Love is the most complicated four letter word today. It has numerous interpretations, expectations, and experiences unique to every individual. The most successful relationships are the ones that share their meaning of love with each other, but defining our own love and explaining it to another can be an extremely daunting task. Gary Chapman set out to simplify this task by defining common “Love Languages” in his book “The Five Love Languages”.
Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages” describes five different ways we show love and affection to others. Words of Affirmation, Quality time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Chapman explains that while we’re capable of all five of these forms of love we each have our own preferences for which we prefer to give and receive. Why does this matter? Because we only feel love when we receive love from a compatible “Love Language”. This explains how couples might think their expressing their love to their partner, but their partner doesn’t recognize the “Love Language” being used as love.
Imagine the affection you absolutely love to receive. Now imagine being in a relationship where you never receive that affection. It would be agonizingly frustrating wouldn’t it? It might be easy to think that this is a bad relationship, but it might be that your imaginary partner was sharing their favorite form of affection with you every moment possible. If you don’t recognize their affection as a form of love then it won’t complete your need for connection.
Imagine how quickly that relationship would change if each partner understood the other’s preferred love language. With that understanding custom messages of love make that much more of an impact and it’s possible to even learn to appreciate each other’s “Love Languages”.
Understanding these different “Love Languages” is part of how Chapmen helps couples form strong, lasting relationships, but there’s a lot more to learn from his work. Being aware of people’s preferred “Love Language” can help form close bonds of friendship as well as strengthen romantic relationships. Understanding the love language of others allows for customized displays of affection that can make an even stronger impact.
Chapman’s work shows just how complex love really is. There isn’t one right way to love, and love doesn’t have one definition. Understanding love and being able to show love to a partner in their language is how a relationship fosters connection and fulfillment on a deeper level. I highly recommend Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages”. He also offers his “Five Love Languages” test for free on his website, 5lovelanguages.com. You can go there now and connect with your partner deeper than ever before.
Love is a relationship and every relationship is a journey. That’s why no love is the same.
How has understanding your love language made a difference for you? Let me know in the comments.
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