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The Five Love Languages

The act of gift-giving shows the effort and thoughtfulness of the person / Photo by Getty Images

 

Everyone has their own unique way of expressing their love and affection for others. Yourtango.com says that the manner a person shows their love is also the kind of affection they desire to receive. There may be no specific way to love someone in the right way, but it may help to know what kind of affection a romantic partner, family members or friends they would like to have in return.

Love Languages Explained

Based on Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Communication to Your Mate, these are the five love languages:

Words of affirmation

This means that the person expresses their love in the form of words. They may tell their partner how important they are to them, compliment them or text them about something they saw that reminded them of their lover,  telling them they love them and the reasons why.

If this is an individual’s love language, it means they want their partner to show their feelings verbally.

Quality time

Someone who has quality time as their love language demonstrates their love by giving their time and attention to their partner. They do not only make time for their partner but also ascertain that they are truly focused on them while spending time with them. It does not really matter how long they spend time together, but rather in what way that moment was spent. If their partner's mind is somewhere else while they are doing something together, they may feel neglected. Not being able to show up on special dates or deferring to them to another day can really make them feel offended.

Some ways to reciprocate and spend time with them better includes talking about deep topics, not using their phone while in the presence of their partner, and trying to get to know their hobbies.

 

Spending quality time with your partner is showing that you are truly focused on him/her / Photo by Getty Images

 

Acts of Service

If a person expresses their love by engaging in acts of service, they display their affection by doing tasks for them. For example, they may offer to repair the broken faucet, cook food or fix the drainage. Individuals who have this as their love language think that actions are better indicators of a person’s love than their words. They will try to find ways to lighten their partner’s burden.

Those who are physically handicapped and mentally ill may feel loved when others perform acts of service for them since they have a hard time doing many tasks on their own. This is also a basic way of expressing love for their family. As the parents do their parental duties, in exchange, the children help them by doing their chores.

Gift-giving

People who “speak” the language of gift-giving show others their love by sending their loved ones' gifts, cards or notes. They are thankful for being given a gift and also for the effort and thoughtfulness poured into that gesture. Even the smallest everyday gifts such as little notes, coffee, and flowers matter to them. The downside is that they may feel extremely hurt when someone forgets important dates like anniversaries or birthdays. They may also feel resentful when someone gives them a thoughtless gift.

Physical touch

Expressing one’s love through physical touch does not always have to be done through sex. It can be shown through other physical affectionate gestures such as hugging and holding hands. If they do not need the same levels of physical touch, or if one of them feels uneasy doing public displays of affection, they need to be able to talk to each other about it so that they both know where to draw the line.

If their partner does not return their loving touches or is being unresponsive to those touches, they will think that they are being rejected.

How to Make the Love Message Get Heard

Gretchen Rubin, author of Which Love Language Suits You? And Your Partner? emphasizes that couples should be able to determine which kind of language makes their partner feel loved and be able to give that. If they are unable to provide the kind of affection, even if they do their best to be affectionate in their own way, their partner will still feel unloved. They should be able to shift their thinking from how they like expressing their love, to asking themselves what gestures will make their partner feel loved. Rubin writes, “You must shape your expression to suit someone else.”

Even their partner’s love language is something that they feel is unnatural for them, they must figure out how to show that affection and adjust. She stresses that “Unless you speak the proper language, your message of love won’t be heard.” However, if they are unsure about their partner's language of love, the safest way to express their love is by using all of the five languages and see through it.

 

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