Last week in my speech class, I watched a friend give a speech on “The Five Love Languages”
At first, I wasn’t very sure exactly what she was going to talk about, my mind immediately went to the romantic languages, but she was actually talking about something different. Her speech completely inspired me to want to learn more about this idea, the author, and his books.
Author and Marriage Counselor Gary Chapman wrote a book called The Five Love Languages and after years of counseling his basic stance is that everyone he had ever counseled had a particular love language that was the key to making them happy. He also discovered that people tend to gravitate towards people who have a different love language than their own.
The Five Languages are:
Words of Affirmation– “Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.”
Quality Time– “In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.”
Receiving Gifts– “Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.”
Acts of Service– “Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.”
Physical Touch– “This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.”
One of the most important things I learned while researching this was that a person can be more than one love language, and its actually more common to be two of them.
The website, http://www.5lovelanguages.com, has a test that you can take to figure out which one is you incase you’re not sure. The only downfall of it, is that it only gives you one result.
I decided to take the quiz for myself, then have Jason take it.
The quiz is about thirty multiple choice questions and each choice marks a point towards one of the languages.
At the the end, I had two high ones. 10 out of thirty for “Quality Time” and 9 out of the same 30 for “Words of Affirmation”
Jason’s results were interesting to me. 9 out of thirty for “Quality Time” and 9 our of the same 30 for “Physical Touch.”
I found the results to be very interesting, and one of the main points of the site is that you should first understand your own love language, then understand your partners for a better harmonized relationship.
I didn’t have to take the test to know that Quality time would be my top one, but I was a little surprised my “Words of Affirmation” I absolutely prefer to cuddle on the couch and watch a movie, or go on a long car ride, or just lay in bed and pillow talk with Jason. The little quality time we have together is incredibly sacred to me. But Words of Affirmation surprised me a little bit. Growing up, I was constantly praised my my immediate and extended family for different things in school and whatnot, so I guess I didn’t think that it would be a vital point in my relationship, but after taking the test I realized that it really is. I NEED to be told that I’m doing ok, or that I’m accepted the way I am in order to feel comfortable, and I think that no matter how much I hear it, I may not ever really accept/believe it. But I know I get worried if Jason doesn’t tell me I look nice, or he loves me, or thank you for whatever.
I was completely floored that Quality Time was Jason’s top! I REALLY thought it would be words of affirmation. I was amazed that words were next to last! But I think Jason’s Idea of quality time is much different from me. (Actually, I’m going to ask him real quick….) Well, he said exactly what I consider quality time, so maybe the difference is that he just doesn’t need it as much as I do. So maybe my two languages go hand-in-hand and that’s what makes the difference. But, Jason is divided evenly, so maybe Physical touch is a little more important to him. I KNEW this one would be on top. Jason constantly craves physical connection, whether it be holding his hand, a hug, or just my rubbing the back of his neck while he drives. He needs that connection. And I really think it has a lot to do with the type of family he was raised in. NOT that his family was ever mean to him or anything, but when he was young and his brother and sister were born (they’re twins) a lot of the family attention shifted to chelsea because she has CP. So, there was stress growing up, adjustments to be made, and a lot of his early years into teen years were spent with less attention than the other children received. Come to think of it, I dont know that I’ve ever seen Jason hug either of his parents…So I think Jason may crave that physical touch more because he didn’t get it as much growing up. (Which is exactly opposite to my “words of affirmation”)
Its interesting because in the beginning of our relationship, before I got to know his family, the physical touch thing was a huge problem for us. I REALLY wasn’t a touchy feeling person because of what happened to me, so it really bothered me when he was constantly hugging me or whatever. Our first fight was over it actually, and that was before he knew about what happened. After he learned of it, he really took a step back, and over the first year or so, I gained trust that he wasn’t going to hurt me, and he learned how to read my emotions, and it changed a lot. Now, I’m so used to him being close all the time that it feels weird for him not to be there.
Anyways, this who idea of love languages makes a lot of sense to me, and I’ve rather enjoyed learning about them. I think it would be interesting to learn even more about them.
Gary Chapman has written two books that I REALLY want. “The Five Love Languages” (obviously) and “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married”
Eventually, I’d like to buy both of these and learn more about this theory and about Gary Chapmans views.
Go to this site, and learn your own love language!