The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
(information below taken from http://www.5lovelanguages.com)
After many years of counseling, Dr. Chapman noticed a pattern: everyone he had ever counseled had a “love language,” a primary way of expressing and interpreting love. He also discovered that, for whatever reason, people are usually drawn to those who speak a different love language than their own.
Of the countless ways we can show love to one another, five key categories, or five love languages, proved to be universal and comprehensive—everyone has a love language, and we all identify primarily with one of the five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
I have this book but have not read through it yet. Many of my friends and church family have and they highly recommend it. If you don’t have time to read the book, you can take the Assessment online, to find out what your primary love language is (which I think is very beneficial, regardless of whether or not you are in a relationship).
I took the assessment and got Physical Touch as my primary love language, with receiving gifts and acts of service tied for my secondary language. I agree with this assessment as the way I RECEIVE love. But I think people have different languages for how they give love to others and how the receive love. I think I tend to give love through physical touch and quality time. But what I have learned through this, is that how I give love might not be how the other person likes to receive love. So it is good to have a conversation with your significant other to find out how they best give and receive love, so that you can both work on “loving” the other person in the way that bests meets their needs.
Did you take the assessment? What is your love language? Do you agree or disagree that people have different ways of giving and receiving love?
This post is part of a month-long series, A-Z, that I am participating in for the month of April. You can learn more about it by clicking on the link over on the right sidebar.