five love languages

The secret to love that lasts: Lessons on love from The 5 love languages

In this book, Dr Gary Chapman talks about 5 love languages that can help you experience deeper, richer levels of intimacy with your loved one.
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Have you ever been in a relationship where you think you are doing everything you can to make your partner feel loved but they still feel frustrated and unappreciated? You shower them with compliments, give them gifts, and help them out with the chores around the house, but nothing seems to work. You are left wondering if you are doing something wrong? What more do they want? Well, chances are the reason they are acting distant is because you are not speaking their love language.

This is what Dr Gary Chapman attempts to explain in his international bestseller, The 5 love languages: The Secret to the love that lasts. It reflects the complexities that couples face in relationships today. Diving deep into the intricacies, Chapman reveals an important truth that is often overlooked by partners. Your partner’s definition of love may not be the same as yours. People don’t give and receive love in the same way. It is important to understand this because if you are not on the same page as your loved one, then you could be missing the mark completely and not even know it.

Think about it. Would you be able to understand someone who speaks Spanish if you don’t know the language? No! This is how couples who don’t speak each other’s love language feel in a relationship. Hence, the importance of understanding your partner cannot be understated. In this book, Chapman talks about 5 love languages that can help couples experience deeper, richer levels of intimacy in their relationship. Let’s take a look at them.

Words of affirmation

In a relationship, couples rarely share the same love language. Some may prefer spending quality time with their partner, while others long for hearing thoughtful words from their loved ones. If your partner looks for hearing I love you or compliments above all else, and cannot tolerate rudeness, insults or even a brusque tone, then words of affirmation may be their love language. If you want to strengthen your relationship, give your partner genuine compliments. If they are going through a rough patch, give them a call or send a text to encourage them. Simple words like I believe in you, you can do it; I wouldn’t be able to do this without you or I’m so impressed by you can do wonders for their confidence and bring you closer to them.

Quality time

The quality time corresponds to moments you share with your partner, away from all the distractions of the world. Your phone is silent, the TV is switched off. It’s just you and your partner and no one to disturb you. It is your time together. Chapman writes, “Quality time does not mean that we have to spend our together moments gazing into each other’s eyes. It means that we are doing something together and that we are giving our full attention to the other person.” If this is your partner’s love language, spend more time with them rather than being glued to your phone. Ask them what they want and don’t assume anything. Listen to them when they are talking and read between lines.

Receiving gifts

For some people in a relationship, receiving gifts is the most impactful expression of love they’ll ever experience. That’s because gifts or presents are physical symbols of love that expresses the affection their partner has for them. Know that gifts have nothing to do with the cost of the object, but the thought that went behind procuring them makes all the difference. It could be as simple as flowers or a note saying how much you love them. The right gift can make your partner feel seen, appreciated and understood.

Acts of service

Sharing chores around the house or errands that can ease the burden of responsibilities are the characteristics of this love language. It could be something as simple as taking out the trash, paying the bills, doing the dishes, picking up your partner after work, cooking them a meal and so on. Meanwhile, broken commitments can be detrimental to the relationship as it makes your partner feel unloved and unappreciated. Even if your loved one prefers another love language, acts of service can still be beneficial for your relationship. According to research, “sharing household chores is very important to a successful marriage.” However, acts of service aren’t always easy to do, and one shouldn’t assume that their partner will do everything they ask simply because they want them to. So, be kind, patient and considerate while communicating your needs, and your relationship will thrive.

Physical touch

This love language refers to expressing affection through touch, physical closeness and other forms of a physical connection. Physical touch doesn’t necessarily have to lead to intimacy, though it certainly can when both partners are on the same page. Hugging, holding hands, putting your arm around them, are all ways of showing love through physical touch. If your physical presence is crucial to them, then it is your partner’s love language. So, give them a hug when you leave home, hold hands when you are walking in the park, cuddle up on the couch while watching movies. This will bring them closer to you.

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