In Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, one of the most useful relationship books in print. He suggests that we speak different languages when expressing love to one another. The basis of the book’s idea is that there is a great deal of marital discord because we attempt to express love to our partner but find ourselves speaking a different language than what our spouse understands. In this context, great effort to express love may not be received or appreciated by the recipient of those efforts. I will list and briefly describe the five languages here, but treat yourself to the much more in depth picture that Chapman paints. It is one of our absolute favorite books and we highly recommend it. Remember, if you put these principals into place in your dating relationship, you’ll be ready and much more able to use them when you’re married.
- Words of Affirmation – I love you. If this is your love language, you love the power words possess. You live for the “good morning, beautiful/handsome” texts and nothings warms your heart more than a good old fashioned compliment. Whether it be on your work performance, a personality trait, or your looks, you swoon over being verbally validated on a regular basis.
- Quality Time – If this is how you like to receive love, nothing beats being constantly surrounded by those who love. Even if it’s just a phone call, some carried out plans, or just being in the same room as the other person while cruising the internet or mindlessly watching Netflix. Cancelled plans or general flakiness turns you off, and make you feel rejected. In your eyes, time spent with the person you love is the best time spent.
- Giving Gifts – The way you see it. Receiving gifts is the ultimate way to interpret love. This isn’t to be confused with being being or materialistic. Most can agree that is someone sees something and thinks, “Damn, he/she would love this!” they’re pretty great people. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be thought of. You love receiving gifts that are personalised and require lots of thinking and/or hint induced.
- Physical Touch – This goes hand in hand (no pun intended) with quality time more often than not. It’s quality time, but amplified a bit, because it’s taking a step further into needing this persons physical presence rather than needing consistent communication. If this is you, you need cuddling, hugging, handholding, and other physical signals that suggest they care about you and want to be with you too.
- Acts of Service – Consider a time where you really didn’t want to do a certain chore or task, but when you got around to it, it was already done for you. Acts if service basically translates into favours. Acts of service are things like doing the dishes for someone, or taking on a task that isn’t necessarily enjoyable just so your loved one doesn’t have to put up with it.
Read more on Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages