When I was exposed to the concept of the five languages of love by Gary Chapman, it fundamentally shifted the way I perceive my interpersonal relationships (romantic and otherwise). The basic idea is that each of us prefer to receive love in different ways and that we have a natural tendency to give love in the way that we prefer to receive it. Much like we have a tendency to teach the way we prefer to learn.
Instead, Chapman argues, we should use the love language that our loved-ones want to receive, which may be different than our own love language.
What are the five love languages?
- Words of Affirmation: Verbally demonstrating love through words of praise, appreciation and affection. This is your love language if you like hearing unsolicited compliments or expressions of gratitude.
- Acts of Service: Actions taken to make the life of your loved one easier are the expression of affection and care. This is your love language if having someone else do the dishes, vacuum or take out the trash melts your heart.
- Receiving Gifts: Gifting is symbolic of love and affection. It’s not so much the physical object as the thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift as a demonstration of care. This is your love language if you enjoy receiving gifts from loved ones warms your heart and makes you feel special and loved.
- Quality Time: Showing affection through undivided, undistracted attention. This is your love language if you want to be with your loved one with phones off, zero distractions and time one-on-one.
- Physical Touch: Demonstrating affection through physical touch – be it sex or holding hands and hugs. This is your love language if you find physical touch crucial to feeling connected and loved.
While most of us appreciate all of these expressions of love, Chapman believes that each individual a primary love language. By observation, you can intuit the love language of the loved ones in your lives. And you can use this insight to express your care to the people in your life that matter in the way that matters to them. For example, for someone wholse love language is Quality Time, you would want to put more energy into planning a birthday dinner vs a birthday gift.
In romantic relationship, if you can articulate your love language or intuit the language of the person you are interested in, you have a greater chance of having a successful relationship. It’s a great thing to add to your Veredate profile!
To learn more and take a quiz to learn your love language click here.