I first came across the concept of ‘The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman a few years ago. But I never actually paid enough attention to find out more.
A couple of months back, I was reminded of “The Five Love Languages” when I invited a friend of mine to speak at my Rotary Club on the topic. I started to pay more attention to what these 5 love languages are.
1) Words of Affirmation: “I love you!” and unsolicited compliments are highly appreciated by people whose love language is this.
2) Physical Touch: Not so much the sexual sense… but more on hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, a peck on the forehead etc.
3) Receiving Gifts: This is not about being materialistic, but it is about appreciating the thoughtfulness behind the gift.
4) Quality Time: This is about being there, and giving undivided attention to your partner.
5) Acts of Service: Helping to take on the ‘burden of responsibilities’. Vacuuming can be a show of love! 🙂
Hence, Jamie and I also decided to find out what our respective love languages are. And I tell you, it is rather amazing how you can dramatically improve your relationship with a person if you know what their love languages are!
Before we go into that, let me share with you about a woman whom I met last month during the Abundant Women Power Talk!
While I was sharing, I realised that a middle aged lady walked quietly into the room and took a seat at the back. And at the end of my talk, she came up to me and told me that she actually did not register for the talk at all. But because she was at the administration office to finish up some paperwork, the admin person told her about the talk, and she decided to come by.
And she told me,
“Violet, I am so glad that I have walked into your talk!”
During my talk, I shared some of my personal experiences about how gender differences and love languages can impact on a relationship. She shared that I have helped to shed some light on her marriage of close to 30 years.
From her sharing, her love language is probably quality time. But her husband’s love language is acts of service and receiving gifts. So when her husband shows her love by his actions and gifts, it just does not register that he is showing her love. What SHE wanted him to do is to… spend more time with her. And when he does not, she just feels that he does not love her.
After she heard my sharing on the love languages, she actually said,
“Oh no! My poor husband must be feeling rather unloved all these years!”
Unfortunately, everyday conflicts and unhappiness often occur when the couple does not understand each other’s love language.
One of my girl friends shared with me that she thinks that her husband does not love her. Based on my analysis, her love language is words of affirmation and her husband’s love language is acts of service. (Seems like many men have acts of service as their love language!) So to cut the long story short, her husband does not always say “I love you!” but he tries to demonstrate his love by doing things for her like cleaning the toilet etc. But, she does not understand that he is trying to say “I love you!” And she will comment on how he can do the job better… Err, recipe for argument? Definitely!
I share with my friend on what I know about the 5 love languages, and hopefully this can help her to minimize and diffuse potential conflicts between her hubby and her.
So anyway, back to Jamie and I. After doing the test, we realised that we have a completely different set of love languages! Yes, we were pretty shocked! Hence now, I understand why when he says something or does not do something, I will get terribly upset. And I also understand why he does certain things, and I am starting to appreciate those things more because… THAT is his way of showing me that he loves me!
By a simple act of incorporating some of these elements into our daily life i.e. demonstrating love not only in our own love language, but in our partner’s or our family member’s love language, we can immediately improve the quality of our relationships! 🙂
So, what is your love language?
Want to know what your love languages are? Do the quiz here!
Want to learn more about the 5 love languages? Read more here…