By Rhonda Huff, M.Ed, BS Fitness/Wellness, IIN, AADP Holistic Health Coach
Everyone can agree that communication in a relationship is essential to its survival. But what if you are speaking two completely different languages? You may speak fluent “love” in your own language and yet it can be completely foreign to your partner.
When Gary Chapman, the director of Marriage & Family Life Consultants in Winston-Salem, N.C., read through more than 10 years of notes, he realized that what couples really wanted from each other fell into five distinct categories:
1) Words of affirmation: compliments or words of encouragement
2) Quality time: the undivided attention of their partner – undivided is the key word
3) Receiving gifts: symbols of love, like flowers, chocolates, or handwritten notes – the gift doesn’t always need a monetary value
4) Acts of service: setting the table, walking the dog, helping with chores or doing other small jobs – without having to ask is most desired
5) Physical touch: having sex, holding hands, kissing, or just sitting close to each other
You need all of these in varying amounts but the ones that fall the lowest on your love scale may indicate a much smaller emotional impact on you. It is also possible to have two that appear to compete for the highest rank on your love scale, although one will usually prevail as the most important.
The problem is that often times opposites attract. If you feel loved when someone speaks words of encouragement to you then you will naturally speak words of encouragement to show love to others, including your partner. But if your partner’s love language happens to be acts of service, then your words will be completely meaningless without an action to back them up.
Speaking each other’s love language is a super easy way to keep love alive! And to figure out your partner’s love language is as simple as asking them.
Here is a fun way to discuss this:
Make 10 hearts, using 5 different colors of paper.On each heart, write one Love Language and the definition above. On the back write, “I feel loved when…”
Each person gets a set of the 5 hearts and ranks them by placing the number of importance on the card – with 1 being the most important and 5 being the least important. Trade cards and as you discuss fun, practical, and even sexy ways to speak your partner’s love language, write them on the back of the hearts so you can keep them for future reference. If you aren’t sure what your love language is, 5lovelanguages.com provides a 30-question test that can help you figure it out. •
Blessings for a love-filled Valentines Day,