5 Love Languages
After 30 years as a marriage and family counselor, Gary Chapman, PhD had heard a lot of couples’ complaints — so many complaints, in fact, that he began to see a pattern. “I realized I was hearing the same stories over and over again,” he says.
When Chapman sat down and read through more than a decade worth of notes, he realized that what couples really wanted from each other fell into five distinct categories:
Words of affirmation: compliments or words of encouragement
For some people hearing “I love you”, words of praise or compliments are what they value most. These individuals feel that words have more weight than actions and would rather hear “the reasons behind that love” versus any other expression of love. This also means that if something negative or insulting is said to one of these individuals it will not be easily forgiven.
Quality time: their partner’s undivided attention
For some people spending time with loved ones is their preferred love language. Whether it be a quiet lunch or an afternoon walk, spending quality time and being the focus of their undivided attention leaves them feeling satisfied and comforted more than words. “Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful” to these individuals, since “being there” is crucial.
Receiving gifts: symbols of love, like flowers or chocolates
Not all people who enjoy receiving gifts are “materialistic” this just means that for these individuals love is equated with a tangible gift. The gift doesn’t have to be extravagant or elaborate, but it does have to be meaningful and thoughtful. So if you know that your partners favourite comedian or band is going to perform and you surprise them with tickets, that would show love behind the gift. But if you were to buy a gift certificate or an impersonal gift, prepare for some serious backlash.
Acts of service: setting the table, walking the dog, or doing other small jobs
Hearing the phrase “let me do that for you” is music to our ears, but for people who see acts of service as the greatest expression of love, hearing this phrase is like hitting the jackpot! These individuals want their partners to notice that their own responsibilities are grand and sometimes daunting and that a helping-hand every once-an-a-while shows love and care. Just as much as these individuals love acts of service, they do not deal well with broken promises and laziness and have very little tolerance for people who make more work for them, because it shows a lack of value for them.
Physical touch: having sex, holding hands, kissing
The language of physical touch doesn’t only refer to physical touch and affection in the bedroom, but refers to the everyday physical connections, like handholding, kissing, pats on the back, and any type of re-affirming physical contact. A person who desires physical touch and affection isn’t overly touchy-feely but for them touch shows how much their partner cares for them. If that physical bond is broken by abuse their entire relationship can be destroyed indefinitely.
Remember that just because you or your partner favour a particular love language, doesn’t mean that you should stop expressing the other love languages. According to Chapman, that even though we tend to favour one language more than the others we still enjoy traits of the others as well!
Do you know your love language? Take the quiz!