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Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages

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Some people believe in a soul mate. When they find that person there is intense passion, attraction and also feelings of vulnerability. These emotions initially unite two people. But with time, the excitement dwindles and couples often forget how to recreate their initial chemistry. Part of maintaining your soul mate’s hunger for your love involves learning their love language.

In 1995, Gary Chapman wrote The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.1 In this book he highlights how people desire love differently. He discusses these 5 love languages:

  1. Gifting
  2. Spending Time
  3. Words of Affirmation
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

Gifting may seem obvious: identifying gifts your significant other appreciates. It may be flowers or a massage. Sometimes, a partner needs to ask their mate what kinds of gifts make them feel appreciated. Experimenting with different items and watching body language can help identify what makes a significant other feel most valued.

All couples need to spend time with one another, but one partner’s interests may not be the same as the others. For example, a man may be interested in golf and a woman in dancing. Couples need to experiment with different activities that may initially seem unappealing. This helps show your commitment to your significant other.

Many desire words of affirmation like “I love you.” Some couples have a code word for sex. Others have pet names that are endearing and express care.

The phrase “actions speak louder than words,” is true for many. Taking time to show your love by making dinner or caring completely one day for your children is what some need. Other times, knowing what triggers your partner’s stress and preventing it is useful. For example, if your partner doesn’t like a mess, consider cleaning the house may be a way to make them feel appreciated.

Many underestimate the value of physical touch. Remember to hold your partners hand, kiss them, put your arm around them and make them feel safe. Along with physical touch is a need for eye contact. Two people looking at one another for 1 minute in silence is unbelievably intimate and often times can recreate initial feelings of excitement.

Just as you can expand your lexicon, you can constantly learn new dialects of your partner’s love language. Each person in a relationship has a responsibility to master their partner’s love language so that they are fluent. Only then can a relationship grow and couples truly communicate with each other on an intimate level.

Reference:

  1. Gary Chapman (1995). The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Northfield Publishing. ISBN1881273156.
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