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The Languages of Love

by Christa Rogers, Team Leader


“Deep human connection is…the purpose and the result of a meaningful life – and it will inspire the most amazing acts of love, generosity, and humanity.” - Melinda Gates


Humans instinctively have a need for connection with others. However, how the drive for connection manifests can appear as an array of different affections. In October of 1992, a marriage counselor by the name of Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a theory categorizing these affections, naming them “love languages”. Dr. Chapman then became author of New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages and continued to help others through keynote speaking at marriage seminars.

Dr. Chapman's 5 Love Languages theory describes how partners receive and express their love in meaningful, healthy manners rather than simply as temporary romance. He labeled these love languages words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, quality time, and acts of service. And while the love languages have been traditionally used to assist romantic partners, the theory has subsequently applied to any relationship in a people’s lives. The 5 love languages are as followed:


Words of Affirmation - The love language of those who need verbal affirmation. Verbal affirmations could be spoken words, written notes, text messages, or cards. Verbal affirmations should display encouraging, affirming, and appreciating language. They should not be harsh, criticizing, or put downs.


Physical Touch - The love language of those who need non-verbal, consensual physical affection such as close proximity, hugs, kisses, cuddling, and massages. Physical touch should not be abusive, threatening, punishing, nor neglectful.


Receiving Gifts - The love language of those who feel most loved when receiving heartfelt gifts, whether tangible, like tokens of appreciation, or intangible, such as making others priority, remembering special occasions, or giving time to others.


Quality Time - The love language of those who thrive from giving and/or receiving undivided attention. Those whose primary love language is quality time may enjoy being with others taking trips, going on walks, or running errands together. The simplicity of just being in the moment sitting and/or talking at home could also satisfy the connection.


Acts of Service - The love language of those whose actions speak louder than words. Acts of kindness and ongoing helpfulness, such as assisting with chores, obligations, or other tasks, are examples of this language. Practices to avoid would be not overcommitting to tasks to prevent failure, ignoring, or forgetting promises.

One way to evaluate your personal love languages is to take Dr. Chapman's "The Love Language Quiz" (https://5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/love-language/). The quiz asks several questions assessing your preferences with options “A or B”, to rank the five love language categories from highest to lowest based on your responses. It is suggested that after both partners complete the quiz, they openly exchange the results with each other and use them as a communication guide to promote a health love language within the relationship. Further, it is noteworthy that, although people tend to demonstrate one or two languages that they most respond to, people tend to demonstrate all five languages to some degree.


References

Discover your love language® - the 5 love languages®. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://5lovelanguages.com/

Giroux, J. (2020, April 21). How can self-knowledge improve your love life? the 5 love languages theory. Major Online Business and Marketing. Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://blog.hslu.ch/majorobm/2020/04/21/5-love-languages-jgiroux/

Love languages. Courage & Connection Counseling. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2023, from https://www.courageandconnection.com/blog/love-languages




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