Since it is Valentine’s week, I wanted to share one of my favorite resources and tell you about The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.
Here are the basics of the five love languages, as well as how and why they can help you in all your relationships.
At the end of this post I want you to be familiar with the 5 love languages and perhaps have a hunch for which one of the 5 might be yours and to think about a person you love and see if you can gather some clues to what their love language might be.
I also want you to know why Love Languages are important.
Before I start explaining the love languages, I want you to imagine a conversation.
In this conversation, I am speaking English and the other person is speaking a language I don’t speak – it could be German, French, or Klingon (the made up language from Star Trek). It doesn’t matter what language it is, they could be saying the most beautiful things and I wouldn’t understand it because I don’t speak that language.
This is the exact same thing that happens with our love languages in our relationships.
We can be saying beautiful things but if we don’t understand them and aren’t looking for them, we won’t understand anything and communication will be lost.
Now why are love languages important?
Think about your bank account – if it’s empty you can’t do the things you need to do – pay for food, gas, tickets to the movies etc.
Think about having an emotional bank account – in every relationship we have an emotional bank account – we make withdrawals and deposits.
I pick up your dry cleaning – deposit.
You help me with my spreadsheet – withdrawal.
If something goes wrong when my bank account is empty – checks bounce.
If something goes wrong when the emotional bank account is empty – the relationship bounces.
Bouncy relationships are good for no one. Just like empty bank accounts.
It’s such a fabulous way to describe how our relationships work and I find that when I use this example, everyone just gets it.
I think we can all agree that we want all of our accounts filled all the way up – the emotional ones as well as the ones in actual banks.
And when it comes to making deposits, it’s not just romantic relationships that need daily attention. Our friends, family, bosses and co-workers – anyone we are in relationship with, needs regular deposits.
This includes making deposits into our own relationship with ourselves including self care and self love practices that help us show up as our highest and best selves for all the relationships we are in.
Now that we agree that we want our emotional bank accounts to be filled up, you can begin to see how using the five love languages is a great way to fill them.
We want to make deposits in a currency our bank will accept.
Imagine if I had 10,000 British pounds to deposit in my local US bank and they couldn’t process the transaction. That money would be worthless. No matter how valuable it is somewhere else, if the bank doesn’t recognize the currency, that money is useless.
The same thing happens with our communication in and around love.
What are the love languages? Basically, they are the primary way we like to express and receive love.
I will repeat that because it’s important – A love language is the primary way we like to express and receive love.
According to Dr. Chapman, “each person has a primary love language that we must learn to speak if we want that person to feel loved.”
If we want that person’s “emotional bank” to recognize the deposit, we need to learn the love language they speak.
The five languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
Here is a brief breakdown of each one:
Words of Affirmation – is exactly what it sounds like – you did a great job, you look handsome today, I am so proud to be your wife.
Quality Time – means time together with your undivided attention.
Receiving gifts – it really is the thought that counts. For the person who likes to receive gifts it’s about the thoughtufulness behind the gift, NOT the price of the gift that matters
Acts of Service – If you love fixing things around the house, or in my case, updating my computer’s security software for my hubby – then your love language is acts of service. You express love by doing things.
Physical touch – is not just about sexy times, it’s those huggy people who want to hold hands all the time.
Now imagine for yourself – if your love language, the way you feel loved is when someone does something for you- so for example someone cooks you dinner and you die of happiness – but that person doesn’t know that and they tell you how smart you are every day.
It doesn’t matter that they love you – they are speaking a language that your emotional bank account cannot accept – so no deposit gets made.
Once you recognize what your love language is and what your partner’s is, you can make those deposits every day and keep that emotional bank account filled up!
Dr. Chapman has a free quiz on his website where you can learn your love language and invite your honey to take it too. You can click here for the link to the Five Love Languages website.
Do you know your love language? Tweet me @modernmarried and tell me what it is.
If you were inspired by this post, please share it. Our community of love grows thanks to inspired hearts like yours.