Have you read the New York Times best selling book, The 5 Love Languages? Many people are familiar with it, but if you aren’t, I highly recommend it! Not only will it equip you to interact in your relationships better, but you will learn a few interesting things about yourself as well.
The author, Gary Chapman, states that there are 5 love languages that we use to communicate love in our relationships by the way we are wired up. First, you must figure out exactly what it takes for you to be loved, and then what it takes for those around you to be loved. The 5 languages are:
1. Words of Affirmation:
2. Acts of Service
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Quality Time
5. Physical Touch
If you want to find out what your love language is, I recommend you fill out the free love language profile on their website by clicking here.
The challenging piece to this is that while you may feel loved by words of affirmation (so naturally that’s how you want to show love), I love you…Thank you so much for all of the work you do around here… You are such a great partner…your partner may not feel loved in that way. Say all of the affirming things you want, but he/she may not even notice because they need to spend quality time with you to feel that you really care.
Obviously this is a great resource for marriage, but Dr. Chapman offers many other resources for our various relationships and communicating in a opitmal healthy way.
This simple approach to showing love to those around us has been instrumental in my own marriage and in many of my other relationships. Personally, I feel loved best with words of affirmation. Here is a great example: Before I moved to the UK for an expat assignment with my husband, one of my best friends, knowing my love language, organized my fitness classes to write me personal cards and letters. I had over 50 different envelops filled with kind words of encouragement, and gratitude. This was literally one of the best gifts I have ever received!
What do you think of the 5 Love Languages? What is your language? And has learning about this helped you in your relationships?