Understanding the 5 Love LanguagesFebruary 27, 2017 by The Marquardt Ranch
In recent years, the concept of ‘love languages’ has become incredibly popular. Chances are, you’ve already heard of them from one friend or another, but if not, don’t worry! This post should give you a basic overview so you can understand just how your groom-to-be most likes to be loved.
There are five ‘languages’ of love, according to author Gary Chapman. He proposes that different people demonstrate and perceive affection in different ways, and that understanding these different love languages can facilitate communication and closeness between couples. Each person has one or two languages that they’re most ‘fluent’ in, although they may experience the others as well.
Words of Affirmation
For some people, heartfelt and sincere words mean even more than actions. Someone with this love language needs to hear that you love them, and why. Verbal affirmations of their good qualities can also be powerful tools of encouragement. If this is your significant other’s love language, choose your comments carefully—sticks and stones can break bones, but words can break the spirit. People with this love language place great weight on words, whether they’re positive or negative.
Acts of Service
On the other hand, actions can speak louder than words, and if this is your partner’s love language, this old phrase holds particularly true for them. Little things done to ease their workload mean the world, and acts of service done out of love rather than out of obligation are an incredibly strong way to communicate your love to them.
The love language of receiving gifts is quite different from simple materialism. Someone with this as their primary love language values the time and the personal sacrifice it takes to give a gift. Small tokens of affection let them know that they’re on your mind, and these little gifts mean as much as the big ones. For this reason, missing important dates like birthdays or anniversaries can be particularly hurtful to someone who speaks this love language. Whether it’s a handwritten note, a fresh-picked wildflower, or a piece of jewelry, as long as the gift is thoughtful and intentional, it will be appreciated.
In this day and age of smart devices and constant distraction, this may be the hardest love language to speak. However, full and undivided attention is the best way to show people with this love language that they really do matter to you. If your significant other has this as his or her main love language, consider setting aside a time every day, or week, when it’s just the two of you spending quality time together—no phones, no Netflix, no distractions.
It’s easy to think physical touch means romantic intimacy, but that’s not always the case. More often than not, it can be something as simple as an encouraging touch on the arm, or a heartfelt hug. Someone who is primarily uplifted by physical touch is also particularly crushed by feeling neglected, so being physically present is affirming to them in addition to the hugs and loving touches.
Much like the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) or other personality tests, the Love Language test is merely a way of framing things. It isn’t the ultimate law, but many find it useful and even enlightening. What do you think? What’s your love language?