• Tinukè Olatunbosun

The 5 Love Languages

In the past, I briefly skimmed through Gary Chapman’s book ’The 5 love languages’. This year I decided to read it and really get to grips with what Chapman describes as the 5 love languages and also how he thinks it can do wonders for a relationship but most importantly a marriage.

This book explains that we all have a primary love language, and that this is the way in which we tend to both feel and show love. Reading this book helped me to understand that just because I as an individual like to receive love in a particular way it doesn’t mean my partner does. It’s important to take time to know their love language and begin to act on it.

I am focusing on romantic relationships as the book also does, but I also believe this concept that Chapman coined will benefit our relationships with family, friends and others we meet on life’s journey.

In order to get a better understanding of the 5 love languages, I believe it’s a good idea to summarise them, especially for those who aren’t familiar with this theory.

Words of affirmation

Self-love and believing in ourselves is so significant to our well-being and growth. As much as that is great, it’s also an amazing feeling to know that someone else/others believe in us. Encouraging words really assist in building individuals up, in particular, those who’s dominant love language is ‘words of affirmation’.

Chapman expresses the importance of verbal compliments and explains how they are ‘powerful communicators of love’. He gives examples of this in his book, I chose two:

“You look sharp in that suit” “You can always make me laugh”

These kinds of compliments will make your partner feel good and appreciated, it will give them the extra confidence that’s needed. We all have insecurities, showering them with encouraging words is where you come in. These words have the ability to eliminate any doubt your partner may have.

Moreover, there is also a downside to words being of such huge impact. Negative words have the power to put a downer of your partner’s parade and could result in them feeling low. If your partners love language is words of affirmation, I believe a good mindset to have is ‘think before you speak’

Quality time

Many underestimate the power of quality time. Some perceive quality time as simply spending time with one another. This book breaks it down and explains what it consist off.

Chapman states that ‘giving this person your undivided attention means practically disengaging from all outside sources’. This requires you focusing solely on your partner and not being distracted by the likes of phones, televisions of anything that could result in your attention being drawn away.

You may be an individual who is extremely busy with work, and family. Whilst these are all important aspects of life, if quality time is the way your partner feels love, you need to make it happen. We are all busy, but you make time for priorities, which your partner is. They require your time and to just be in your company, it’s not too much to ask for really, is it?

Receiving gifts

Universally, I’m sure most of us love receiving gifts, well I certainly do. Nevertheless, it’s not the most significant action that shows me love from a partner. However, for those whose primary love language is ‘receiving gifts’ it’s more than that. This signifies love to them. They want a visible gift that they are able to hold in their hand. The financial aspect of this gift is not important. This person enjoys and appreciates this gift knowing that they were thought of. It’s sentimental for this reason.

One’s partner may not be a gift giver, therefore struggles with satisfying their partner in this area. However love is about compromise and not everything will come naturally, but if a gift is what will make your spouse happy, you should be willing to make this happen. It’s a process that may not happen overnight, but with time you will see the joy it brings.

Acts of service

Now you are talking my language! Get it? By simply seeing what the 5 love languages were, I had already decided that this was mine. When I saw acts of service, the first thing that came to mind was ‘actions speak louder than words’. This is something I believe in completely, so I was sold. However, I had to read the book to confirm my thoughts and to understand exactly what ‘acts of service’ as a love language entails.

Chapman says that those who speak this particular language ‘want their partner to recognise their life is tough and lend them a helping hand in anyway possible”.

I get stressed out quite easily, so when a partner can reduce stress for me in any way, I feel extremely appreciated. This can be by doing chores to ease the workload for me, whether that ’s cooking or washing up, basically anything I would like done. These acts require effort, and the reward will be how happy your partner feels once it’s completed.

Those with traditional values may struggle to fulfil roles such as this. Stereo typically, they see particular roles such as cooking and cleaning to be gender specific, acts women tends to carry out. However, if this is your woman’s love language, it may mean you need to alter this mindset. It may not come easily to you, but it is necessary.

The above example was related to acts a woman might appreciate, as I was talking from my perspective. If it was reversed and this was your man’s love language, of course the task or ways in which you could serve him would differ. This love language requires observation, over time you will be able to know what could help him/her out. This could be taking over something they constantly moan about doing. It could be as simple as that.

Physical touch

What came to mind when you saw this header? For some, it was probably that it’s related to sexual intercourse.

Your not wrong, this does make up part of this love language, but it’s certainly not limited to this.Physical touch consists also of physical contact such as embracing, holding hands and also kissing.

If this is your partners love language, this is the way they receive emotional love, a lack of this can result in them feeling unloved/less appreciated. For some, it could be hard for them to show love in this way, especially if this is not also their love language.

You may not be up for public displays of affection, which your partner may want. You may also simply not be a ‘touchy-feely person’. Whilst this may not be something you would indulge in normally if it’s the way in which your partner feels most loved, attempt to make them feel more secure in this way. This could be as simple as cuddling whilst chilling out. Your partner just wants to feel close to you in any way possible.

You probably read these 5 languages and found your self-relating to one or even more of them, maybe all. However, there is one that plays a dominant role, the one considered to be our primary love language. If you would like to have a clearer idea of your love language, (take this quiz). I believe it will help you identify your love language or at least get a clearer insight into this topic

In this post, I was only able to give a brief outline of what I got from this book. I highly recommend you purchase it, so you can form your own perspective. I really love the fact that Chapman incorporated case study’s in this book. He demonstrated the outcome of those who applied this concept to their relationship or particular situation. He also recommends ways you can integrate the particular love language of your spouse to the relationship.

Thanks for reading! What are your views on love languages as a whole? Comment below.


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