Developed by Dr. Gary Chapman
Dr Gary Chapman writes about the importance of being able to express love to your significant other in a way that they can understand and value. He calls this type of communicating using the five love languages.
Chapman’s Five Emotional Love Languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
This is when you say how nice your significant other looks or how great the dinner tasted. These words will also build your mate’s self-image and confidence.
- Quality Time
Some people believe that being together, doing things together, and focusing on one another is the best way to show love. If this is your partner’s love language, turn off the TV now and then and give one another some undivided attention.
It is universal in human cultures to give gifts. They don’t have to be expensive to send a powerful message of love. People who forget a birthday or anniversary or who never give gifts to someone who truly enjoys gift giving will find themselves with a person who feels neglected and unloved.
- Acts of Service
Discovering how you can best do something for your significant other will require time and creativity. These acts of service like vacuuming, hanging a bird feeder, planting a garden, etc., need to be done with joy in order to be perceived as a gift of love.
- Physical Touch
Sometimes just stroking their significant other’s back, holding hands, or a peck on the cheek will fulfill this need.
How do I determine my own love language?
You can discover your own love language by asking yourself these questions:
- How do I express love to others?
- What do I complain about the most?
- What do I request most often?
To help determine someone’s Language of Love use the following questions as a way of quickly zoning in on their primary language.
- I feel especially loved when people express how grateful they are for me and for the simple, everyday things I do.
- I feel especially loved when a person gives me undivided attention and spends time alone with me.
- I feel especially loved by someone who brings me gifts and other tangible expressions of love.
- I feel especially loved when someone pitches in to help me—perhaps, by running errands or taking on my household chores.
- I feel especially loved when a person expresses feelings for me through physical contact.
What are Words of Affirmation?
- Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words I love you are important, hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
What does Quality Time mean?
- In the vernacular of quality time, nothing says I love you like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
What does the Language of Gifts mean?
- Don’t mistake this love language for materialism. The receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
What are Acts of Service?
- Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an Acts of Service person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
What does the Language of Touch mean?
- This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is physical touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.