We all want to feel appreciated and wanted. We all want to feel understood and cared for. We all want to feel loved . Whether you’re single, dating or married, the thought of loving and being loved is what life is all about.
Last weekend, during a girls brunch, the book,
The 5 Languages of Love by Dr. Gary Chapman, was brought up. I’d never heard of it before. One of my friends starting explaining the concept behind it and suddenly it cliqued. It made perfect sense!
While working as a marriage counselor for more than 30 years, he identified five love languages:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
In a friendly, often humorous style, he unpacks each one. Some men or women may crave focused attention; another needs regular praise. Gifts are highly important to one person, while another sees fixing a leaky faucet, ironing a shirt, or cooking a meal as filling their “love tank.” Some partners might find physical touch makes them feel valued: holding hands, giving back rubs, and sexual contact. Chapman illustrates each love language with real-life examples from his counseling practice.
Love Language: Words of Affirmation
How to communicate: Encourage, affirm, appreciate, empathize.
Actions to take: Send an unexpected note, text, or card. Encourage genuinely and often.
Avoid: Non-constructive criticism, not recognizing or appreciating effort.
Love Language: Physical Touch
How to communicate: Non-verbal – use body language and touch to emphasize love.
Actions to take: Hug, kiss, hold hands, show physical affection regularly. Make intimacy a thoughtful priority.
Avoid: Physical neglect, long stints without intimacy, receiving affection coldly.
Love Language: Receiving Gifts
How to communicate: Thoughtfulness, make your spouse a priority, speak purposefully.
Actions to take: Give gestures and gifts thoughtfully, with and without special occasion. Even small things matter in a big way. Express gratitude when you’re given a gift.
Avoid: Forgetting special occasions.
Love Language: Quality Time
How to communicate: Uninterrupted and focused conversations. One-on-one time is critical.
Actions to take: Create special moments together, take walks and do small things with your spouse. Weekend getaways are huge.
Avoid: Distractions when spending time together, long stints without focused one-on-one time.
Love Language: Acts of Service
How to communicate: Use action phrases like “I will” and “I’ll help…”. They want to know you’re with them, partnered with them.
Actions to take: Do chores together or make them breakfast in bed. Go out of your way to help alleviate their daily workload.
Avoid: Making the requests of others a higher priority, lacking follow-through on tasks