The other day I had a conversation with my sister-in-law about this book:
Have you heard of it? This is the gist:
After many years of counseling, Dr. Chapman noticed a pattern: everyone he had ever counseled had a “love language,” a primary way of expressing and interpreting love. He also discovered that, for whatever reason, people are usually drawn to those who speak a different love language than their own.
Of the countless ways we can show love to one another, five key categories, or five love languages, proved to be universal and comprehensive—everyone has a love language, and we all identify primarily with one of the five love languages:
1. Words of Affirmation (I love you, great work, you look beautiful, etc.)
2. Quality Time (putting down the fork, turning away from the t.v., undivided attention)
3. Receiving Gifts (The time and thoughtfulness behind a birthday present or anniversary)
4. Acts of Service (Vacuuming! Doing the dishes, getting up with the baby)
5. Physical Touch (Hugs, kisses, holding hands)
I read this book a long time ago, but think about it often. All of the love languages are important to me, but “words of affirmation” seem to be what I need most from my spouse. Every once in awhile I have to remind him of this too, so he doesn’t forget 🙂 My friend says her husband’s love language is “physical touch.” It used to be very hurtful when she would express her love with a gift and he wouldn’t appreciate it.
From his point of view, she was just spending money. To her, she was giving him love and he wasn’t appreciating it. When she thought about how he was viewing her “love” it helped her understand his point of view. And when he realized this was her way of showing love, he could appreciate the gift more. However, he’d rather receive a hug and a kiss when he walked through the door than, say, a shirt.
My sister-in-law says this book has really helped her understand her children. I hadn’t thought about this regarding my children. It makes sense though. One of my children frequently asks for daddy-daughter and mother-daughter dates. She needs quality time. Another child needs physical touch – hugs, kisses, and pats on the arm. One of my children loves physical gifts – tiny little treasures to put in her special box.
It’s good to know what what our spouses and children need to feel loved. It’s extremely helpful to figure this out early on in a relationship, rather than spending 20 years feeling hurt and wondering if they’ll ever “get it.”