Over the past 11 years of marriage, I have come to realise that every one of us has a unique language that makes us understand and feel emotional love. I believe that in order for a person to feel complete love, they need to know what theirs and their partner’s love language is. And then take action to ‘speak’ it so that our partner’s love tank is always full.
I was quite fortunate to have discovered Dr. Gary Chapman’s book called ‘The Five Love Languages’ before meeting my husband in 2004. I gave my man the book to read so that he understood both mine and his love language ahead of getting married. I can testify that we feel completely loved by the other because we speak each other’s love language often. I trust that the following will help you identify which of the 5 languages is yours:
- Words of Affirmation
If you feel loved when you receive compliments, words of appreciation or encouragement, then this could be your love language. There are many forms of affirmation such as, “I love you’, “You’re beautiful,” or “You’re doing a great job,” etc… which are at the core of the desire to feel appreciated.This is my love language. I enjoy quality time and receiving gifts as much as the next person. However, spoken or written words of affirmation completely fill up my love tank. Perhaps that is why I love writing so much.
- Quality Time
Quality time is receiving undivided attention from your partner without any distraction. There are so many ways that quality time can be expressed such as playing a board game together, going for a walk or talking with each other over dinner.
The essence of this language is the feeling of being together, of spending time in each other’s company with whole-hearted devotion.
- Receiving Gifts
I’m positive we all like receiving gifts. However, for some people, receiving gifts makes them feel like the most special person in the world and ultimately, fills up their love tank. A gift doesn’t have to be expensive for it to express love. It could be a handmade present or flowers picked from the garden.
The core of this language is that it conveys that your partner was thinking about you at that time so it’s based on thoughtfulness and remembrance, not at all on materialism.
- Acts of Service
Acts of service is doing things that will make your partner feel loved. These acts of service range from cooking a meal for your partner to cleaning the car, keeping a tidy home to running errands. They are actions that require time and effort.
My eldest brother’s love language is acts of service and his love tank gets filled when he sees his wife cooking him a hearty meal or taking care of their children. The essence of this language is that action speaks louder than words.
- Physical Touch
Holding hands, hugs, massages and other forms of physical touch fills up the love tank of the recipient, making them feel secure; this language is not about bedroom acivities. At the heart of this love language is the desire to have your partner at close proximity showing care and concern through reassuring touches.
This is my hubby’s love language; he doesn’t care much for words of affirmation or receiving gifts but if I were to embrace him or hold his hand for example, he feels complete love and care.
NOTE: To work out your love language requires pondering on which language above fills up your love tank. And remember that we all have both a primary and secondary love language. For example, my primary language is words of affirmation. However, I also feel loved when I receive gifts but it is only secondary to words.
One way to work out your partner’s love language is to listen to what they complain about the most. An example here is in the following dialogue:
Man: “I work hard to pay the bills and put food on the table. But my wife still complains that I don’t love her because I don’t spend time with her.”
Woman: “He works hard to keep a roof over our heads but I wish he could take me out for dinner or even just a coffee so we can spend time together.”
In this transaction, it appears that the man has assumed that his acts of service shows that he loves his wife but her tank is not getting filled because her love language is quality time.
“All of us blossom when we feel loved and wither when we do not feel loved. Love is something you do for someone else, not something you do for yourself.” ― Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages.
I hope that through this blog, you may have discovered that you do indeed have a love language that needs to be spoken frequently or perhaps been reminded of what it is after many years in the same relationship.
Disclaimer: The content within is general information only. Speak with a counsellor for advice on your specific relationship circumstance or visit www.relationships.org.au