“I don’t think my wife loves me anymore”, “I don’t feel the same old spark between us”, “He hardly notices me now”. Haven’t you heard such similar phrases from your friends, family or even spouses? I mean, any typical human who has been in love or married or been a family member would have felt this way at least once in their life and it’s totally natural. But how do we resolve these commonly occurring conflicts between people? Let’s read on.
When it comes to any emotion, appropriate expression of it is a crucial factor. Most of the conflicts occur as a result of differences in expressing emotions to each other. Expression of emotional “love” also comes in various forms. Dr. Gary Chapman, a well-known marriage counselor, has published a book on “Five languages of love”. He emphasizes that we all feel and know that we are loved by how people relate to us. Finding the right way to express it is the key to make that person feel loved. He called it “languages of love”.
So what exactly is the language of love? The answer is clear and crisp unlike the definition of love. They are basically the fundamental ways of expressing emotional love to another person. Dr. Chapman in his book has addressed “five languages of love”. They are words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts and quality time.
Words of affirmation “To love me is to talk to me”Nice and kind words mean a lot to many of us. An act as simple as verbal compliments or words of appreciation or encouragement can make someone feel instantly happy. This language of love uses “words” to affirm other people and it’s a powerful communicator. They are explained in simple straightforward statements of affirmation such as, “You look great in that suit”, “You can always make me laugh” etc. Even though not everyone might use this love language, according to the Psychologist, William James, the possibly deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated. Words of affirmation can satiate this need in many people.
Physical touch “To love me is to touch me”Importance of physical touch dates back to a classic experiment by Harlow on contact comfort in monkeys. Being physically close with someone you love can boost your emotional well-being to a great extent. This is particularly true for individuals who opt for this type of love language. For them, physical closeness plays the most significant role and might need it more often than others to feel loved. However, for a person whose primary language of love is not “physical touch”, such acts might not convey a deep meaning unlike others.
Quality of time “To love me is to spend time with me”A person whose language of love is quality of time requires undivided attention. When you spend your time watching TV sitting on a couch with your mate may not necessarily mean you are actually spending time with him or her. Quality of time is about spending time qualitatively with them by giving them full attention. The acts may include going for a walk together, engaging in long conversations with each other, dining out together etc. So this language basically indicates that the person is in need of your precious time and attention.
Acts of service “To love me is to do things for me”This language of love is accurate for the phrase – “actions speaks louder than words”. So people whose love language is ‘acts of service’ would want others to do little things for them as an expression of love. It could be anything like cooking a meal, helping out with households, feeding the baby etc. This language could bring great benefits to most of the married couples as it requires planning, time, effort and energy.
Receiving gifts “To love me is to buy me things”Some people are fond of receiving gifts from their loved ones. And it can make them extremely happy and valued. The language of giving gifts is considered as a common way of expressing love. It is not really about the money or cost of the gift, it’s rather about the effort or thought of giving something special for your beloved one. However, for a person whose language is not this wouldn’t find the acts of receiving gifts as a valuable gesture. It is simply because that’s not their primary language of love.
Now what’s the primary and secondary language of love? Well, individuals may possess these five love languages in varying magnitude. Say, for some people, “physical touch” maybe the primary language of love and “quality time” maybe the secondary language. So this person might expect physical touch from their partner often rather than quality time with them. Therefore, identifying the language of love in your partner or spouse or girlfriend or even your kid may potently decrease the interpersonal conflicts between each other. This could eventually weave a magic spell in your relationships!