Love is an important aspect of our daily lives, so are relationships. Gary Chapman wrote a book called The Five Love Languages, where he outlines five ways of expressing love: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Ben Nadel writes, “While this might seem obvious at first, it can become an impossible task if we are not aware of our significant other’s “Love Language.” As Gary Chapman explains, every person has one dominant love language. And, unless our significant other communicates with us using that particular love language, nothing that they can do will make us feel truly loved.”
Words of affirmation are used to express love, “word of encouragement, approval, and appreciation.” The second love language is quality time. It is where you spend time with your significant other, “having meaningful conversations or sharing recreational activities.” The third love language is receiving gifts, where gifts, handmade or commercially bought, are exchanged to express love. The fourth love language is acts of service. This language is “marked by the desire to have someone do things such as dish washing, dog walking, and laundry for you.” Doing chores for your loved one may be your way of expressing love and appreciation for them. The final love language is physical touch, “This love language is marked by the desire to be touched, whether it’s holding hands, hugging, kissing, a stroking of the skin, or sex.”
Now the trouble as Nadel points out is that these are different languages: “Love languages are like any other language; and, unless we are speaking the same language, no real meaning can be communicated.”
A lot of meaning can be lost if you and your significant other speak different languages and thus it is important to understand and discover how your loved one speaks of love, how does s/he express love? And how do you express love? How can you understand each other better?
“One thing Gary Chapman said that I found very interesting was that while one’s own actions may be a reflection of their love language, they don’t have to be.” Maybe you do not like acts of service and prefer a sense of touch and that stems from something in your personality, but it may be just a preference rather than having a hidden meaning.
Nadel speaks of another system called the Love Scale Quiz, where love is broken into six categories:
1) Romantic, which is “marked by passion and sexual attraction”
2) Best friends, “marked by feelings of deep affection and caring’
3) Logical, “When practical issues like money, religion, and values influence feelings”
4) Playful: a love scaled “Marked by the excitement of flirtatious and challenging interactions”
5) Possessive: “Marked by feelings of jealousy and obsession”
6) Unselfish: “Marked by nurturing, kindness, and sacrifice”
This system is created by Dr. Hatkoff. The love scale quiz “consists of 50 True/False questions that can help you determine which “Love Styles” are dominant in your approach to relationships.”