27th August 2010
Whose love language are you speaking?
I’ve just re-read a brilliant book called ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman. What I particularly enjoy about the book is the simplicity with which he explores the different ways people express and interpret love – hence the title ‘The Five Love Languages’.
Some of you may instantly know your own primary love language and for other it may not be that easy. Either way, the book is littered with true life examples that can help you identify how each love language is expressed in the day to day world. For Gary the five love languages are:-
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
Know both love languages – yours and your partners
‘We must be willing to learn our spouse’s primary love language if we are to be effective communicators of love’ – Gary Chapman
While it is important to know your own love language it is just as important to know your partners. Particularly if you want to experience ongoing connection, understanding and love within your relationship.
At the back of the book Gary offers an assessment tool which allows you to each discover your own love language. It takes no more than 30 minutes to complete. To get the full benefit invite your partner to spend a little time exploring your love language with each other and what it would be like to receive actively do this each other.
The dangers of not knowing the love languages
I don’t know about you but I am always looking for new tools to help me keep the love alive in my relationships. However, with such a busy life I always ask myself ‘what will happen if I don’t use this tool?’ On this occasion I believe I have sufficient evidence of what happens when I don’t use this tool. Let me explain…
Before reading the book the first time I found myself offering what I believed to be ‘acts of love’ to my husband yet, I repeatedly felt he didn’t notice, appreciate or understand them. This left me feeling frustrated, ignored and most importantly disconnected.
This in turn allowed me to make up all sorts of negative stories about him which meant I would either withdraw or attack and sadly both defences did nothing but perpetuate the cycle of disconnection.
I asked my husband what his experience was in these situations and he said that he was often left feeling confused and frustrated because he had absolutely no idea what he had done to contribute to the disconnection. He also mentioned he had exactly the same experience of disconnection and internal story telling when he offered me his ‘acts of love’.
I know this is a very personal example but I make up the story you are able to connect with part or all of what I am sharing about the dangers of not knowing yours and your partners love languages.
So what are the benefits?
The benefits here are enormous – for you, your partner and most importantly the relationship.
By understanding both love languages (yours and your partners) you will have a deeper insight into who each of you are and what is important to you both. It will offer you a simple, shared language to use when talking about love. It will also help eliminate confusion and disappointment at not being understood and validated for what you are offering each other as acts of love.
Finally, experience shows that when your ‘emotional love tanks’ are full you both feel secure, loved, connected and open – and I believe that can only be a very positive thing for your relationship!
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is insightful, practical, easy to read and another simple tool you can use to help improve the quality of your relationship.
I would love to hear what you discovered so feel free to leave a comment on the blog or send me an email.
If you found this entry useful, and you would like to explore how we might work together, then just click here.