February 10, 2021
In his book, I discovered that we all show .. and receive ... love in different ways. Sometimes, very different ways which can cause a lot of frustration and feelings of discontent in a relationship.
So, what is a “love language,” and how might knowing ours help our relationship significantly? Simply put it’s all about knowing what it takes for a person to feel loved.
“During my years counselling many couples in crisis, it became apparent to me that what makes one person feel loved isn’t always the same for their spouse or partner. I discovered that every person understands and receives love in a specific language, one of five to be precise. The other four are just as important and offer [other] ways to express love to each other.”
Gary Chapman | The 5 Love Languages
According to Chapman, taking the time to learn and really understand your partner’s primary love language, which is often different from your own, can improve communication and strengthen your bond.
According to Chapman, people with this love language need to hear their partner say, “I love you.” Even better is including the reasons behind the love through leaving them a voice message or a written note or talking to them directly with sincere words of kindness and affirmation.
Other examples include saying things like: “Thank you,” “That was nice of you” and/or “I appreciate what you did.”
"The Love Languages," says Chapman, "is all about giving your partner your undivided attention. Giving each other full, complete attention means no cooking, loading the dishwasher, texting, scrolling facebook, flicking through Netflix .. but proper undistracted attention. It's important to make time to do this every day!"
Other examples include preparing dinner together and talking while preparing and eating it, sharing plans for the future, making love and/or creating something together.
The person who loves this language thrives on the love, thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift.
“The thing that works best is picking the right gift that shows you understand your partner and the effort you made to express love,” says Chapman. “Think about finding a gift that your partner has been asking for or would enjoy receiving and plan for a special way of giving it; make it a surprise.”
The simple act of giving a gift lets your partner that you cared enough to think about him/ her and go out of your way to get something even when they were not there.
This language includes anything you do to ease the burden of responsibility, like vacuuming the floors, going grocery shopping or sending thank-you notes. Stumped as to what your partner needs? Chapman suggests asking your partner to give ideas for things they’d like you to do that would make their life easier and make a schedule to get them done.
Simple things like making breakfast in bed or walking the dog demonstrate you care about your partner and your life together. In short, actions speak louder than words.
People who speak this love language thrive on any type of physical touch. This can include hugs, hand-holding and pats on the back. “Be intentional about finding ways to express your love using physical touch: giving hugs, touching their arm or hand during a conversation; offer to give a neck or back rub,” says Chapman.
Well, our results showed that his love language was Quality Time & Physical Touch and my love language is Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts.
Admittedly, we laughed (a lot) when we saw the results and it all made a lot more sense. We all default to our own love language so he was sitting down and hugging me because that was what he wanted and I was too busy doing chores (Acts of Service) and thinking up nice gifts for him ... to have time to just sit and hug!
The bottom line is that not everyone expresses their love in the same way, so being aware of the different love languages can help you understand your relationship better.
Check out this quick video clip by Oprah's Life Class on YouTube showing her chat with Gary Chapman explaining how these love languages work. Watch Love Languages Video
Take the Love Languages Quiz today
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