*It’s been almost 30 years since Gary Chapman wrote his book on love languages. He has a B.A. and an M.A. in Anthropology and later received a Master Of Religious Education and Ph.D. in adult education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been on staff at the Calvary Baptist Church of North Carolina since 1971.
The Origin Of The 5 Love Languages
In 1992, Chapman wrote his world famous book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. This book sold over 8,500 copies in its first year of publication, which was over 4x what the publisher expected. By its third year of publication, its sales were over 137,000 and it has been on the New York Times Best Seller list for the past 12 years.
Chapman’s theory was that there are different styles of expressing love, and that the average person would naturally give love the same way they prefer to receive it. He concludes with the idea that if one can learn the way their partner prefers to receive love and make efforts to express love in that language, there will be much better communication within the relationship. Lucky for us, there is a test that asks a series of questions and provides you with an answer about what you perceive as someone showing love.
Knowing your results can be advantageous if you share with your partner and they share their results with you. Perhaps you find out you have two very different styles of receiving love and can move forward trying to show your partner love in the language they personally best receive it. Telling your partner you love them in Greek, Latin or some other language they don’t speak won’t mean as much to them as if you said in a language they were fluent in. Make sense?
Example: If a woman prefers to be told by her partner how much he loves her and appreciates her, but he believes love means buying her nice gifts and jewelry, then there is discord between this couple. If her partner could be more attentive in telling her how much she means to him, she would feel love in the way that most makes sense to her.
Below I will explain the different love languages and then provide you with a link to find out your own preferred love language(s)!
The 5 Love Languages
Words Of Affirmation
This language focuses on verbal acknowledgement of affections, as explained in the example above. This can include compliments, saying “I love you,” or even modern forms of communication like email or text message. Simply put, this love language is based on verbal or written communication.
This language is pretty self-explanatory. A person whose love language is quality time will feel the most valued when their partner wants to hang out of spend time with them. Working late or never being home to spend time with your partner could pose big issues for this love language. Turn off the television and put down your phone to spend some undivided attention with your partner if their preferred way of receiving love is quality time.
Acts Of Service
Doing the laundry, mowing the lawn, running out to pickup groceries… these are all acts of service. Some people speak fluently in the love language of helping to serve their partner and the household. While everyone would love to have someone around to help make overall life just… easier, it is important that you realize that not everyone perceives that as an act of showing love. With the right person who values this love language, doing the laundry and bringing them breakfast in bed would make them feel so loved.
Like I explained in my example above, the man who keeps buying his partner gifts and jewelry is demonstrating this love language. Some partners love to receive presents and fell most loved when they do. It is important to remember this isn’t about the money spent, but rather about symbolism behind the gift. If you are with someone who enjoys receiving gifts as an act of love, it is important you remember that whatever you gift them has to be most sentimental to them and their wants, and not you, the gift-giver.
Before you jump and think, “that’s mine! Who doesn’t like sex?” it is important to keep in mind that physical touch and intimacy are about much more than sex. It’s about kissing, cuddling, hand holding and all together affection. A person who has this love language often wants much more than sex and appreciates feeling loved by being held, hugged and kissed, too.
Now it’s time to find out what your love language is!! Click the link below and you will have your answer. If you have a partner, I encourage you to have them also take the test and then do a little more research to better understand each other. We all may have different love languages but if we make an effort to show love the way out partner receives it best, it can only help our personal relationships.