I just finished reading the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and it was a fantastic book for singles, those in relationships, and especially those who are married. I heard so much about the book from friends and it wasn't until I was in an airport and saw it on a shelf that I decided to read it. Another motive for reading the book was because I have recently entered into a new relationship with a girl and thought it'd be useful to read a book on love.
Gary Chapman reveals that there are 5 Love Languages, or 5 ways for us to communicate love to one another, which is different for everybody. It's important for you to figure out exactly what it takes for YOU to be loved, as well as what it takes for your LOVED ONES to be loved. The mistake that many people make is that they assume that their partner has the same love language as them, which isn't true. And whenever you don't feel loved in a relationship, or your “love tank is empty” as Gary Chapman says, the relationship is in danger.
Let me reveal to you the 5 Love Languages below so that you can better understand things:
1) Words of Affirmation
Some people feel most loved when they receive words of affirmation from their loved ones. It may be being told “I love you”, or being praised, complimented, appreciated, supported, or encouraged. Essentially, having affirming words will make you feel loved if this is your primary love language.
2) Quality Time
For some people, words of affirmation aren't it… they'll complain that “They say they love me, but they don't spend any quality time with me!” If this is your case, then quality time may be your love language. This can be someone listening to you, doing things with you, sharing experiences, looking into the other persons eyes, etc… It's important for this person to be fully present and with you when they're spending time with you, so watching TV while your partner is talking to you doesn't count and isn't giving them your full attention.
3) Receiving Gifts
Receiving gifts may be your primary love language if you feel most loved when someone buys you gifts, whether it be small or big. This may show you that this person really cares and you really appreciate anything that is given to you. It could be receiving flowers, chocolates, cards, notes, etc… any gesture that is a gift will make you feel loved.
4) Acts of Service
Some complain that they want you to SHOW THEM that you love them, not tell them. “Talk is cheap”, as the saying goes. These people need acts of service, which is when others do things for them. Someone with acts of service as their primary love language will feel most loved when someone cleans the house, does the dishes, laundry, cooks, helps them with projects or tasks, etc… When someone does something for them, they feel loved.
5) Physical Touch
Lastly, physical touch may be your primary love language if you require physical affection to be loved. It could be holding hands, being kissed, hugging, brief touches, or even sex.
Which Is Your Primary Love Language?
As mentioned earlier, we all have a primary love language. While you may say, “All are important to me”, there is one that is the most dominant and vital for you to be loved consistently. I had a difficult time with this, but after fully going through the book and doing their love language profile in the book and on their website, I am absolutely clear on what mine is. The order of my love languages are:
1) Words of Affirmation
2) Physical Touch
3) Quality Time
4) Receiving Gifts
5) Acts of Service
If you want to find out what your love language is, I recommend you fill out the free love language profile on their website by clicking here. I've had my girlfriend do it, and even friends and family members – it's extremely useful.
Your Love Tank
Gary Chapman often talks about when your “love tank” is empty, that's when a relationship is most in danger. When you don't feel loved, it's the scariest thing on earth and you will often withdraw from your partner and won't be focused on loving them very much. Gary shares countless examples in the book of marriages that are turned around simply by discovering their partners love language and focusing on making their partner feel loved. Even partners that are mean-spirited, abusive and ignoring their partner have totally turned around simply by having their love tank filled up by their partner. It's really remarkable to learn the power of this.
A good question to ask yourself, and your partner regularly is:
On a scale from 1-10, how full is your love tank right now?
Whatever the answer is, you want to make sure you focus on making your partner feel more loved by you. One of my favourite beliefs about relationships is that a relationship is a place you go to GIVE, not to GET – and it's so true. If you're focused on meeting your partners needs, you will have a love slave.
Overall, this was a remarkable book and I'm so happy that I read it, as my relationship with my parents, friends, and girlfriend has improved because of it. I've told my parents and people in my life what my love language is and now I constantly feel more loved – it's amazing!
To check out The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman on Amazon.com, click here.