English: Love Heart symbol

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In 1992, Gary Chapman published the 5 Love Languages and it has since sold over 5 million copies and been translated into 40 languages.

As an experienced marriage counselor, he had noticed that everyone has a prefered way of receiving and experiencing love and wrote this book to assist couples to better understand themselves and their partners.

A few years ago Karen and I learned what our love languages were and it helped us to better connect and taught us how we could more effectively express our love for each other.

I’ve used them since with many others and it’s been a joy to see couples learn how to give and receive love more purposefully.

Here’s a list of the 5 love languages and a brief description of them each:

Words of Affirmation – People with this love language greatly appreciate hearing compliments and encouraging words.  They feel loved through what they hear and are pushed away by harsh criticisms.

Quality Time – People with this love language prefer undivided attention and plenty of time with their loved ones.  They feel loved when they have lots of time invested in them, but for people with this love language, absence certainly doesn’t make the heart grow fonder.

Receiving Gifts – People with this love language appreciate receiving presents and the thoughts behind them.  They feel loved when they are given gifts spontaneously and are greatly offended when special occasions are forgotten or a thoughtless gift is given.

Acts of Service – People with this love language prefer their loved ones to perform meaningful and thoughtful acts.  It could be as simple as washing the dishes or mowing the lawn, but they appreciate it and feel valued by such deeds.  However, they feel unappreciated when they work on a task while their partner just watches without offering to help.

Physical Touch – People with this love language greatly appreciate simple gestures like holding hands, hugs or a touch on the arm.  It’s not just about sex, it’s about knowing that you’re there and that you love them.  An absence of physical contact has the potential to significantly damage relationships with people who have this love language.

I hope that these brief descriptions are helpful, but I would recommend researching more if you would like to enhance your relationship.

For more information about these love languages and how you can find out your language, I strongly endorse reading Chapman’s book or visiting his site.

This post was published on Valentine’s Day.  It’s a very special day for Karen and I because we started dating on this day 17 years ago.   We’re going to spend the evening together (her love language is Quality Time) saying nice things about each other (mine is Words of Affirmation).

What’s your love language and what were your plans for Valentine’s Day?

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