Have you ever heard of the book by Gary Chapman called, “The Five Love Languages” ? It was written over two decades ago but has grown ever-popular within the last few years.
If you haven’t heard about it, you might be asking yourself, what the heck is she talking about? Love languages? What in the world is that?! Let me clear it up for you.
Gary Chapman wrote the book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts back in 1992. It has since been republished multiple times and there are a TON of articles on the web that you can read about it. This blog post is merely my opinion of the book and how The Five Love Languages can make a big difference in your marriage and other relationships in your life.
Gary Chapman writes,
“Most of us grow up learning the language of our parents and siblings, which becomes our primary or native tongue. Later, we may learn additional languages–but usually with much more effort. These become our secondary languages. We speak and understand best our native language. We feel most comfortable speaking that language. And the more we use our secondary language, the more comfortable we become conversing in it. If we speak only our primary language, but meet someone else who speaks only his or her primary language, our communication will be limited.
In the area of love, it is similar. Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese is from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other.
Seldom do significant others have the same primary emotional love language. We tend to speak our primary love language and become confused when our spouse does not understand or appreciate what we are communicating. We are expressing our love, but the message does not come through because we are speaking what, to them, is a foreign language.
Are you having an “a-ha!” moment right now? It’s okay! We totally did, too! It makes total sense. We all have individual needs and each of us wants those needs met in different ways. And that is where the Five Love Languages comes in to play. Let’s learn a little more about each one, shall we?
- Words of affirmation — One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up. Words of appreciation, verbal compliments, speaking kindly, or simply saying “I love you,” can really make a difference to someone who has this love language. There is tremendous power in verbally affirming one another.
- Quality time — Spending time together is another way of expressing your love to one another. Time is precious and our lives are so busy, but giving your spouse your undivided attention communicates to them just how much of a priority they are in your life.
- Receiving gifts — “At the heart of love is the spirit of giving.” For some, receiving gifts or a visible symbol of love, is what makes them feel appreciated or thought of. It is something that you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, they were thinking of me.”
- Acts of service — This love language believes that “actions speak louder than words.” Emptying the dishwasher, running the vacuum, or cleaning out your loved one’s car, are all acts of service. And when they are done with a positive mindset, they are most definitely expressions of love.
- Physical touch — Physical touch is a powerful way to communicate love in a marital relationship. A few ways that you can communicate this emotional love to your partner is by holding hands, embracing one another, kissing, sitting close to another while watching TV, softly touching them when you walk by them, and having sexual intercourse.
Does that help clear things up? Which of these languages jumps out to you as your love language? What about your significant other? If you are not sure, take the quiz and find out!
After reading the book, “The Five Love Languages,” we discovered that my primary love language is acts of service. My husband’s, on the other hand, is physical touch.
In my own marriage, my husband communicates my love language to me by helping out around the house with everyday, mundane tasks that I sometimes feel overwhelmed by. He helps with laundry, empties the dishwasher, cooks delicious meals, and will even clean the bathrooms if I am really stressed out! Truthfully, he goes above and beyond to communicate love to me in these ways and because of it, I really do “feel the love.”
However, in the spirit of honesty, communicating physical touch to my husband proves to be much more difficult for me. I am not a very affectionate person and this love language does not come naturally to me. BUT … recognizing that this is the love language that my husband needs in order to feel loved and secure makes me WANT to be better about it. I want him to know just how important he is to me and how much he means to me, so I’m working on upping my affection threshold!
There is tremendous and transformative power in learning your love language and the love language of your significant other. When you understand what your needs are, you can communicate that to your partner and help them to understand the emotional love that you need from them. And the same goes for your partner. Once you understand their love language, you are able to communicate that emotional love and meet their needs. When both parties are willing to work on understanding one another’s love language, it can really transform and strengthen your relationship!
If you already know your love language, tell me what it is below! If you know your partner’s, tell me how you communicate their emotional love language to them or if you struggle with it!
If you don’t know, but would like to find out, take the quiz and then come back to let me know!