In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss the 5 languages of love, and help you and your partner to determine your language of love.
First a quick update:
“Cheating – time to confront the other woman?” – You learn that your partner is cheating; do you also confront the other guilty party — the “Other Woman” or man? Emotional Mojo TV show hosts Michelle Yarn, Jada Jackson, Tara Gidus and I discuss cheating and the benefits and dangers of confronting the “Other Woman/Man.” Jada Jackson argues it empowers the other woman while I argue that by confronting the other woman she might stop pursuing your husband. Watch the TV interview here: https://youtu.be/xYcc5mtuBaw
Now, let’s talk about the 5 languages of love, and help you and your partner to determine your language of love.
Have you ever stopped and wondered what it takes for you to feel loved, truly loved?
Of course, the simple response from most people is “unconditional acceptance.”
But in a relationship, acceptance is not enough to feel loved on a daily basis.
Love is an expression and therefore it has a language – a form of communicating and expressing.
Each one of us feels love and feels loved in different ways. Some people want to hear the words “I love you” while others want to feel love with physical touch. Accordingly, a couple may truly love each other but they might not feel each other’s love if it is not expressed in their own individual language.
When I teach seminars on communication, influence and persuasion, I reveal that the number one key to effective communication and influencing or persuading others is: understanding the other person – and that requires speaking their language.
In a relationship, to get your needs met, your partner must also understand and speak your language.
- How do I express love to others?
- What do I complain about the most?
- What do I request most often?
Gary Chapman is a relationship counselor and director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. In his book, “The 5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”, Chapman identifies what he believes to be the 5 complete ways that we express love and that we feel love and loved.
These “love languages” can be applied to all relationships and they can strengthen bonds with children.
Below are the 5 languages of love as defined by Gary Chapman along with my own tips:
1. Words of Affirmation
“Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, ‘I love you,’ are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up.”
Tip: If this is your partner’s love language, be aware that words are very powerful to him/her. Speak kind words, be wary of criticism. Give compliments daily but sincerely.
2. Quality Time
“In Quality Time, nothing says ‘I love you’ like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Whether itʼs spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time.”
Tip: If this is your partner’s love language, give him/her undivided attention do things together and take trips with each other.
“Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are heartfelt symbols to you of someone else’s love and affection for you.”
Tip: If this is your partner’s love language, give him/her small, meaningful and thoughtful gifts; notice what he/she really enjoys such as a hobby or passion, and then find small such themed gifts for him/her; birthdays and anniversaries are also important days.
4. Acts of Service
“Can helping with homework really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an ‘Acts of Service’ person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: ‘Let me do that for you.’ Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. When others serve you out of love (and not obligation), you feel truly valued and loved.”
Tip: If this is your partner’s love language, ask him/her how you can help; offer to assist or complete chores and tasks. Remember: do it with joy!
5. Physical Touch
“A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Appropriate and timely touches communicate warmth, safety, and love to you.”
Tip: If this is your partner’s love language, look for opportunities to connect and touch physically – hold hands, be affectionate, caress, stroke and offer massages. Reassure them with a hug.
When you begin to understand yourself, as well as your partner, you will realize that everyone uses all five languages but there is a primary and secondary language of love for each of us. And unfortunately, not every couple shares the same language of love, and therefore, it takes a conscious choice to express loe to one’s partner in their language – the way that makes them feel valued, special and loved.
Do you know your partner’s language of love? Do you know your children’s language of love? Do you know your own language of love? Remember, you might thrive on receiving tangible gifts but maybe your partner thrives simply on praise and compliments.
Also, please note that while Chapman’s book, does offer good insights regarding the identification of the 5 languages of love, there are some major errors perceived by some readers to be sexist and outdated such as believing that only men enjoy sex and defining physical touch as sex; affection does not have to lead to or be included as sex.
Finally, Chapman makes a valid point when he warns that speaking in your spouse’s love language probably won’t be natural for you.”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.”
Note: I teach that there is a sixth language of love: Food!
Cooking for or with your partner, serving your partner; enjoying food together are all examples of food as the 6th language of love!
If you or your partner has a challenge receiving or expressing or love, consider a private session to help set you emotionally free: https://www.patrick-wanis.com/phone-consultations/
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist