In modern times, with the rise of social media and other virtual communication tools, it can become a challenge to know how to maintain pre-existing valuable friendships and relationships, hence a method to meet the love needs of those around us is of paramount importance and the key to lasting relationships.
In the bestselling book, The Five Love Languages, the author; Dr. Gary Chapman writes on the importance of being able to express love to those dear to us in a way that they are able to recognise, receive and respond to. He states that each of us has a primary love language through which weexpress love to others and also understand love shown to us and goes further to give examples of these love languages and ways to decipher them.
The five love languages include;
- Touch: A person with this love language views physical contact with a loved one as the height of affection. They find the act of being touched or held in hugs, hands holding, cuddling and physical intimacy to be special, reassuring, and affectionate.
- Words of Affirmation: The person with this love language places much emphasis on praise and feels the use of verbally affirming statements to describe them as love. Statements like you are so kind, and praises on skills, achievements and talents are important to them.
- Quality Time: A person with quality time as a love language prioritizes focused attention and time spent with a loved one above all else when they want to express love and will be happy to spend a lot of their time with their loved ones.
- Receiving Gifts: The person with this love language derives great delight from gifts and receiving them. It doesn’t matter what they are being gifted with, fruits from the grocery store on the way home, cash gifts, or a new gadget, so far as it is clear to them that a loved one thought about them specially.
- Acts of Service: A person with this love language does a lot of kind deeds and gestures for their loved ones to express affection for them. Acts of service range from doing household chores like washing the dishes, to actions which require time and creativity like planning a special dinner.
Finding out either your love language or that of someone else is quite easy, and you can do this by asking yourself;
- What do I/they request most often?
- How do I/they express love to others?
- What do I/they complain that others don’t do for them?
In summary, a person can have two or three main love languages. The love languages are useful to find out how you don’t express affection and what you don’t need from others to feel loved. For instance, a person with a friend or partner who values quality time and touch will be meeting the love need of their friend/partner by spending time together, holding hands, physical touch, etc., and will make the other feel very loved with all these actions than giving gifts, especially if receiving gifts rates low on their friend/partner’s ‘love language scale’.