In the #1 New York Bestseller “The Five Love Languages” Gary Chapman presents an interesting, captivating and compelling idea: people communicate and feel loved in different ways.
Unlike other sappy self-help books that leave you rolling your eyes, Dr. Gary Chapman’s book actually had me nodding my head along in agreement. So here’s the gist:
There are five primary love languages that people use to either accept or express love. Typically, he explains, we give love in the way we prefer to receive love. This can cause a hangup in the relationship if your mate has a different love language and does not feel loved through your method of expression.
When someone feels unloved in a relationship, it leads to an atmosphere of frustration. However, you can learn to speak a new “love language” and transform your relationships with your spouse, partner, children, and close ones.
So what are these five love languages?
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
Let’s delve a little deeper into each one, shall we?
Words Of Affirmation
It doesn’t take a 4-year college degree to figure out what words of affirmation are. They are simply words that affirm people. People whose primary love language is words of affirmation are very sensitive to words. Being negative or critical can leave them very hurt. On the upside, telling them “I love you,” “I value you,” “your beautiful” hold weight and value. For them, one unsolicited compliment means more than you can imagine. Since words are free, be generous with them and sincere when your partner’s love language is words of affirmation.
The person with this love language doesn’t value words as much as they do your undivided attention. They appreciate you by their side and won’t be pleased if you put them on the back burner, don’t have time to listen to them, or are distracted while spending time together.
You could spend the whole day cleaning their car, cooking a meal, cleaning the kitchen, and helping with laundry and not make them feel truly loved. They will be very appreciative of your hard work but for them, some undivided attention with work put aside would mean the world.
Hold off on your judgment of people being materialistic if they feel loved through gifts for a second. Dr. Chapman explains that for some people, a tangible gift is what makes them feel the most loved. It doesn’t have to be expensive or over the top. It can be a simple everyday gesture. People with this love language feel prized and valuable when they see you put thoughtfulness and effort into a gift.
Acts of Service
At one point in the musical My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle is so fed up with words she sings, “Words! Words! I’m so sick of words! Don’t talk of the stars burning above; If you’re in love, Show me!”
As someone with the love language of acts of service, I share her sentiments whole heartedly. Who needs talk of love when actions can speak louder? When my mate lends me a helping hand with the dishes, the children, and when life gets tough it means so much more to me than words, gifts, or even quality time. While it may sound silly, my partner vacuuming the floors for me is way more romantic than walking through the door with a bouquet of flowers, even though I do appreciate them.
If your primary love language is acts of service you likely feel very bitter at promises that weren’t kept.
Those who thrive on physical contact, they need it regularly, not just in the bedroom. Through having their hand held, kisses, and constant re-affirming actions that they are loved through physical affection make them thrive.
What’s Your Love Language?
After reading through this list, which love language to you identify with most strongly? What about your partner? If you’re still not sure, you can go online and find a personality test for these love languages to help you figure it out.
Most people find that they respond strongly to one primary love language and then have several secondary love languages as well. The great news is that these love languages don’t apply to just your relationship with your mate but with your children, coworkers, and friends as well. Once you know these five love languages, you can try to identify in which ways people are trying to show you their love.
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Featured Image Courtesy: Independent (www.independent.co.uk)
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