People express and receive love in different ways. Dr. Gary Chapman identifies these as the five languages of love”.
1. Quality Time – Attention, quality conversation, time spent together doing something meaningful or enjoyable. Time is Love. Attention is love.
2. Words of Affirmation – “You are beautiful”. Words of acknowledgment, encouragement, or appreciation. “You are a giving, loving, kind, warm person. I love who you are”. Words of affirmation are words of love.
3. Gifts – From big to small. Flowers. Gifts. Cards. Cars. Houses. Jewelry. Stuffed Animals. Clothing. A gift can be a great gift of love. Some people feel most loved with a gift.
4. Acts of Service – Cooking dinner, washing the car, running an errand, cleaning the house, helping with a task, time spent in contribution to another.
5. Physical Touch – Affection. Massage. Making love. Of course, everyone has their favorite way to be touched. And, touch equals love to many.
Knowing these 5 Love Languages allows you to GIVE and RECEIVE love from others more fully. Of course, we all can appreciate and enjoy each “love language”, however there is typically one or two that make you feel MOST LOVED. Which one is your primary love language? How do YOU show love toward those you love? What we tend to do for others, is often a clue to what we enjoy receiving most.
“If you express love in a way your partner doesn’t understand, he or she won’t realize you’ve expressed love. Perhaps your husband needs to hear encouraging words, but you feel like cooking a nice dinner will cheer him up. When he still feels down, you’re puzzled. Or, maybe your wife craves time with you — time away from the kids & TV. The flowers you gave her just don’t communicate that you care.”
— The 5 Love Languages
How I’ve used the “5 Love Languages”…
1. Noticing my own “love language”……what makes me feel most loved? Then, I can ask for more of what I want. For me, that’s “Quality Conversation/Time”, and Affection.
2. FEELING more love from others, even if they don’t know about the 5 Love Languages. If anyone in my life gives me quality time, a word of affirmation, a gift, an act of service or is affectionate with me……I take it as LOVE now. So, as a result, I feel much more love from my friends, family and significant others.
3. Noticing “others” Love Language, so that I can ensure my friends, family AND significant others feel the love I have toward them. It’s not just about romantic relationships. And, it’s more fun spending quality time, giving a word of affirmation, a gift, an act of service, or affection…..because I’m “intentionally” sending more love with each of these.
Get “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman…..and learn more about applying these concepts in your life to maximize the love you give and receive in your relationships.