One of my best friends has recently introduced me to The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I found the concept totally fascinating. The idea is that there are five ways in which people speak and understand emotional love, and everyone has a primary and a secondary love language. Learning more about the languages will give you clues to your emotional communication preference and that of your loved ones, which in turn will help nurture your close relationships with others.
What are the 5 Love Languages?
Words of affirmation
Giving a compliment or words of appreciation are a powerful way of communicating your love for another. Love letters will work wonders, but critical comments and insults will not be forgotten.
Acts of Service
If you are an “Acts of Service” person, you appreciate your loved ones doing things for you. So simple things like making a cup of tea, hanging out the laundry or filling up the car with petrol, are expressions of love that will speak volumes to the recipient of these acts.
Gifts are visual representations of love and receiving a thoughtful gift involving effort shows you that you are cared for and prized above what was sacrificed to bring the gift to you, be that time or money. Missing a loved ones birthday or anniversary whose primary language is Gift Giving & Receiving will make them feel completely unloved.
Giving your loved one your undivided attention is key to showing your love for them. Putting all distractions down and having quality conversations is paramount. Sharing a fun hobby together is a great way of showing your love for each other.
Thoughtful touches mean a lot to a person whose primary language is Physical Touch. Hand holding and hugs are crucial ways to show care and love and help to develop a feeling of security. Conversely neglect or physical abuse are totally destructive.
What is your Love Language?
You can take the official assessment here to discover your primary love language which will help you nurture and understand your relationships with others.
The way to understand your loved ones love language is to observe how they express their love for others, what they request from you and what they complain about.
For me, spending quality time and having physical touch with my husband is important to me, but it might not necessarily be important to him. But equally I love it when he makes me a cuppa, pays me a compliment and showers me with gifts. Maybe I need all five ways of showing love in my life!! When we discussed this, he said I don’t really need hugs but I love them with you because I know how much you love a good hug. So it’s all about identifying what is important to your loved one.
Looking at both my two young boys, I can see that they have totally different love languages, one responds well to having us do things with and for him, and one enjoys physical touch through hugs. Oh and of course they love receiving gifts, but I put that down to them being kids!
What do you think? Have you identified your love language?