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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    23 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)

    The Five Love Languages

    There's a great little book I recommend to clients: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

    The essence of the book is that we all try to express love in certain ways and when we seek evidence of love coming back from others we instinctively look for the same behaviors. For you, remembering a loved one's birthday is very high on the list of how you express love. But he may have a very different "love language" and he may be expressing it in other ways, e.g., doing little things for you, spending time with you, bringing you little gifts to show he's thinking about you, etc.

    The author also has a web site at Home - Five Love Languages where you can take a short quiz to identify what it is you look for as evidence of love and how you try to express your love to others. Take the quiz yourself (it's free) and ask your partner to do the same. Then compare how each of you score on the love languages. At the very least it's fun; it may be quite revealing.

    Chapman's Five Emotional Love Languages
    By Sheri & Bob Stritof,

    1. Words of Affirmation
      This is when you say how nice your spouse looks, or how great the dinner tasted. These words will also build your mate's self image and confidence.
    2. Quality Time
      Some spouses believe that being together, doing things together and focusing in on one another is the best way to show love. If this is your partner's love language, turn off the TV now and then and give one another some undivided attention.
    3. Gifts
      It is universal in human cultures to give gifts. They don't have to be expensive to send a powerful message of love. Spouses who forget a birthday or anniversary or who never give gifts to someone who truly enjoys gift giving will find themselves with a spouse who feels neglected and unloved.
    4. Acts of Service
      Discovering how you can best do something for your spouse will require time and creativity. These acts of service like vacuuming, hanging a bird feeder, planting a garden, etc., need to be done with joy in order to be perceived as a gift of love.
    5. Physical Touch
      Sometimes just stroking your spouse's back, holding hands, or a peck on the cheek will fulfill this need.

    Determining Your Own Love Language
    Since you may be speaking what you need, you can discover your own love language by asking yourself these questions:

    • How do I express love to others?
    • What do I complain about the most?
    • What do I request most often?

    Speaking in your spouse's love language probably won't be natural for you. Dr. Chapman says, "We're not talking comfort. We're talking love. Love is something we do for someone else. So often couples love one another but they aren't connecting. They are sincere, but sincerity isn't enough."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    67 Post(s)
    0 Thread(s)

    Re: The Five Love Languages

    The simple communication theory that explains most relationship conflicts - Quartz
    December 10, 2015,
    by Jenny Anderson

    ...With best intentions, we tend to express our love language to our partner, and then end up shocked, frustrated and consistently disappointed when they 1) don’t think it’s amazing and 2) don’t replicate it. But it’s because they speak another language.

    For example, my husband is a physical touch kinda guy. He likes hugs. My friends know him as an epic hugger. So he hugs me a lot, which is nice.

    But I am an acts of service kinda gal. The way to my heart is to do things, ideally without having to be asked. Hugs are great, but pick up my dry cleaning, plan a holiday and change the damn LED lights, and voila, you complete me.

    Naturally, I think doing acts of service are the ultimate expression of love. But while I am busy baking banana bread and doing his laundry, he just wants hugs.

    Chapman acknowledges that we speak more than one language. And we all need some of all of these things for our relationships to succeed. But his point is that we have a primary language and figuring that out will help us meet the needs of our partners, which will help refill those love tanks (cheese alarm!).

    Before you scoff at the tank analogy, consider this: When our tanks are “full,” we forgive our partner’s foibles. Late from work? He’s working hard; The dorky sweater he gave me? What a nice effort. But when your tank is empty, every slight feels like a crime against humanity: Late from work? He doesn’t prioritize family. The sweater? Have you ever met me?

    Chapman offers important nuances for each “language.” Gifts, for example, don’t have to be Prada handbags. They can be flowers from the garden, or a sweet note on a piece of A4, stuffed in his jacket pocket. Words of affirmation should be specific: saying “you are awesome” will quickly become meaningless, but “it is so awesome that you are working out again,” will work wonders for the words-of-affirmation person. Quality time means putting your phone away. And physical touch? “It’s not all about the bedroom.”

    In an age of science, and pseudo-science, Chapman’s book is refreshingly unscientific and non-academic. Chapman is a Southern Baptist pastor who started offering marriage counseling in Winston-Salem, North Carolina more than 50 years ago. He eventually saw some patterns, wrote them down and sold more than 7 million books.

    I like science. Our book used behavioral economics to solve common conflicts in marriage which required researching relationships, and behavioral economics, as well as interviewing hundreds of people. I learned a lot about why marriage can be maddening, why couples fight and how to think about improving our behavior.

    But I often come back to Chapman’s gloriously simple and staggeringly accurate love languages.

    Now if I can just up the number of hugs I give this holiday season, it will indeed be a very merry season.



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