Just how do you love that special someone in your life? It’s not an easy one to answer is it? It seems most relationships are so difficult to get right on an ongoing basis, and why? It’s because we don’t always know the right ‘language’ to speak our love in — and our best love isn’t always received the way we intended it either.
The Love Languages are fivefold. The basic theory is we never ascribe to only one language — we’re ‘multilingual,’ so to speak, and so is our partner. But, we do have preferences and it’s as much an exercise in getting to know ourselves and our partner as it is to start practicing the techniques of the Love Languages.
What “languages” do you speak fluently? Here they are:
1. Words of Affirmation
If you or your partner like to be commended and praised, and get a buzz out of motivating and encouraging others or each other, words of affirmation is a language you speak. You or your partner are probably quite susceptible to criticism though.
2. Quality Time
If you or your partner are ‘people’ people and enjoy spending time around others and feeling connected, then you’re quality timers. You like to be involved in things, and being part of the team. You or your partner are inclined to become lonely without quality time with special people. You’d invest all your energy, and lots of time, in your relationships.
3. Receiving Gifts
You might even feel guilty personally, or think your partner selfish for speaking this love language proficiently. The truth is that wanting to receive (or give) gifts is as valid a language as the others. Presents and “freebies” are you or your partner’s thing. Don’t forget to give the gift of yourself though. You probably enjoy your birthday more than some other people who don’t value gifts as much.
4. Acts of Service i.e. helping
Some get a huge kick out of helping or being helped. If you or your partner are into “helps” then actions will speak far louder than words. You’ll also feel a sense of achievement and significance when you’ve completed work. Punctuality and diligence are important to you or your partner if this language is a preference.
5. Physical Touch
Like a hug? Those who speak the physical touch love language well can’t survive without them. They enjoy close personal space. If this is you or your partner, you don’t mind a bit of fun rough-housing, and the giving and receiving of massage is a favorite. You’d also especially appreciate eye contact in conversation, and smiles from those who greet you. Hugs, pats, and playful nudges are your lot.
Everyone speaks several languages, though in different combinations and in varying strengths. If you want some real fire and passion and intimacy in your relationship you’d do far worse than learn and apply the love languages of your partner — customizing your love to suit their needs. It doesn’t get more special than that!
Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BS) and a qualified Christian minister (MDiv). His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve’s key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us.