The Five Love Languages
Learning the ‘language’ by which you best receive and give love is something that has changed my marriage and my relationships and I think it can change yours as well.
The five love languages was developed by Gary Chapman who has worked for decades has a marriage counsellor. He developed these after hearing the same statements year after year as a marriage counsellor by couples he was counsellor:
“I just don’t feel like he/she loves me.” Meanwhile, the other spouse would say,
“I don’t know why… I do this, I say that, I show her over and over that I love her.”
After hearing this for over a decade of doing marriage counselling, he knew that something was amiss. He went through 12 years of notes to find out when spouses felt like they were not being loved. What were they missing? What were they complaining about?
The answers to these questions came in five categories.
And so there became the love languages.
Essentially the five love languages are five ways that each of us give and receive love. The way that each of us receive and give love will be different to each of us. Roughly they fall within five categories of the ‘language’ of which we give and receive love. This is incomplete, and not a perfect scale, but helpful nonetheless!
The Five love languages
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Receiving gifts
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
Each one of us will primarily receive love predominantly in one or two of these areas.
These are all powerful communicators of Love. What’s more, we often tend to show love in the language that we receive love. For example if I feel loved by acts of service and quality time, that is the way that I want to show love to my spouse and important relationships in my life.
Now you can imagine if you receive love by physical touch and your husband is trying to show you love with acts of service, you may be feeling completely out of touch and unloved while your husband is exhausting himself trying to love you through showing you by acts of service. For that is the way he feels loved! You see how if we don’t have awareness into the ‘language’ that our spouse speaks, then despite our best efforts, we can be neglecting one another.
My love language is acts of service and quality time. My husbands is physical touch and words of affirmation. We have learned one anothers love languages.
As I feel loved through acts of service and quality time, every week Mark cleans the house spotless. If he is home he will wash the clothes every day and bring them in and fold them. He will fill my car up to the brim with petrol to save me a trip. If I walk in after a 13 hour shift and he has cleaned the house spotless and the clothes are folded neatly, I feel so incredibly loved. Quality time is another of my love languages. Spending one on one time, with his undivided attention makes me feel incredibly special, connected and loved.
Greenie feels loved by physical touch. Even if it is just a warm long hug. Or a kiss for no reason. Or to just touch him when I walk by, he feels loved and connected. Words of affirmation are another of his love languages. Knowing this, I go out of my way to articulate what I loved about his sermon, or his leadership, or the person that he is.
We have learned to love each other the way that each other receives love. I can tell you right now, if I walked in and the house was in a pigstyle and Mark came for me to envelope me in a warm bear hug with words of affirmation, I would feel so unloved I can’t even tell you. It would not go well for him! Alternatively though if I did that to him, he would feel so loved and cherished. See how it works?
I encourage you whether or not you are in a relationship, married or single, learning what your love languages are will change all your relationships. For you will learn not only how you like to be loved, but also how your family and friends receive love.
Find out your love language and the language of the people you love today!
Here are some resources to learn more:
“The five love languages.” Which has sold millions upon millions of copies worldwide and every year sells more.
You can find out your love language here on his website.
Like me, I am sure you will find that when you learn your love language and the love language of those around you, it will change your relationships in the most powerful way.
What love language do you speak?
You are deeply loved and richly cherished.
Dr Christine Greenwood
Reign in Life
When Mark used to travel he used to come home with the most awful gifts. Like so ugly. I remember I used to pretend that I liked them and keep them for long enough for me to either give away or throw them out without him noticing. I remember the last straw was when he brought home this ugly dress. I just couldn’t pretend any longer, I just had to tell him.
Now days He knows if he comes home without a single thing, but plans to spend a day with me, or even just take me for a coffee, I am the happiest wife on the planet.
P.S Have you read Ennegram – It Might just change your life.