Why Are The Five Love Languages Critical In Relationships?
According to Gary Chapman, author of the amazing book The Five Love Languages, individuals have five universal ways of interpreting and expressing their love.
I love how these five unique ways of communication are said to be the keys to building better relationships with your loved one. It is also a way for you to understand yourself and your partner better. Are you ready to discover what the five love languages really are? Why do they matter?
People, in general, are challenging to read. In many cases, when people speak, they mean something else or the listener might interpret some words the wrong way. If only people would just say exactly what they mean and mean exactly what they say, then there would be less misunderstanding. There are many ways to communicate, through speaking, writing, sign language, body language, facial expressions, music and more.
One other way that some people communicate is through sarcasm, and some people are not experienced enough to detect when such a thing occurs. There are also facial micro-expressions to consider when you’re speaking with people, thus it is a challenge to determine whether the person you are talking to is actually serious, joking, being sarcastic, lying or telling the truth. Then there is body language; it adds another challenging layer for people to decode. Unless you know the person intimately, then you will know exactly what they mean.
OK, so you might be thinking, what is the relevance of the five love languages in relationships? And the answer is “everything.” Communication is of paramount importance in building a better connection with people. The clearer you are with the way you express yourself, the better. The idea with the love languages is that there are five things or priorities that each person values most.
No matter how fluent you are in verbal or written communication, it will be less effective when you are speaking to a person who has a different kind of language that resonates well with them. By now, you are wondering, so there are other languages or ways to communicate with people? You bet there are other ways!
It is not the same in all people, so it would be a good idea for you to identify how your partner communicates so you can speak passionately to them in ways that they appreciate the most. When you communicate with them in a language that they understand best, then your love messages will be understood in full clarity, with no doubts, and no alternate meanings.
So here are the Five Languages of Love
- Words of Affirmation and Appreciation
This type of language is one of the most common among people. This kind of communication uses words to affirm other people. To affirm means to confirm or to verify according to most dictionaries. The word affirmation is a lot deeper because you are not just saying you are confirming or verifying something; you are actually saying a big emotional and positive “YES” to something. In legal circles, it has a deeper meaning as well. For example in courts, when people swear to the truth they are required to swear an oath or affirm that they will tell the whole truth in the court of Law.
For individuals who favor the words of affirmation language, hearing the words “I love you” and other sincere compliments mean a lot to them. They value spoken words highly. Words hold real and meaningful value within this love language. A simple thank you means a lot to them. Imagine what a heartfelt “thank you” can do to them? Winks!
To show your appreciation, be generous in giving them compliments, and they will remember you as someone who appreciates them. When you see them doing something right, inform them. Be kind to them, tell them how you feel. Say something like: Thank you for the breakfast we had this morning, it was delicious! I appreciate the effort you gave for the preparations you made today, etc.
Try to use positive words when you are in an argument. Saying sorry, when it is your fault can be the magic words you need to repair and improve your relationship. They are easy to motivate and de-motivate when words are involved. Keep in mind that words have a strong impact on them.
Remember to greet them or give a special note during special events like birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and all the important occasions that mankind managed to invent.
Take care not to give them any negative or insulting comments because these words will cut deeply — and in most cases, they will not be easily forgiven or forgotten. Be warned!
- Services or Acts of Service
For individuals who speak the language of service, they believe that “actions speak louder than words.” These people want their partner to understand that their life can be more comfortable when they are given support. They receive love and care when the partner helps them out in their tasks, work, and other things that they do, things and activities that matter to them.
Lending a helping hand means a lot to them, they see your action as an indicator that you care. Those who speak this language thrive and become happier when you make it easier for them to do their work. Any action that helps them means something to them.
For example, your partner is doing some DIY or Do-It-Yourself project; you can help by giving him or her some water or food or a towel to wipe off the sweat. You can also help collect the tools and materials and anything you can imagine to make the job or project easier to do.
