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Let’s face it guys, we’re getting older. We are not in high school anymore, and we’ve learned the hard way that taking relationship advice from other guys who are jerks is not productive. At this stage of life, most of us are either in a committed relationship, aware that we don’t want to be in one, or trying to get into one.
If you’ve been loving the same person for a long time, sometimes the flames of love can start to die down. At the risk of getting too sappy here, one thing that can really turn up the heat is coming to have a better understanding of each other’s emotional makeup. The Five Love Languages are an easy way for a couple to understand each other.
What Are the Five Love Languages?
This is a relationship theory popularized by a pastor and author named Gary Chapman. In 1992, he wrote a book called The Five Love Languages: How to Express Commitment to Your Mate.
Since then, the book has barely ever left the New York Times Best Sellers List, and there are plenty of people who swear by what’s found in it. Chapman used the things he observed from doing years of pastoral couples counseling to come up with his ideas.
The basic premise of the book is that people express and receive love in five basic ways called love languages. Each person has a preferred love language, and we are all more appreciative of love expressed in the language we like.
For the sake of simplicity, we will explain the love languages and how to show them using the example of a husband and wife, but love languages can apply to all sorts of relationships. Your children, brothers and sisters, parents, friends, and coworkers, will appreciate your understanding of their love language, even if you never say the words love language to them.
What Are the Five Love Languages?
Here are the five love languages:
Words of Affirmation
People who prefer words of affirmation love compliments. They like being told that you love them. They want frequent verbal reminders of their value and your love for them.
How to show this kind of love: Tell your wife that you love her. Compliment her on what she does just as much as how she looks.
People who value quality time really appreciate it when you give them your full attention. This goes beyond doing an activity together or being in the same room together. This involves eye contact, zero distractions, and meaningful conversation.
How to show this kind of love: Clear your entire Saturday just to spend time with your wife. Send the kids to grandma’s house, and give your wife your undivided attention. Do whatever she wants to do. Listen as long as she wants to talk. Make her know that she is your entire focus for an entire day.
Acts of Service
People who prefer acts of service need to be shown that you love them. Acts of service are actions that are practical, so this is a little different than giving someone a gift.
How to show this kind of love: If you know your wife has to go to work early, get up even early to have her favorite breakfast waiting for her.
People who prefer gifts are not superficial. While big gifts may be nice, these kinds of people value gifts more because of what they mean than because of what they are. They view gifts as an expression of love, and they especially value a gift that took a lot of thought and care. One rose is just as valuable to a person with this kind of a love language as a $5,000 handbag.
How to show this kind of love: Buy your wife a shirt in her favorite color and attach a note that says, “This shirt made me think of you because I know how much you love this color.”
People who value touch want to physically feel loved. Touch can involve any form of human connection, such as hugging, kissing, cuddling, and more.
How to show this kind of love: While watching your favorite show together, pull your wife in for a nice long cuddle.
How to Use Love Languages in Your Relationship
If you want to find out what your love language is, there are 101 quizzes on the Internet. If you want to win 1,000 brownie points with your wife, suggests that the two of you each take a love language quiz and discuss your results together.
Understanding each other’s love language can help you both understand the best way to love each other. A husband could think he is doing a great job by telling his wife he loves her every day and showering her with gifts. While she is appreciative, the wife could still be left wanting something more because her love language is touching and the husband is not the touchy-feely type.
When you understand what your loved one’s love language is, you can love them the way they want to be loved. The same goes for you. If you tell your significant other what your loved language is, you’ll get way more of your favorite expressions of affection.