Most people are unaware that there are 5 different love languages and that each individual has a primary love language by which he or she expresses and receives love. If you express love in a way your partner doesn’t understand, he or she won’t realize you’ve expressed your love at all! It is as if you are communicating to each other in a foreign language. So what are the 5 love languages?
- One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up. Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are powerful communicator of love.
- Another way of giving words of affirmation is to use encouraging words. Encouragement requires empathy, i.e., seeing the world from your partner’s perspective and learning what is important to your partner.
- Love is also kind. If we are to communicate love verbally, we must use kind words. This has to do with the way we speak. The same sentence can have two different meanings depending on how you say it.
- Love makes requests, not demands. Requests give direction to love but demands stop the flow of love. When you make a request of your partner, you are affirming his or her worth and abilities. You are in essence indicating that he or she has something or can do something that is meaningful and worthwhile to you.
Love Language #2 – Quality Time
- Quality time mean giving someone your undivided attention. A central aspect of quality time is togetherness, not as in proximity, but to do with focused attention, and this can take place over a variety of activities.
- One of the common activities for quality time is quality conversation. This is a sympathetic dialogue where two persons are sharing their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context. This differs from the first love language in that the focus is on what we are hearing, instead of saying.
Love Language #3 – Receiving Gifts
- Gifts are visual symbols of love. Visual symbols of love are more important to some people than others. A gift is something that you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or “She remembered me.” You must be thinking of that person to give him or her a gift. The gift itself is a symbol of that thought. It doesn’t matter whether it costs money, what’s important is that you thought of him or her.
- There is also an intangible gift that sometimes speaks more loudly than a gift that can be held in one’s hand. This is the gift of self or presence. Being there when your partner needs you or in time of crisis speaks loudly to the one whose primary love language is receiving gift.
Love Language #4 – Acts of Service
- Acts of service is doing things you know your partner would like you to do. You seek to please him or her, to express your love for him or her by doing things for her. In attempt to speak this love language, a trap that many fall into is that they are doing things, but not things that are of the most importance to their partner.
- Also, acts of service should not be done out of guilt or fear. Under coercion, this is not a language of love.
Love Language #5 – Physical Touch
- Physical touch is a powerful vehicle for communicating marital love. Holding hands, kissing, embracing, and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating emotional love to one’s partner.
- The touch of love may take many forms, that doesn’t mean all touches are created equal. Some touches will bring more pleasure to your partner than others. Don’t insist on touching your partner in your way and in your time, but seek to find out what is his or her preference.
- There are different types of love touches. It can be explicit and demand your full attention like back rub, sexual foreplay etc. It can also be implicit that require little time, like sitting close to each other or touching your partner as you are walking pass him or her.
By now, some of you would have already identified your partners’ primary love language. For those who are still a little uncertain, one approach is to look back over your relationship and ask, “What has my partner most often requested of me or complained about?” These are clues leading to his or her love language. Another approach is to observe what your partner does or says to express love to you. Chances are what he or she is doing for you is what he or she wishes you would do for him or her. We must be willing to learn our partner’s primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love.