In his 1992 book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Gary Chapman outlines the five ways to express and experience love. He calls these ways ‘languages of love’. Let’s look at each one of them!
Words of Affirmation
Solomon, author of ancient Hebrew Wisdom Literature, wrote, “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV). Verbal compliments or words of affirmation are the best way to express and build up love. These words are best put forth in a straightforward and simple manner. When used, they help fill up the deepest need in most of us, that for genuine appreciation.
“You can always make me laugh!”
“I love the way you bake these cookies!”
“Thank you for being so supportive!”
By quality time, we do not refer to you sitting with someone and watching Netflix. We are referring to a time where the both of you are next to each other, with all the gadgets at bay, and talking or walking or having dinner together.
In the fast paced lives that we lead today, sometimes sparing a couple of hours to meet someone can really make a difference to both our lives and theirs.
– Plan a romantic getaway or a road trip
– Spend a night at home playing your favourite games
– Take a long walk together
A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or, “She remembered me.” You must be thinking of someone to give him or her a gift. The gift itself is a symbol of that thought. It might not be a diamond necklace or the latest iPhone, the gift could be simply a macaroni necklace or wine brought home on the way back from work. People with gifts as their language of love thrive on its thoughtfulness and effort.
Such people also love to be surprised with gifts on random occasions. The more surprising and meaningful, the more the gift will be remembered.The more natural the gift was given, the more appreciative and loved they feel.
Acts of Service
For people with this as their language of love, actions definitely speak louder than words. If you really love them, cut the talk and do something to prove that you love them. It could be an act of cooking dinner or being more truthful about oneself or volunteering to do a chore for them. This is what your partner whose love language is acts of service wants to hear from you, “How can I help you?” or “What can I do?”
In a world where physical touch is generally misinterpreted or underestimated, people who have it as their language of love might suffer. Physical touch does not always translate into sex. It could be a warm hug, a peck on the lips or cheeks or holding hands or just sitting in close proximity to one another. This kind of a touch is assuring and makes one feel loved and wanted.
Everyone has different love languages and that’s completely all right. Identifying your languages of love will help you navigate through your relationships more effectively and understanding those of another person will help you express your love more fluently.