Gary Chapman, a relationship counsellor, wrote a book called The 5 Love Languages. Here, he breaks down the ways that different people communicate with their significant other. These are true for romantic relationships as well as families and friendships. While we all typically speak to each of them during certain times, everyone seems to resonate with one or two especially. What is important to know is what the top languages are that you speak and what the top languages are that your partner speaks. For example, in my relationship, my #1 love language is acts of service and my last love language is physical touch. On the other hand, my husbands #1 love language is physical touch. So we have the opposite love languages. The key is you have to speak the others persons love language. And the problem is we tend to speak our love language to our partners. We have to learn to speak another language. What happened in our marriage is my husband started doing more things for me/acts of service and because of that I felt loved and become more affectionate because of it. It was miraculous for us. And so simple. If you aren’t already discussing this in your relationship, I hope you start to!
Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited comments mean the world to you. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are powerful communicators of love.
For this person, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television together. What I mean is taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out to eat and looking at each other while talking. A relationship calls for sympathetic listening with a view to understanding the other person’s desires.
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized about whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. There is also an intangible gift that can speak more loudly than something that can be held in one’s hand. Physical presence in the time of crisis is the most powerful gift you can give. Your body becomes the symbol of your love.
Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” People who speak this love language seek to please their partner by serving them; to express their loves for them by doing things for them.
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care and love. Kissing, hugging, and sex – all of these are lifelines for the person whom physical touch is the primary love language. With it, they feel secure in their partner’s love. Sitting close to each other as you watch TV requires no additional time, but communicates your love loudly.
What’s your love language? How can you use these to foster compassion and growth in your relationships this Valentine’s Day, and every day? Take the quiz to discover your love language – it could save your relationship!