to add one plus one. So, it's always gonna be two. It's love. Like you needed different ways at different times if I've had a hard day and I've been just kicked and persecuted and I'm just feeling horrible.

Nik:

You need some words of affirmation.

Rich:

I might need some words of affirmation that really lift my spirits. I don't need no gift. I don't need my wife bringing me home some flowers tombout here baby, here some flowers. They smell good. They look pretty. Like that's not what I need right then. That's the bigger picture is that everybody's love language can change depending on what their needs are.

Nik:

And the situation.

Rich:

Yeah,

Nik:

What they're doing, the time of day. I am just a strong believer and you cannot fit how to love someone into five buckets and think that is the only way that they need to be loved. I do think, however, that the five love languages is a great foundation. It's like the marriage starter kit, right? Or the dating starter kit, the fiancé starter kit, because by the time you get married, you should know a little bit about, hopefully you know a little bit about this person. So, it's like the starter kit. It's A great foundation, it's a great way to get conversations going. But it can't be the be all end all of how your partner communicates and how they need to be loved.

Rich:

That's what happens so often. People want a simple solution to life, right? What is the right recipe to make meatloaf? What is the right recipe to have the perfect marriage? What is the perfect way to speak to my spouse in a way that they feel loved? And unfortunately, this book came out in 1992. There is no scientific evidence behind the five love languages. We always try to do our research before we get on here and start talking. And one of the things I found out is that there was a psychotherapist

Nik:

someone who's trained at sometimes like this,

Rich:

you know, that's somebody that's a doctor as well, who basically was like, look, I'm not knocking the five love languages, she actually uses them in her counseling. She stated that, you know, eight out of 10 times when a couple comes in, and they have issues, she's like, I can usually eight out of 10 times. So, 80% of the times, it's got something to do with it's rooted and grounded in those fundamental misalignments of how they give and receive love. So, that's basically saying that 80% of the time, it has something to do with, quote, unquote, the love languages, right. But what she also said was, understand that this was not rooted in any kind of clinical research. And it was really out of popularity

Nik:

Yeah,

Rich:

that it grew to be this like, number one best-selling book. I mean, the guy has been on Oprah. I mean, he's, you know, done all kinds of things. And because of the popularity of it, it's just become this, this is how it's supposed to be.

Nik:

This is not the blueprint on how to love your spouse. I think that's my biggest thing. So many people rely on this. Like, what was their love language? Well, it depends on the day. depends on the time. I think it is important to understand and know what makes your partner tick. And it's also very important to know how to connect with your partner. Again, it's a great beginner's guide, right? But if you are hungry for more and your partner is going to be hungry for more, like Rich said he 20 years ago, or when we got married his love language number one would have probably been gifts. You still like to receive gifts?

Rich:

Yeah, I like to receive that. I mean gifts. You're right. I like gifts. I'm sorry I was about to start talking about physical touch.

Nik:

But that's what's your number one is now and I would probably argue that physical touch was your number one back then also.

Rich:

That's kind of what I mean when I say things changed, right? Almost 20 years ago, well it was over 20 years ago when we met. I was 18 years old. I didn't know the first thing about love of myself, or of someone else right, I didn't know. I mean, there was so many missing gap.

Nik:

You were a child.

Rich:

And over these years, I've learned to understand on a deeper level what love is and what love is not.

Nik:

Right.

Rich:

And so, because of that, there are things that I would say years ago would have been top of the list, that today I'm like, okay, you know, if you give me a gift, that's great. I like gifts but do I love gifts? No. Like there's a difference. And as a child, though, when I receive something from my parents, because my parents, I grew up poor, I've said that before. We grew up poor. So, when my parents did something for me, I knew that they were showing me their, like they had sacrificed to give me this. They had gone without to give me this. But like today, my kids come in here and ask for anything and they know that we're gonna make it happen. So, gift giving is not a big thing around here because we have. But for me as a child, that was a huge show of love. Because we didn't have to give.

Nik:

I think that's a very important point that you're bringing up is how does the way that a person was raised impact their love language as an adult?

Rich:

Very much so.

Nik:

And because these five love languages aren't rooted in any type of scientific or clinical research, I think it would be a great study for someone who's working on their PhD or you know, doing some of this work in college right now, who needs a topic for their dissertation or whatever it is that you have to do when you get your, your PhD? Dissertation. How does that impact your love language as an adult?

