One could suppose that The Five Languages of Love: The Secret to Love that Lasts, written decades ago by Gary Chapman, is still a best-seller because we’re all trying to ensure our everlasting love–and his title promises that, though are we sure any book can deliver?
Setting that aside, Chapman helps us out in the Simplicity Department because, as he says,
“After thirty years of marriage counseling, I’ve concluded that there are basically five emotional love languages—five ways that people speak and understand emotional love.”
The Five Languages:
- Words of Affirmation: Expressing affection through admiration or appreciation.
- Acts of Service: Doing things for the other are used to show and receive love.
- Gifts: Gifting expresses the love.
- Quality Time: Showing affection with undivided, undistracted attention. (iPhones down.)
- Physical Touch: Anything from a touch of one’s hand to hugs to snuggling to foot rubs to making whoopee.
The goal is to know how you show and prefer to receive love–and, of course, how your partner does too. Then, we begin to show our love in the fashion that our partner enjoys most. At least, that’s Chapman’s advice–and it’s good advice.
Where one might nudge the notion a bit is that we also try to hear and see how our partners have been saying “I love you” all along–albeit in their preferred language not yours. It’s like listening for a dove’s bird-call, not realizing that your partner’s call of love sounds more like an eagle’s.
You can probably guess your language just by reading the list above, but Chapman created a 30-question quiz on his website. The quiz ranks which language-styles mean the most to you. If you’re not an online-quiz kinda person, you can also download the PDF version of the quiz here.
A Sixth Language: Curiosity
Either way, using the five languages as a means of self-awareness leads to more curiosity about ourselves and others. And, that’s a sixth language that, perhaps, might be even more vital than Chapman’s five.