Fair warning; be careful when you make promises to them. Broken promises or perceived laziness will make their work harder. For them, if you are not willing to appreciate them by doing them a favor or making their jobs or projects easier then it means you are not giving them the value that they need or deserve.
- Quality Time
This love language is all about spending time with the other person. Not just time but quality time. What does it mean? What’s the difference between time and quality time? There is a huge difference, my friend! Spending time with someone means you are hanging out, playing, doing something together side by side. With quality time, on the other hand, you can do all these, even when you are far away from your loved one.
The important condition that makes the time “more” or have “quality” is that you are giving him or her undivided attention. You are focused on what he or she needs. By undivided it means, no holding the phone while talking, no distractions, no looking at the watch and acting like you’re in a hurry to do something else, no music in the background. It means you are listening to every word he or she says.
Quality time for them means you are doing a heart-to-heart connection, seeing eye-to-eye and even blending soul-to-soul, who knows? You can look into their eyes and see the soul within, appreciate the joy in their eyes, see the hopes and dreams in their trembling and excited voice, and see a clearer picture of your future within the smiles.
For those who value quality time, when you have focused on them alone, it means you are giving them satisfaction, comfort, appreciation, and love.
Be careful of distractions or failure to listen, postponed dates, or not noticing when they are sad or troubled because it is especially hurtful to these individuals. Being there for them physically, emotionally and mentally in times of need is crucial. For them, the gift of precious moments or the gift of experience is most valuable; therefore activities like a vacation, scuba lessons, mountain climbing, ballroom dancing, art lessons, going to the spa, and other activities are well received because it speaks to them profoundly.
- Receiving Gifts
For many other individuals, what makes them feel most appreciated and loved is through receiving tangible gifts. This doesn’t automatically mean that the person is materialistic or a gold digger. It just means that physical gifts have more meaning for them. Take note: A meaningful gift tailored to the recipient’s specific preferences, favored specifications and special needs are definitely more valuable. The more personal and more customized the gift, the better it would seem. Some people really feel their happiest when they receive gifts for Christmas, their birthdays and other special occasions.
People who speak this language naturally express their love and appreciation through gifts as well. You can see this happening when you have a neighbor for example, who gives you a welcome gift like cakes, a home-cooked pasta dish, a wine, or anything. A child or student who gives his or her teacher a “thank you” card means that item can be both a tangible gift and a “words of affirmation” present in one. An acquaintance gives you a friendship bracelet (meaning he or she wants to be friends with you). A small child gives you a precious favorite toy because you are his or her favorite friend can mean very much. Do not underestimate the value of certain things when they are given freely and wholeheartedly. Even a penguin that gives another penguin a pebble speaks volumes. Hehehe.
- Physical touch
To a person who speaks this particular language, nothing speaks more powerfully than an appropriate touch. They are more tactile, hands-on and touchy-feely. This doesn’t mean only in bed but also everyday physical contact. Hand-holding, hugging, kissing, or any kind of re-affirming physical connection is greatly appreciated.
An individual who communicates using the language of physical touch isn’t necessarily an over-the-top Public-Display-of-Affection type of person. The fact is receiving and giving a little touchy-feely activity really makes them feel safer, more connected and loved.
Physical touch activities include the following: Giving high-fives, fist bumps, a pat on the back, foot massages, secret handshakes, poking friends with the pointy finger, arm wrestling, playing physical games and a lot more.
Please take note that any case of physical abuse will be a total deal breaker for any relationship.
One last thing…
People, in general, speak one primary love language and a secondary one. However, just because you or your partner already speak or favor one or two particular love languages, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about the other ones. The fun thing is that even though we are inclined to favor one language more than the others, we are still able to enjoy certain traits of the others too.
I hope this article is insightful and meaningful to you. I hope it has given you something valuable and you are learning something new today. Come back regularly for more fun, motivating and inspiring content.
Knowing your specific love language allows you to express and receive the right messages. Getting the right meaning gives you more opportunities to be happy, remember the happiness advantage?
What are your primary and secondary love languages and how do you nurture them?
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Have an awesome day!