According to the love languages model by Dr Gary Chapman, different people ‘speak’ different love languages and as is the case with the spoken word, it’s easier to communicate in one’s own native language, says Susie Ambrose, Founder and CEO of elite dating agency Seventy Thirty
L is for language of love
The language of love: do you speak it? We all know that communication, both verbal and non-verbal, is crucial in our relationships. It’s essential that both partners in a romantic relationship are speaking the same language, but when it sometimes seems as if you and your partner are from different planets, how can you achieve this? The answer may lie in Dr Gary Chapman’s acclaimed book, ‘The Five Love Languages: How To Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate’.
Chapman suggests that every individual has a ‘primary love language’ and in order to feel truly loved and valued in a relationship, this love must be expressed to the individual directly in line with their categorised love language. He distinguishes between five love languages, noting that each language entails a certain way of expressing and receiving love, which should be tailored specifically to the needs and desires of the individual. Based on mutual reciprocity, the critical point is to ensure long-lasting love; not only should you learn to speak your partner’s love language, but you must be fully fluent.
The five love languages are:
Words of affirmation
Individuals for whom this is their primary love language experience love through the receipt of verbal forms of emotional support, praise or encouragement. Being told ‘I love you’, hearing the reasons why they are loved and receiving unsolicited compliments are prized above all non-verbal gestures of love.
Acts of service
These individuals feel loved when their partner does practical things that help them. In other words, actions speak louder than words; they appreciate demonstrations of practical help and support.
Not only should you learn to speak your partner’s love language, but you must be fully fluent
The effort and sentiment behind a carefully selected gift or everyday gesture make these individuals feel cherished. Gifts are thus interpreted as showing their partner is thinking of them, cares for them and understands their likes and needs.
Individuals whose primary language is quality time experience love through the receipt of someone’s time and undivided attention. They feel loved when they have a sense of togetherness with their partner, irrespective of the activity, as long as they’re focused on one another.
This is the language of individuals who experience love through their partner’s physical presence and contact. These individuals interpret appropriate physical touch and proximity to heir partner as signs of care, support and affection.
Using and applying love languages can greatly enhance even the best relationships by ensuring that both partners know that they are loved. The ideas in the book are not a ‘fix all’ remedy for all relationship problems, but rather a positive and practical way of enhancing an already-loving relationship.
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