The 5 Love LanguagesApr 18, 2022
Let’s discuss the “5 Love Languages”. These 5 ways to express love are just another form of communication. And like any language, if two people are speaking a different language, it's very hard to relate and understand.
“The Five Love Languages” was a book written by Dr. Gary Chapman back in 1992. Being a counselor, Dr Chapman recognized there were patterns with certain couples. He found that couples were misunderstanding one another, and each other's needs. After years of studying couples and research, Dr Chapman wrote the book.
The whole purpose of the five languages of love is to understand how a person loves to be loved, and how you love to receive love. And it's different for everyone.
The Five Love Languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
Let's look into these a little more deeply.
Words of Affirmation
This is about expressing your affection verbally, such as praise or appreciation. People with this love language enjoy kind words, encouragement, uplifting notes, cute little love quotes and beautiful little text messages.
Doing any of these, or just complimenting someone on how well they are doing or on their achievements, can really make someone’s day.
People who have this love language, love to have the other person's undivided attention. It is important to be present and focused when you are with them. Putting down the mobile phone, turning off the computer and/or TV, making eye contact and listening to them…and that is actively listening to them.
Actively listening does not mean trying to solve the problem or offer advice, just listen and acknowledge that you hear them, understand them and empathize with them.
This is not just about sex, though that is a small part of the big picture. It is about physical affection, which includes holding hands, touching their arm, giving a massage, sitting on the couch and just having a cuddle. They just want to be physically close with their partner.
Acts of Service
When a person has the “Act of Service” love language, they feel loved when someone does nice things, little thoughtful things for them. This could include cooking a special meal, or any meal for that matter, cleaning up, doing the dishes or washing the clothes, feeding the pets or making the bed. (And this doesn’t mean being “nagged” to do it before you do, it means doing it without them knowing.)
Doing those little things for them makes that person feels like they're loved and appreciated. Quite often you will find that people who have this love language will do Acts of Service for other people.
Gift-giving has always been very symbolic when it comes to showing love and affection. Roses, chocolate and jewelry are the most recognizable ones.
But for people who have this love language, it's not always necessarily about the big expensive, large gifts. It's about the thought behind the gift, the time and effort that the person has put into that gift. Picking out a gift specifically for that person, lets them know you understand who they are.
So, What’s Your Love Language?
It is important to know what your partner’s love language is (or that of a loved one), but also important to know what your love language is. That way, others will know how you like to be loved. If you love gifts, but someone only says nice things about you, you may not feel truly loved or appreciated by that person. But that person’s love language may be ‘Words of Affirmation’, and by saying wonderful things to you, they think they are showing you love.
This is where the lack of understanding of the other person’s “language” can cause miscommunication when it comes to showing love.
So, what’s your love language?
Once you understand each other’s love language, the ‘communication’ improves greatly.
My language of love is physical affection, physical touch. I love holding hands, touching, tickling, and cuddling with my wife. I'd love it if she was the same, but she's not.
Kim’s language of love used to be receiving gifts, which for me was pretty natural and pretty easy. I loved it when this was hers. But it changed. Yay for me!!! It changed to Acts of Service. So now, for me to ‘speak’ Kim’s love language, I have to do those little things like, make the bed or put the clothes away, cook dinner, clean up, put the chooks away, dust, vacuum etc etc. (And honey, if you read this, I know I should do it more often, and I am trying).
When I do those things, and she sees them being done, she definitely does feel more loved and appreciated.
Often our partner’s love language is different to our own. It's really important to know and understand each other’s love language…and then ACT UPON IT (that part is really important).
This way you will each get to appreciate and understand each other on a different level and improve the relationship. And it really does benefit relationships because it promotes selflessness. This means that we are focused on what the other person wants to receive rather than what our needs are.
This is the whole core idea behind Dr. Chapman's theory. Basically, if you're focusing on their needs, and they're focusing on your needs, you're both giving, but also receiving at the same time.
It also creates empathy, because you're learning about your partner, and how they experience their love. You empathize with that person. It lets you step outside of yourself and take a look at that other person from their point of view.
It can also increase our emotional intelligence which will also help with our relationship by understanding our partner more and maintaining or improving our intimacy because we have those deeper connections. They are not only deeper, but they're more meaningful.
It also creates personal growth, because we're learning more and more about them, which means we usually learn more about ourselves, and how to empathize, connect and relate. Rather than just being “all about me” and “what I want”, it's about what they need and want. Doing that, it allows us to step outside our comfort zone, which leads us to that personal growth.
I really encourage you to have a chat with your partner and/or loved ones (e.g. children). What is their love language? Discuss what is yours. You may already know it, so may they. But what if either or one of you doesn’t?
Knowing the love languages won't fix a relationship, but it may help to start to repair it. A good relationship is based on good communication and love. So, what better way to start to improve your communication than with your love language.
Life is about love.
I would love to hear how you go with this, what your love language is, and how communicating in each other’s language impacts you both. I hope this has been helpful.
Peace, love and healing.
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