If you are married or in a relationship and haven’t read The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, I suggest that you click here now to purchase the book. It is a short read, easy to understand, and is an extremely helpful guide to managing relationships. The book outlines five ways to express love, which the author calls “love languages.” People tend to naturally express love the way they wish to receive it. For example, if affection (physical touch) makes you feel loved by others, you are more likely to express love this way. The goal is to learn which language makes your partner feel loved the most so you can be more deliberate with how you express love.
The 5 Love Languages
The 5 love languages that Dr. Chapman discusses is gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. Gift giving is pretty self explanatory. Picking up something that reminds you of your partner while you are out and about is a way to express love through gift giving. Quality time may differ from person to person so make sure to define this to your partner. Do you prefer to be sitting with your loved one as you are watching a movie or would you rather be more engaged in conversation over coffee or dinner? Make sure to communicate this so your partner has a better idea of what makes you feel loved. Words of affirmation are verbal or written expressions of love, appreciation, and recognition. A love note in a lunch box or saying, “I appreciate you” are two ways you may express love through words of affirmation. Acts of service are the 4th love language. In order for your act to be considered an expression of love, it is necessary that it is done solely because it is important to your partner. For instance, if you choose to wash the dishes because you can’t stand to see a sink full of dishes, but your partner is indifferent when dishes are in the sink, this would not be an example of an act of service. However, if you know that your partner loves when the bed is made, this may be a good opportunity to express your love through an act of service by making the bed. Physical touch is also self explanatory as it is expressions of love through touch. Physical touch does not only mean intimacy. It can be holding hands, a comforting massage, or cuddling up next to your partner.
What you have been doing wrong
Since love languages vary from person to person, your expressions of love may not always be felt by others. For example, if your primary language is physical touch but your partner’s language is acts of service, your expressions of love through physical touch may not be felt by your partner. As a result, your partner’s “love tank” (as the author calls it) will be empty and you will feel unappreciated since your partner will most likely not acknowledge your physical touch. The same will occur if your partner expresses love for you through acts of service. Since your primary language is physical touch, you may not feel loved if your partner continues to express love for you through acts of service but not physical touch. The both of you will end up with an empty love tank and your relationship will begin to suffer.
How to apply the 5 love languages
After reading the book, there is a questionnaire in the back so you are able to learn which love language corresponds to you the most. Once you learn what your primary love language is, make sure to share this with your partner. Identify two or three different things within your love language that he or she can do to make you feel loved. Make sure to ask the same of your partner. This way, each of you is able to put forth the effort to express love the way the other needs it to be expressed. At first, it may feel uncomfortable as these may not be your natural ways to express love. However, over time, each of you will adapt. As long as you incorporate your partner’s love language into your daily expressions, feel free to continue to also show love through your natural expressions as this may be your preference since it will come easiest to you.
We hope this book becomes a valuable resource for you! Make it a point to learn your partner’s language and speak it regularly. This will have a positive impact on the relationship and you will notice a huge difference in how your partner feels. Let us know your thoughts about the book and comment below. Stay tuned for our next blog and thank you again for reading and for the support!