Tuesday 15 October 2019

Speaking the Language of Love

love heart drawn on steamy window
Photo by Michael Fenton on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

Is there such a thing as the language of love? I suspect many people would assume it is all about perfect chemistry and romance - roses, the colour red, candle-lit dinners and hot bubble baths run for you by your beloved, but I believe it is different for every person.

A few years back I read the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and in more recent years, I've read some of his spin-off books as well and they're excellent. I definitely buy into his thinking that there are five different ways of receiving and giving love. This applies to any kind of love too, romantic, friendly, parental, platonic.

Even the best of matchmakers probably couldn't tell at first glance if you're love language compatible with your partner, but dig a bit further and the good news is that we can all give and receive in all the love languages.

Chapman suggestions that the five love languages are -

  1. Physical Touch - this is probably the easiest to understand. It is about all expressions of physical touch, both sexual and non-sexual. So an encouraging shoulder squeeze could be enough to motivate a teenage lad who has this as his primary love language.
  2. Acts of service - this is my number one. I really feel loved when people do things for me, especially when it is unexpected and I haven't had to ask them. So my husband stacking and emptying the dishwasher so I come down to a tidy kitchen in the morning is a big turn-on for me.
  3. Words of affirmation - you don't have to be into poetry and literature to have words of affirmation as your love language, this is all about the things said and how they're said. If you feel love when someone tells you they love you, gives you a compliment or affirms and encourages you, this could be high up in your love languages.
  4. Receiving gifts - my first serious boyfriend was big into giving me gifts and whilst it was lovely, it never gave me the warm feeling that a massive bunch of roses does for some people. The gifts can be big or small, or they could even be little homemade gifts like a flapjack slipped into your daughter's school bag for a break-time treat.
  5. Quality time - this is one of my the ways my husband feels loved and thus it is important for me to put down my phone and to give him my time. We might go out for dinner, a walk together or on holiday. Anything that means he has my undivided attention. 

There are a few quick, free and easy quizzes available on the 5 Love Languages site; you can take one as a couple, single, teen or with your children.

I really can't advocate highly enough how useful it is to know the love language of your spouse or child. What we tend to find is that when we don't have any knowledge of this subject, we give love in the way to like to receive it.

So as a younger woman I used to go to an old boyfriends house when he was at work and clean it, then cook him an amazing dinner, and yes I suspect some of it was me 'playing house' as it all felt very grown-up. But a large part of it was my desire to receive acts of service and therefore I gave them too.  What I learnt after a year or two with him was that as long as he got the physical touch he craved, he didn't much care about anything else!

Not everyone will be open to talking about or taking a quiz to spot their love language. My husband wasn't very bought into it at first, so I had to watch what he did to show me love and try to work out how he liked to receive love. This wasn't the easiest as he isn't a very talkative or demonstrative kind of guy, so thankfully a few years into our relationship we took the quiz together and discovered which of the ways where our primary and secondary love languages.

It isn't enough to just take the test and know though, You actually have to do something about it and be purposeful, especially when you've been with your other half for 25 years like I have. Having specific times together for just the two of you without interruption, even if they have to be diarised in advance is super important, and during those times you can plan how you will love the other in a way that really speaks to them.

So what do you think? Have you heard of the love languages before? If not, why not give one of the quizzes a go?

Why not pin this post for later?

love language pin