Have you ever taken a love language test before? Just so that both you and your partners are able to understand each other in a relationship. At the beginning of his career, Dr Gary Chapman was a marriage counsellor that realised a patter amongst the couples he has met during his sessions. Most of the time, the problems would be how their partner doesn’t love them whilst the other would be like they were doing everything to make an effort to shower them with love.
That was the moment when he realised that whenever two individuals get together, the most common issue is how both individuals show love differently. At times it would be easier to understand but most of the time it is not. With that said, Dr Chapman wrote the book, The 5 Love Languages about a way to help couples to understand one another and be much more aware when it comes to their way of loving their partner. This book has sold over 12 million copies globally and was also known as New York Times #1 bestseller.
His book was able to help couples distinguish their differences and allowed them to work around it by introducing five distinct categories called love languages.
Words of affirmation
Encouraging your partner as those with this love language mostly seek and value verbal acknowledgements of affection. Verbal encouragement and frequent communication (even through messages) mean a lot to them.
Acts of service
Small actions speak louder than words and this is why they usually feel more appreciated when their partner tries to go out of their way to help them with chores or an errand.
It’s not about the value of the gift, it’s the act of love and how much thought has been put in to surprise their partner with something special. It makes them feel like their partner was thinking of them during their time apart.
Enjoying their partner’s company no matter what they do and they feel more loved and appreciated when their partner makes the effort to plan some alone time together without any interruption.
A simple hug, kiss or holding hands is what those with this love language seek for when it comes to the relationship. It’s about the physical intimacy that they have with their partner, that’s how they know that they’re loved.
Most of the time people tend to reciprocate the love they receive the same way but by knowing your partner’s love language, it would be much easier for couples to have a long-lasting relationship together.
A quick Q&A sesh with Lindley Craig, a certified IANLP Trainer and President of the NLP Association Singapore.
Are the love languages an important framework for a better understanding of how we – and our partners – respond in our relationship?
We see the five love languages as different strategies people have to express love; just like with an unconscious program, we often are not aware of our own ways of expressing ourselves, let alone anyone else’s.
It’s important that we understand how we like to receive love, as well as how we give love. Once we’re armed with this knowledge, it’s also important that we’re flexible with our style, as well as our own needs, to enable us to accept love from others in whichever way they give it to us.
What’s your advice for couples who take the love languages test and find out that they have conflicting languages?
It’s all about being flexible and understanding that people give and receive love in different ways, as well as adjusting our own style slightly. Just like all programs, our love languages can change over time, however, it’s usually a very slow change.
Can the love languages theory be applied to non-romantic relationships?
Absolutely. The theory is simply about how we give and receive love and show care, so this can be applied to other relationships in our lives, as well as romantic ones.
Picture by The Ladies Coach