What’s Your Love Language?
Love languages are five ways that we give and feel loved by others. How we give and receive love depends on our love language. According to author Dr. Gary Chapman, in his book: The Five Love Languages, he describes love languages as follows:
Quality Time is considered your undivided attention that you give and the time you spend with another person.
Gifts as a love language, is when someone gives you a meaningful or thoughtful gift, and you feel loved because of the thought and effort that he or she put into getting and giving you a present.
Acts of Service is when your spouse (or a loved one) does things for you. For instance, if your spouse washes your car, does your laundry, or picks up your dry cleaning, with a good/ loving attitude, you feel loved.
Physical Touch is when you feel loved because your spouse or loved one enjoys holding your hand; caresses your cheek and/or gives you a hug.
How do you discover your love language? Generally, you can have a good idea of what your love language is by how you express love to others, what causes you the most complaints/hurt if someone does not do something for you, and what do you request the most from those around you?
In a marriage relationship, Dr. Gary Chapman also discusses filling your spouse’s love tank. He suggests that once a week, you do a love tank check on your spouse, to see how full his or her love tank is. Although you do not have control if your spouse will fulfill your love tank, showing love to him or her, in his or her love language is contagious. By making efforts to get to know what your spouse’s love language is, and making efforts to fulfill his or her love tank, you will be one step closer to a more fulfilling marriage. With time and consistency, your spouse will see the efforts you are making to love him or her, and this kindness may motivate him or her to fill your love tank.
This also works in friendship. If you want to show your friend how much you care, observe how he or she shows love to you and others (which is a good indication of his or her love language), and then you demonstrate your appreciation for him or her through your friend’s preferred love language.
Although you do not have control whether your love language will be reciprocated, you do have an incredible opportunity to care for those around you in a way that they will feel loved, through their love language. And when we get to that place of self sacrifice, we truly find that it is just as (if not more) satisfying to give, than to always receive.
Kim Ott MSW RSW