By: Jennifer Seip
If you have ever been to couples therapy, then you have probably heard of The Five Love Languages. Since being published, Gary Chapman has sold over 13 million copies. But what are they in the first place? How do you find out what your language is? Lastly, why are they so important?
The Birth of The Five Love Languages
Born and raised in North Carolina, Gary Chapman was a young pastor who’s advice about family was sought out by members of the church (F, B. 2011). He began to notice a pattern. That many of the people he was speaking with, were unhappy. Their “love tanks” weren’t full. When they described what would make them feel loved they said things like, “we never talk”(2011), or “I cook dinner for them every night and they still aren’t happy.”
When they described what would make them feel loved they said things like, “we never talk.”
He postulated that every person has a primary, secondary, or tertiary language and, after some time, Gary put labels on these descriptions:
- Words of Affirmation
- Gift Giving
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Physical Affection
What Are The Five Love Languages?
The five love languages are descriptors for how we give and receive love. It is typical for a person to actually give love the way they wish to receive it. Take this couple, Ashley and Amber. Ashley loves to come home with little surprises for Amber. She will go out of her way to pick up Amber’s favorite candy, or if she comes across an article of clothing that she thinks Amber might like, Ashley purchases it as a gift. But, Amber still say’s that Ashley doesn’t love her. When asked what it would look like if Ashley showed Amber
more love, Amber comments, “She would hold me more.”
Clearly Amber’s love language is physical affection while Ashley’s is gift giving.
How Do You Know What Your Love Language Is?
One way to find out what your love language is, is by simply asking yourself, what do I do for others when I want to show them love? Another possibility is to ask yourself, “how did my parents show me love?” If neither of those work, there is a quick 5 Love Language Quiz, you can take.
The Five Love Languages Are Important.
The five love languages are important to know. You are in a relationship with someone. Whether it be with a friend, family member, or partner, relationships are great sources of joy. Over time, if you are not giving love the way your partner receives it, or if you are not receiving love when your partner gives it, then you are actually missing out on their emotional bids for connection. This can result in a slow decline of closeness in the relationship and a need for repair.
Feiler, B., (2011). Can Gary Chapman Save Your Marriage? The New York Times. Retrieved from:https://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/fashion/can-gary-chapman-save-your-marriage-this-life.html
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