One of the most common problems facing people today is the inability to convey love consciously and meaningfully to someone else. We see in history that learning how your partner receives love will help a person know the best way to understand your affection and care.
Gary Chapman, a relationship specialist, and author of ‘Five Love Languages’ invented the phrase ‘love language’ for the first time. The idea behind this principle is simple: to let you know what your partner needs or desires without speaking out explicitly. This thought came to him after 15 years of listening to married couples in various variations of the same complaint.
Eventually, he understood that what they were voicing was a frustrated desire. So, he asked himself that when someone says, “my spouse does not love me”, what does he or she wish to do. He also noticed that these types of emotional communication classified into five categories.
1. Words of Affirmation (To be verbally acknowledged)
2. Quality Time (To enjoy companionship)
3. Receiving Gifts (To receive tokens of love)
4. Acts of Service (To have a partner do tasks for each other)
5. Physical Touch (To be in contact through your body)
Talking Love: The Five Languages
Published for the first time in 1992, The 5 Love Languages sold more than 8 million copies, increasing every year as it continues to resonate with new generations of readers. Later, it got translated into 49 languages. Chapman followed up with the 5 Love Languages: Men’s Edition and other variants that tailor the concepts to the needs of parents, single people, children, and co-workers, as well as a volume on how to adapt the love-language approach to make excuses.
Here’s what the five languages in practice look like:
1. Words of Affirmation
According to ninety per cent of the relationship experts, everybody has their fundamental need to be feel valued. Chapman has suggested ‘words of affirmation,’ which is one of the five love languages based on this need. Words, as we know, have the power to sever or to make a relationship. Words of love or gratitude are effective ways to express your affection to your partner. According to Chapman, giving compliments like, “You look amazing in that dress” or “I love how you always keep your promise” are great to make your partner feel respected and loved.
Simply put, the words of affirmation of the love language are about transmitting affection through spoken words, gratitude, or appreciation. If this is someone’s language of love, they enjoy kind words, motivation, exhilarating quotations, love notes, and cute text messages.
2. Quality time
There is a distinction between spending time and spending quality time with your partner. Investing in quality time means paying undivided attention to your partner. It may sound romantic, but holding hands and listening to each other will get two people closer than just sitting together and watching a movie.
Love and affection are conveyed in this language of love when someone else pays their undivided attention. It involves putting down the mobile phone and turning off the tablet, making eye contact and listening actively. People with this love language are searching for quality over quantity.
3. Receiving gifts
Love is the act of sharing, and gifts are the tangible symbol of this. When you get a gift to your partner, it is not just a matter of choosing something; It’s also about the energy and thought behind this gesture. To a person whose love language receives gifts, gift-giving is the sign of love and affection in their minds. They treasure not only the gift itself but also the time and effort the gift-giver has put into it.
What is more, they do not expect big or costly presents. The language of love that receives gifts is more than the gift that appeals to them. In many other words, when you take the time to select a gift, especially for them, it demonstrates to them that you know their heart and them in whole.
4. Acts of Service
By helping, Chapman means doing things that your partner would love you to do. It means that you want to please the individual by helping him or her, breaking gender stereotyping, which can be a hindrance to a good relationship. When your spouse is always busy looking after the baby all day, try to pick-up the unattended household tasks like cleaning a table or washing dishes. It indicates how much you value about her, and such actions speak louder than words.
If somebody’s priority love language is service, they feel valued and respected when others do good things for them. Whether that’s helping with dishes or getting gas in the car, little service goes right to the heart of the individual. They love it when people do little things for them, and they also feel that they do little things for others.
5. Physical touch
Physical contact does not just mean the concept of making love, since touch is an effective way to express love. In addition to sex, physical contact may involve holding hands, a pat on the shoulder, a warm embrace, or a romantic kiss. Even sitting next to each other and feeling the warmth of your partners body can be a soothing feeling. As per Chapman, such physical movements between both the partners, including a farewell kiss before actually leaving the house or sharing an unplanned hug, can say a lot about the love they share.
An individual with this love language feels valued by physical affection. Besides, their definition of an ideal date could involve cuddling on the sofa with a glass of red wine and a great film. They want to be physically close to their partners.