Published in: 1992
According to Chapman, there are five different “love languages”; (1) Words of affirmation, (2) Quality time, (3) Receiving gifts, (4) Acts of service and (5) Physical touch. Not knowing a close one’s language, can cause situations similar to if one person speaks Chinese and another English. Like all human theory, however, it is not quite that simple – there are a variety of dialects and combinations. One way to identify your partner’s love language – in addition to asking – is to pay attention to what it is complained about. If you speak different languages, you may still have a good relationship if you actively speak each other’s.
“We can receive love through all five, but if we don’t receive our primary love language, we will not feel loved even though the person is speaking the other four. However, if they speak our primary love language sufficiently, then the other four provide icing on the cake”
THE LOVE TANK. According to Chapman, people – much like a car have a fuel tank – have a love tank that feels best when it is full. If we do not regularly re-fill, a feeling of emptiness arises. Chapman discusses how children who do not receive closeness, love and appreciation often grow up and become confused and unhappy as adults.
“Psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, anthropologists and educators have suggested in countless studies and numerous research papers that love is a “learned response, a learned emotion”.. most of us continue to behave as though love is not learned but lies dormant in each human being and simply awaits some mystical age of awareness to emerge in full bloom. We seem to refuse to face the obvious fact that most of us spend our lives trying to find love, trying to live in it and dying without ever truly discovering it”
THE TWO-YEAR RULE. Studies have shown that the period when a couple is newly in love rarely lasts longer than two years. During this period, one cannot see shortcomings, and have irrational thoughts that nothing else in life matters. The tank is well stocked without effort. The next step may be passionate, but it must be fed and nurtured. If you do not speak each other’s love language, the relationship does not reach its full potential. You must be aware that you have slipped into a new phase and adjust accordingly.
“The choice to live is the choice to take initiative. It is the choice to do or say something for the other person’s benefit, something that would help make them a better person, something that would enrich their lives or make life more meaningful for them. We can’t make other people to change, but we can influence people to make changes”
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION. This language is for those who need hear praise and confirmation. Lack of verbal affirmation is interpreted as lack of love. To these you can call and say something encouraging and that you appreciate everything they have done over the years – the answer does not matter much.
GIFTS. Anthropologists have not found a culture where gifts (without reservation) are not a sign of love. If there is an ulterior motive, it is not a gift but a deal. It should be a genuine expression of love. Listen to what they are interested in and come up with great gifts to give.
ACTS OF SERVICE. Someone who appreciate classic services such as helping at home or something similar. If someone says “no, I’d rather do it myself” it is not a rejection. This means that you do not want to speak that language at the moment.
QUALITY TIME. Quality time with each other is not the same as just being in the same room. “We do not serve each other by avoiding one another’s weaknesses. Often, we help them simply by listening as they share their struggles. Empathetic listening is an awesome medication for the hurting heart”.
PHYSICAL TOUCH. If a person’s primary love language is physical closeness, then closeness will speak louder than words. A hug or a pat on the shoulder can mean more than words.
PARENTAL RELATIONSHIP. Improving the relationship with parents can have a positive effect on a person’s emotional well-being. Chapman writes: “When there is mutual love and honor between parents and adult children, both experience a positive state of emotional health, which in turn positively affects their physical health, which results in longer, more fulfilling lives. Love breaks down barriers, leaps over walls and seeks the well-being of another”.