What Love Language are You Speaking to Your Loved Ones?
When I’m doing couple’s counseling, I am always struck by how so many conflicts are due to misunderstandings! They way one partner expresses their needs and the way the other partner interprets those words can be worlds apart. Often, they both want the same things, but their conversation sounds opposing. My job is to interpret what each is saying, and then translate it so that the other partner can understand what their partner feels. They are speaking in different love languages. It’s as though one partner speaks Chinese and the other Farsi. While one may thinks of himself as being loving, the other partner is interpreting the message to be uncaring or feeling unloved. You can imagine the conflicts, the malicious intents one can wrongly assume and the hurt feelings.
Gary Chapman is the author of “The Five Love Languages,” which is the five ways people speak and understand love. He believes the most important thing is to speak the love language of your spouse. Once one can identify the love language of their partner, then it can be expressed in his or her primary love language. This is a tool to handle the differences and misunderstandings that will occur in marriage. The Five love languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Love notes, praise, compliments, i.e. “I feel loved when my wife tells me she’s proud of me and appreciates me being a provider
- Quality time
- Spending time together, quality conversations, shared interests together
- Receiving gifts
- Thoughtful gifts that show consideration and little surprises
- Acts of Service
- “He washed my car for me” and “She baked my favorite apple pie
- ”Physical Touch
- Scratching his back, sitting close to her while she reads, holding hands
Can you tell which is your love language and the language of your partner? Taking the quiz in the back of the book can help you determine this. Once you know the right languages, both of you can begin to feel more loved and satisfied in the relationship. Are you ready to be bilingual? It really is a simple adjustment and a better way to prevent misunderstandings before they can occur.