A year ago, I stumbled across a book called “The 5 Love Languages” on a social media platform written by marriage counselor, Gary Chapman. This book identifies the five diverse ways that we as human beings tend to express and experience the big L word; LOVE. These five emotional love languages are ; Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. After completing the book and taking the online test, I had officially discovered my primary and secondary love languages.
Chapman explains that we each have one primary, and one secondary love language. By nature, we tend to show and give love in the exact same way that we wish to receive and accept love. It is imperative that we not only know ourselves inside and out to be able to indulge in a flourishing relationship, but that we also know our partners inside and out.
This includes the understanding and acceptance of their love languages. While we tend to speak our own love languages to our partners, we are actually supposed to be speaking THEIR love languages to them. Here is a little overview of each love language.
1. Words of Affirmation
To some, “talk” may seem “cheap”. However, talk is not cheap to those who speak the Words of Affirmation love language. These individuals worship and respect affirmation and thrive off of hearing from their partners how much they mean to them. Please understand that there is nothing wrong with this. These individuals feel loved and secure when their partners use verbal communication, rather than any other form of communication. Interestingly enough, it is not just females who characterize themselves as someone who prefer verbal affirmation, but males too.
2. Quality Time
Quality Time was my primary love language. This love language characterizes those who desire your utmost, full and undivided attention. Please understand that watching television on the couch together does not translate into “quality time” in the real world. What actually has your attention is the television, and not your partner. In a world consumed by cell phones, this has become more and more difficult to achieve over time, and our relationships may be slightly suffering because of it. Do yourselves a favor and put… that cell phone… down!
3. Receiving Gifts
For some individuals, Receiving Gifts speaks volume, regardless if they are of monetary value or not. I know what you’re thinking… you may be thinking that these kinds of individuals have hearts that are black. However, this is very inaccurate. For some, receiving gifts has the powerful ability to make one feel as though your partner is thinking of them. At the end of the day, this is what is most important to them.
4. Acts of Service
Someone who speaks the Acts of Service love language appreciates when their partner makes it a priority to do things, preferably without having to be asked. For example, that could translate into cooking a meal, or cleaning up the dishes. Small or big, this love language speaks massive volume for some. In fact, this love language was my secondary love language. As a result of this, I can appreciate someone who is willing to take initiative to complete a task, preferably without me having to ask them to do it.
5. Physical Touch
This book indicates that babies who are physical held and have skin-t0-skin contact during their newborn years will develop healthier when it comes to emotion in comparison to a baby that may not have been held as often. Without the existence of touch, some often feel unloved. If your partner speaks the Physical Touch love language, they may want to consistently jump your bones. What kind of human would I be to complain about that! While I initially thought that this love language had only to do with sex, I was pleasantly surprised to discover otherwise. Physical touch has just as much to do with greeting your partner with a smooch when you see them, snuggling on the couch when watching television, holding hands in public or just being affectionate when together.
Gary Chapman explains that we as individuals tend to show love through a love language that we personally understand. For example, if gift giving is your primary love language, you may also tend to give gifts. However, your partner may not appreciate receiving a gift as much as they would prefer for you to conduct an act of service without having to be asked.
It is vital to know that the vast majority of partners actually do not have the same love language(s). However, knowing and appreciating each other’s love languages will help you understand what the other needs in your relationship. This way, you are able to accurately meet the others emotional needs by understanding what is important to them.
Gary truly believes that relationships can be saved by taking the time to learn about your partners primary and secondary love languages. If you weren’t showing your partner love in the proper ways before, it is never too late to start!
Ultimately, not everything is rainbows and unicorns when you love your partner in ways that you want to be loved. Take some time to determine your primary and secondary love language, alongside with your partners. Take the quiz today by click below;