Dr. Gary Chapman is better than Santa Claus.
He gets right to the heart of the reason for the season in his timeless book “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts“ with simple and practical ways to communicate love.
This article is the first in a series to give specific examples of how to live out each of the love languages during the holidays and stay focused on the meaning of Christmas.
The concept is simple really. Dr. Chapman lays out five expressions of love and suggests that each of us has a primary way in which we live to give and receive love. One is not better than the other or more important than the other. Each expression holds enormous value and when given or received becomes like a bonding agent between two people.
In the book, he outlines how to discover what your love language is and what the love language is of those you love. It is important to recognize that as people, we generally tend to love another person in the language we want to be loved in, not the language the other person is wanting. The five love languages are:
Physical Touch and Closeness
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
In addition to the profile test to determine which of the 5-love language are primary for you, you can use one of these three ways to help identify your language:
- Observe how you typically express love to others. If you give compliments and praise the efforts of others, your love language most likely would be Words of Affirmation. If you typically thank people, cheer them up or celebrate with them by giving a gift, it makes sense that your love language is Giving Gifts.
- What do you most often need from a loved one or feel is unfulfilled? “You never hold my hand unless I hold your first,” would indicate Physical Touch and Closeness. “Why don’t you ever want to spend time together?” This points to Quality Time. These questions appear needy because they are; questions like these are revealing an inner desire for your love language to be met.
- Requests and demands will also expose your love language. “Would you please take out the trash for me?” is Acts of Service. “Can we make some time this week to go for a walk together?” expresses your desire for Quality Time.
Love languages are not meant just for spouses; they can by appropriately applied in any relationship and can build a stronger bond when freely given. The key is to give the other person what he or she wants to receive, not just what you like to give.
The next five articles will give specific examples of each love language and how to authentically develop a more balanced approach to express love. Stay tuned! In the meantime, more about love…