Understand the Love Languages and Improve Relationships!

One of my this month’s read was The Five Love Languages by Dr Gary Chapman. This book has sold over 10 million copies in English and has also been translated into 49 other languages.  Dr Chapman’s expertise in marriage begins with the success and failures he and his wife Karolyn have experienced in their marriage for more than 45 years. He serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.

What are the Love Languages?

The book talks about 5 ways to express and experience love. These are called the “love languages”.  Given below are the 5 love languages (not in any particular order).

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

No language is better than the other. But these are unique to each person. One of the most common whining about “My spouse doesn’t love me” is not usually because they don’t love you, but most probably because you speak different love languages.

Want to find your or your partner’s love language? Go here

Do’s and Don’ts for each Love Language

Here are some quick tips to gain some brownie pointsImaginary points earned by someone for doing a good deed, and lost by doing something unfavourable—stem from the Brownies, a tier of 7-10-year-old Girl Scouts or Girl Guides. from your partner (and even friends). 😉

#1 Words of Affirmation

If you or your partner has this love language, then verbal communication is the key aspect between you.

  • Compliment regularly
  • Listen actively
  • Encourage and affirm
  • Empathize
  • Send notes, texts and cards
  • Non-constructive criticism
  • Harsh words
  • Not recognising or appreciating efforts
  • Not attentive when speaking

#2 Quality Time

If this is the love language of you or your partner then spending time together with each other is the priority. Undivided attention is key here in this day and age of Internet and Mobile Phones.

  • Uninterrupted conversations (even phone calls)
  • Do things together
  • Take walks
  • Trips and weekend getaways for some one-on-one time
  • Distractions
  • Too much time with friends or in groups
  • Long stints without one-on-one time

#3 Gifts

This love language is not about materialism, but the thoughtfulness that goes into giving and receiving gifts.

  • Thoughtful gifts and gestures
  • Gratitude when receiving gifts
  • Remember special occasions
  • Forget special occasions
  • Unthoughtful or materialistic gifts
  • Unenthusiastic about received gifts

#4 Acts of Service

With this love language, actions do speak louder than words, because easing responsibilities of your partner show you care.

  • Partner up for household chores
  • Make a breakfast in bed
  • Give a “day off” from all work
  • Making demands
  • Ignoring partner’s requests but helping others
  • Not following through on tasks or chores

#5 Physical Touch

Hugs, pats and kisses – enough said! 🙂

  • Use body language to communicate
  • Hug, Kiss, Hold Hands
  • Intimacy must be priority
  • Physical neglect or abuse
  • Receiving physical affection coldly
  • Long stints without intimacy

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