Nov 27 / Simcha

Five Languages of Love

Different people express love differently.  They also tend to crave those same expressions of love from their partners, and often find themselves  disappointed.

In Dr. Chapman’s best-selling book, The Five Love Languages (over 7 million copies have been sold since it debuted in 1992), the now-73-year-old Southern Baptist pastor and author identifies five primary ways that we tend to express, and consequently interpret, love:

Words of Affirmation
: Unsolicited compliments mean the world to you; insults can leave you shattered and deeply hurt.

Quality Time
:  Really being present (TV off, fork and knife down, all chores and tasks on standby) makes you feel truly special and loved; distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen are especially hurtful.

Receiving Gifts
:  The perfect gift or gesture makes you feel seen and cared for; a missed birthday, anniversary, a hasty or thoughtless gift, or the absence of everyday gestures make you feel lonely and hurt.

Acts of Service
:  Easing your burden of responsibilities speaks to you above all else; laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for you make you feel your feelings don’t matter.

Physical Touch
:  Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face make you feel loved and cared for; their absence leaves a gaping hole; neglect or abuse is unforgivable and destructive.

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Identifying and recognizing that partners speak different “languages of love” allows us to think about our relationships in new ways. 

  1. We can begin to notice that our partner — whom we may have come to believe is totally neglectful in expressing love and caring — is indeed doing so, but in ways that are more difficult for us to notice or take in.
  2. At the same time, each partner can work at becoming more attuned to the “love language needs” of the other. This requires a good deal of pushing beyond our comfort zones, and expanding the ways in which we convey affection and connection.