The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

I received this book as a Christmas gift from one of my best friends. I’m so glad I read it because it offers profound advice that not too many love experts have included in their teachings. It’s about speaking the “love language” of others in order to discover the key to long lasting relationships. In the beginning the author talks about keeping others “love tanks” full. Meaning expressing love in the way you know they best respond to make them feel wanted and needed. For example, with children, every child has basic emotional needs that must be met if they’re going to be emotionally stable. This includes their need for love and affection and the sense that he or she belongs and is wanted. When the child feels this, they grow up to be a responsible adult. Without that love, they will be emotionally and socially challenged. Now let’s move on to adults…

The author writes something very interesting, “Some couples believe that the end of the “in love” experience means they have only two options: resign themselves to a life of misery with their spouse; or jump ship and try again. The younger generation has opted for jumping ship and trying again, whereas our elders typically chose sticking with “misery.” Before we automatically conclude that we have made the better choice, perhaps we should examine the data. The divorce rate for second marriages is higher than with the first. And the third is the highest yet. Apparently the prospect of a happier marriage the second and third time around is not substantial. However, there is a third and better alternative: we can recognize the in-love experience for what it was…a temporary emotional high…and then pursue “real love” with our spouse.” Just like with children, adults also need their love tanks to be filled. When your love tank is filled by your spouse, the world looks brighter and you’ll be able to reach a higher potential in life. When your love tank is empty, the world looks dark.

We all have love languages that we best respond to and they’re as follows.

  1. Words of Affirmation: People who have this as their primary love language are highly motivated by verbal encouragement and compliments. One of the deepest human needs is to feel important and this love language fulfills that for almost every person. Words are very important to these people.
  2. Quality Time: This means giving someone your undivided attention, not just sitting next to them on the couch. Some husbands and wives think they’re spending quality time with each other, when really they’re just living in close proximity of each other. People with this love language thrive off their partners listening to them, giving them attention, and engaging in quality conversation.
  3. Receiving Gifts:Β Visual symbols of love are more important to some than others. Gifts show these people that they’re important and being thought about. It doesn’t have to mean diamond necklaces, or a new car. They enjoy being given letters, flowers, and small sentimental things.
  4. Acts of Service: Some feel love the most when their partner does a nice deed for them. These can also be big or small acts. Sometimes the most meaningful thing for them is coming home from work to a nice meal, or a clean home.
  5. Physical Touch: Interesting fact: babies who are held and touched more when young develop to be more emotionall healthy adults. Holding hands, hugging, or simply placing your hand on their shoulder can mean the most to people who value this most as their love language. These people also suffer in relationships that are absent of sex because that’s how their love tank is filled.

In order to discover your love language, take the test at the end of The 5 Love Languages book, or find it online at 5lovelanguages.com. If you’re a commited couple and are willing to be creative in how you speak one another’s love languages, your relationship will survive and thrive.

Thanks for reading! -Laura

Feature photo credit: unsplash.com

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