Valentine’s Day is coming and even if you’re not currently in a romantic relationship, you should know about love languages.
A love language is how you feel the love, affection and appreciation from another person. There are five languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. We have a primary and secondary language—in other words, our top two ways of knowing we are loved.
You can take a free online assessment at The 5 Love Languages website. The creator of this brilliant work is Gary Chapman, and you can learn more about him and his book, The 5 Love Languages, at the same website. (Note: my only critique is that his materials assume heterosexual partnerships so you have to look past that major faux pas to get to the goodies of his ideas).
His book is a must read not only for every couple, but I think every person. After all, many of our core relationships (parents, siblings, children, close friends) are centered around love and affection.
And here’s the thing. We tend to give love in the way we prefer to receive it—in our love language. But the recipient might speak another language and so the goal is to learn the love languages of others so you can show them in the currency that matters most to them.
I was introduced to love languages a few years ago and it was a big “aha” moment for me. It was definitely part of the reason why my first marriage didn’t work out (in addition to just being too young and naive to navigate the complexity of marriage). We were both showing each other love and affection, but in ways that didn’t really resonate for the other person.
This leads to the inevitable, “But look at all I do for you” argument that is underneath feelings of not being seen or appreciated by the other partner, and then they are saying the same thing back. Haven’t we all been there?
I know I have so now try to be aware of what my partner or friend or child needs and show love in their love language. And that has made all the difference.
So take a few moments this week to learn about your love language. And see how you might expand your skills so that you can express love in all 5 of them.
And if you want to watch a great little video on love, check out this adorable ad on YouTube called “Puppy Love.” The music is “Let Her Go” by Passenger in case you want to download it like I did. =)
Happy Valentine’s Day!