Love in many languages
Is there really more than one love? Yes, according to Dr Gary Chapman, author and renowned marriage counsellor, there are five love languages, or at least five universal ways that we express and interpret love. These five love languages are based on the pattern he has seen in the couples he has counselled over the past 30 years, and how they have universally expressed and interpreted love in the same five ways, or in the same five love languages.
In the book The 5 Love Languages, Chapman discusses the five love languages that all of us universally identify with when expressing and interpreting love. Although there are five types of love languages, most people lean heavily on one or two, and are usually drawn to people who 'speak a different love language than themselves. Let's see how these can be applied to your relationship. Words of Affirmation - For some people hearing, 'I love you', words of praise, or compliments are what they value most. These individuals feel that words have more weight than actions and would rather hear the reasons behind that love versus any other expression of love. This also means that if something negative or insulting is said to one of these individuals it will not be easily forgiven
Quality time - For some people spending time with loved ones is their preferred love language. Whether it be a quiet lunch or an afternoon walk, spending quality time and being the focus of their undivided attention leaves them feeling satisfied and comforted more than words. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful to these individuals, since 'being there' is crucial.
Receiving gifts - Not all people who enjoy receiving gifts are materialistic. This just means that for these individuals love is equated with a tangible gift. The gift doesn't have to be extravagant or elaborate, but it does have to be meaningful and thoughtful. So, if you know that your partner's favourite artiste or actor/actress is going to perform and you can surprise them with a ticket that would show love behind the gift. But if you bought an impersonal gift, prepare for some serious backlash.
Acts of service - Hearing the phrase, 'let me do that for you' is music to our ears, but for people who see acts of service as the greatest expression of love, hearing this phrase is like hitting the lotto, literally! These persons want their partners to notice that their own responsibilities are grand and sometimes daunting, and that a helping hand every once in a while shows love and care. Just as much as these individuals love acts of service, they do not deal well with broken promises and laziness, and have very little tolerance for people who make more work for them because it shows a lack of value for them
Physical touch - The language of physical touch doesn't only refer to physical touch and affection in the bedroom, but refers to the everyday physical connections, like hand holding, kissing, pats on the buttocks, and any type of re-affirming physical contact. A person who desires physical touch and affection isn't overly touchy-feely, but for them touch shows how much their partner cares for them. If that physical bond is broken by abuse, their entire relationship can be destroyed indefinitely.
One last reminder, just because you or your partner favours a particular love language, doesn't mean that you should stop expressing the other love languages.