Have you heard the term “love languages”? The book that sparked the new way of thinking about love, Dr. Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages , was written in 1995, but has become more and more popular recently. What exactly are they and what do they mean?
Love languages describe the way we feel loved and appreciated, depending on our individual personality types , we may feel loved differently than our partners do. Understanding and deciphering the languages of love will help take the guesswork out of your partner’s expectations and needs. According to Dr. Chapman, there are five languages of love: Words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
What are the five languages of love?
Dr. Chapman firmly believes that each person has a primary and a secondary love language and he theorizes that people tend to give love in the way that they prefer to receive love, as we do not all have the same preferences when it comes to giving and receiving love, this is how relationships can start to get complicated. But by understanding the inherent love language, we can begin to break down walls in our romantic lives.
Let’s finally learn what the languages of love are.
Words of affirmation
One way to express love emotionally is to use words, the tongue has the power of life and death. Many couples have never learned the tremendous power of verbally affirming each other.
Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love, best expressed in simple and direct statements of affirmation, such as:
- “You look good in that suit.”
- “You are beautiful”.
- “I really like the person you are.”
- You can always make me laugh.
Words of affirmation are one of the five languages of love, within that language, however, there are many dialects. All dialects have in common the use of words to affirm the spouse. Psychologist William James said that possibly the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated, words of affirmation will fill that need in many individuals.
Acts of service
By acts of service, he refers to doing things that you know your spouse would like you to do, you seek to please by serving them, express your love by doing things for him or her.
Consider actions such as cooking, setting a table, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, changing the baby’s diaper, picking up a recipe, keeping the car in working order; all are acts of service. They require thought , planning, time, effort and energy, if done in a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love.
You need to be willing to examine and change stereotypes to express love more effectively. Remember, there are no rewards for maintaining stereotypes, but there are enormous benefits to meeting your spouse’s emotional needs. If your spouse’s love language is an act of service, then “actions speak louder than words.”
A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me” or “She remembered me.” You must be thinking of someone to give him a detail.
The gift itself is a symbol of that thought , it doesn’t matter if it costs money, the important thing is that you thought about him or her and it is not the thought implanted only in the mind that counts, but the thought actually expressed to secure the gift. and give it as the expression of love.
But what about the person who says, “I’m not a gift giver, I didn’t get many gifts when I grew up, I never learned how to select gifts, it doesn’t come naturally to me.” Congratulations, you just made the first discovery to become a great lover, you and your partner speak different languages of love.
It is not about materialism, it is about knowing that you are on someone’s mind, even when you are not together. This is where thought definitely counts.
I mean giving someone your exclusive attention, I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching TV together, when time passes like that, Netflix or HBO have your attention, not your partner. What I mean is sitting on the couch with the TV turned off, looking at each other and talking, putting the devices away and giving them your full attention, it means taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out to eat, look at each other and talk.
Time is a precious commodity, we all have multiple demands on our time, yet each of us has exactly the same hours in a day. We can make the most of those hours by committing them to our partner, if your partner’s main love language is quality time, she simply loves you, and loves to be sharing together.
For this person, nothing speaks more deeply than an appropriate touch, that does not mean just in the bedroom, everyday physical connections such as hand holding, kissing or any kind of reaffirmation of physical contact are highly appreciated.
For some individuals, physical touch is their primary language of love, without this they feel helpless and with it, their emotional tank fills up, and they feel safe in love.
Implicit love touches take little time but a lot of thought, especially if it is not your primary love language and you did not grow up in a “touching family.” Sitting close to each other while watching your favorite TV show doesn’t require extra time, but you can communicate your love out loud, touching your partner as you walk across the room you’re sitting in takes just a moment, touching each other when you go out from the house and again when you return it may involve only a brief kiss or hug.
Once you discover that physical contact is the primary love language, you are only limited by your imagination in ways to express it.
You can probably relate to some of these, maybe you relate to all of them but most of us have one or two that are much more important to us than the others, and it is different for everyone. There really is no scientific research behind Chapman’s theory; it just makes sense because it is relatable, it is obvious that we all show affection in different ways, these languages just label those ways so that you can understand people a little better.
How to know what your love language is?
Since you’ve probably been talking about what you need all along, you can discover your own love language by asking yourself these questions:
- How do I express love to others?
- What do I complain about the most?
- What do I love the most?
However, speaking in your partner’s love language will probably not come naturally to you. Dr. Chapman cautions in his book: “We are not talking about comfort, we are talking about love. Love is something we do for another person, couples love each other but they do not connect, they are sincere, but it is not enough. We must step out of our comfort zone to meet the emotional needs of others.
How can this concept change your relationship?
When you realize what your partner is doing and they don’t care, you can empathize better. Your reasons for fighting make a little more sense, when you understand what you are fighting for, you are in a better position to find a solution.
Beyond fighting less (or at least more productively), the concept of love languages is also ideal for maintaining the relationship. For example, I know we both feel affection for spending quality time together, so I know it’s important to schedule this time to keep our relationship strong. If we were ever in a long-distance relationship, we’d probably have to struggle with it quite a bit, and we’d have to try harder than people who don’t speak the language of “Quality Time.”
In a long-standing relationship, it’s easy to get complacent and let things get stale. When you know your partner’s love language, it’s incredibly easy to reload, it’s like a cheat code for your relationship.
Of course, the concept is also useful simply to express your love in the best possible way.
Just because you or your partner favor a particular love language does not mean that you should stop expressing the other love languages. According to Chapman, although we tend to favor one language more than the others, we also enjoy the traits of others, he also does not believe that his Tongues of love only apply to romantic relationships
Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.