Sat | Mar 24, 2018

What love language do you speak?

Published:Monday | February 22, 2016 | 12:02 AM

What if you were told there is a full proof way that tells you what to say or do to make that special someone feel loved? According to Dr Gary Chapman after many years of counselling, he noticed a pattern: everyone he had ever counselled 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.

Local relationship expert Dr Sidney McGill when asked about the use of love language in a relationship shared: “All of the five love languages are actions that sustain a loving relationship.” But note: “It should be obvious then that hot sex doesn’t lead to secure love. Instead, secure attachment, which practises the five love languages leads to hot sex and also to love that lasts.”

The secret, Dr Chapman claims, to a successful relationship is learning the right love language. Dr Chapman then penned his finding in a 1995 published book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate that sold millions and later became a New York Times bestseller.  Read on to find the various ways to express your love.

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. For those whose love language is spoken with 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.

McGill also mentioned that the key to sustaining a loving relationship is “ when each person is willing and able to be there for the other during challenging times such as the birth of a child, illnesses, accidents, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations - important moments in the life of the partner. The five love languages are complementary to consciously providing a secure base for your partner - a sense that I can depend on you when I need you.”

Now that you have read them all, what’s your love language?