Swahili won’t work
What if I was speaking to my wife in Swahili all the time & she doesn’t understand it? We’d have communication problems. In the same way we have communication problems if we don’t use the right love languages.
Less than mediocre
Don said that he & his wife Joanne had a marriage that was less than mediocre. After they learned all about the 5 love languages, they invited other married couples to their home to teach them how to be happily married.
Don said that he used to touch Joanne all the time to express his love to her. That did not work. Touch was down on Joanne’s list of love languages. Touch was on the top of Don’s list.
Joanne used to do all sorts of acts of service for Don. She was always doing favours for him. That did not work. Acts of service was down on Don’s list of love languages. Acts of service was on the top of Joanne’s list.
Dr. Gary Chapman & the 5 love languages
After over 3 decades of couples counselling, Dr. Chapman noticed certain patterns in the way couples communicate. He noticed that most of these people express and interpret love in one of 5 ways:
- Words of affirmation. One of the online dictionaries gives this definition of affirm — give (life) a heightened sense of value, typically through the experience of something emotionally or spiritually uplifting. So, I love you, I’m proud of you and other compliments fit into this category.
- Quality time. People in this category value their spouse’s undivided attention highly. Things like failing to listen or being distracted are especially hurtful to these people.
- Receiving gifts. What makes these people feel most loved is to receive a tangible gift. A meaningful & thoughtful gift makes them feel really appreciated. It does not have to be expensive. It can be something that costs 50 cents and makes them feel loved.
- Acts of service. This was Joanne’s main gift. She would want Don to help her out in any way he could. She would not feel highly valued if Don wasn’t doing lots of favours for her.
- Physical touch. This was Don’s main language. In the early days, he would have been much happier if Joanne had spent more time touching him. Little gentle touches throughout the day would have made him feel much more loved.
Learn your main love language
If you go to the Dr. Chapman’s website, you can click on a purple button and discover your own love language.