Rich:

If you look at someone that maybe was abused as a child, maybe they don't like physical touch?

Nik:

That's right.

Rich:

Maybe they're one of those people, or maybe someone that was raped or sexually abused physical touch, maybe something that there's no way that will ever be something that they see love in. Because they have these demons that they are dealing with on a regular basis. So, physical touch may be something that is just foreign to them because they've never actually had a physical touch that was something in a loving manner.

Nik:

yeah, an expression of love

Rich:

But like for me I think you know when I look at these words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, receiving gifts, physical touch, a hug, a kiss, a handshake, a high five, that's free. So, my family that was not something that we didn't do, you know, I mean, my dad still gives me a hug, you know, or a handshake or, you know, pull me in and give me one little quick dap hug. You know, the man hug. Quality time? I mean, I grew up playing games and things with my family. So, those were things that were the norm.

Nik:

Yeah, yeah. So, it wasn't special.

Rich:

It wasn't special. It was just something that was almost like I said, my kids just expect certain things. That was kind of what I expected. But then receiving gifts on the other hand, like I said earlier was something that was that was like, whoa, somebody went out of their way to do this for me that I know we didn't have it. But now, you know, I like physical touch. I like quality time.

Nik:

Yeah,

Rich:

You know. So, I think that it can change.

Nik:

One thing that's missing. And this is tying back to your love language being developed or rooted in how you were raised as a child, but understanding your partner's triggers and traumas, whether it's rooted in childhood, or something that happened in their adulthood or not. I think that's a love language. I think that's a strong love language. More than anything, couples should study their partners from a selfless place. A self-less, I'm gonna say it again, self-less place, not selfish place. And what I mean by that is it's not from a place where you're looking through a lens of what's in it for me or what about me, but you're looking at it from a place that puts your partner first. And I think a lot of times in marriage, we forget about that. We forget that we have to die to ourselves every day so that our marriage can survive like, marriage is not about me. Like this marriage is not about me this marriage is about him in my role and how I can be the best wife and partner for him.

Rich:

That's the key when you talk about love. Love is selfless. Love is not self-serving. Love is not about yourself; it is about giving all of you with no expectation of getting anything in return. You know, we were talking about this earlier, because there are certain people that do things with the expectation of well, I did this, so you need to do this, or I did that, so you need. Like even this in love languages. I shouldn't try to learn my spouse's love language with the expectation that they're going to learn mine. I shouldn't be in this, well, I'm going to learn her love language so I can manipulate her. So that I can get something out of her. Or if I start to give her more quality time, then I'll start to get more sex. Like this isn't about tit for tat or if I do this, then I get this. Love Languages. I mean, just love in general should be selfless.

Nik:

It should be selfless. But we have to understand, and we cannot ignore the fact that human beings we are selfish people from the day that we're born into this earth. So,

Rich:

I wasn't.

Nik:

Yes, wait, what?

Rich:

I said I wasn't.

Nik:

Yes, you were and you're, I mean, we're all still very selfish.

Rich:

I'm such a selfless person.

Nik:

You are just being contrary right now. And I'm not, I'm not even about to take the bait.

Rich:

You're not speaking in my love language.

Nik:

I'm not about to take the bait. We are selfish people. So, there's a lot of habits and character traits and things we've been taught all our lives that we have to unlearn. If we really want to operate in love. If we really want to show our partner love, we have to do a lot of unlearning. And people don't like to unlearn things. People don't like to hold themselves accountable. And they certainly don't like to be told what to do. And it takes all of those things in order to really love somebody.

Rich:

That's another one of those sticking points on the love languages is it requires self-accountability.

Nik:

Oh, yes.

Rich:

And most people don't have self-accountability, because it's impossible to love someone in their language, if it's not your dominant language or not your primary language, unless you're willing to be self-accountable and even admit that you know what, I don't know anything about words of affirmation. Let me learn how to affirm my wife with my words. Let me actually dig deep into this and understand what that means. So, if I'm not self-accountable, then it's easy for me to just say, well, that's my love language. She needs to get on the same page as me.

Nik:

Right. But then that's not coming from a selfless place. In love, in marriage in life. People just need to learn how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. You will never grow if you don't know how to be uncomfortable. If you don't want to experience discomfort.

Nik:

Thanks, so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to follow the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting you are listening on. And we will talk to y'all in the next one.

Rich:

Peace.

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