What is your love language? As much as it is important that we feel loved, it's important we show and return love too. This requires time and thought in understanding the other person and knowing what love languages he/she appreciates. We've looked into Dr. Gary Chapman's well-known theory on The 5 Love Languages, and hope this entry will help you learn something new about LOVE!
Words of Affirmation
This language uses words to affirm other people.
Many couples journey into their relationships without fully realising how powerful verbal expressions can be. It’s important to bear in mind that the words we speak can either be uplifting or damaging to the person hearing them, so be wise with what you choose to say. Even simple, straightforward expressions of appreciation (e.g. “You look lovely today!”) adds a positive difference to one’s day and can help boost your relationship with your significant other. Even psychologist William James claimed that “the deepest craving in human nature is the craving to be appreciated”, hence noting words of affirmation as a love language that many individuals desire and appreciate.
Acts of Service
For these people, actions speak louder than words.
Acts of service simply means doing things you know your partner would appreciate you do – actions that display your love and affection for him/her. Examples of service can range from small to big, and could include such things as doing house chores, helping alongside in the kitchen, assisting with looking after the garden, spending time with your child/ren, and voluntarily sharing responsibilities that you wouldn’t normally share on the daily. As these are all actions that require your thought, time, effort, and energy, it’s important that you’re in the right spirit when serving your partner – forcing yourself to do so whilst being in a negative mood would not be ideal, and would not present the results you would’ve been hoping for. For some people, actions indeed speak louder than words, so try to think outside of the box when expressing your love through service.
For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift.
You may have heard of the saying “at the heart of love is the spirit of giving.” This act of giving can be applied to all five of the love languages explored in Dr. Chapman’s book, however, to some people, receiving visible symbols of love (i.e. physical gifts) is most valued. Whatever the cost/size the gift may be, it’s the thought that counts. Gifts help to capture one’s thought for a special “someone”, and is powerful enough to pass on the message of love to him/her. If you’re one who is not too familiar with the idea of selecting and buying gifts, we hope you feel assured that physical gifts can often be the easiest way of expressing love – so, it’d be well worth practising the act of giving gifts, especially if your partner appreciates receiving them.
This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.
Spending quality time with your partner means more than simply being together – it refers to giving your undivided attention to one another, looking at each other, and listening carefully to what the other has to say. Watching the TV or streaming Netflix together is NOT and SHOULD NOT be treated as spending “quality time”, as your attention is focussed on what’s on the screen rather than the person you’re with. If quality time is something that’s been missing in your date nights, we suggest you practise switching off and putting away all devices, and prioritising activities (such as, going for a walk) that encourage the both of you to give undivided attention to one another.
To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.
Plenty of studies show the power of physical touch and its effectiveness in communicating emotions of love. Those who value this love language may begin to feel unloved if they don’t receive enough of it. If your partner is one whose primary love language is physical touch, ensure that you express your love for him/her regularly through physical contact. Even remembering to give a kiss or hug before you head off to work and return back home, will improve your relationship considerably.
For further information on Dr. Gary Chapman’s theory on The 5 Love Languages, please visit: www.5lovelanguages.com/