The Garden: Do you know your Love language?

Since I was addressing the topic of infidelity last week, I thought It would be great to follow up with an article that could help reduce chances of infidelity or perhaps insecurity or lack of satisfaction in a relationship. One of the ways we could ensure maximum fulfilment in a relationship is to have the language of love spoken to us in a manner which we appreciate and understand. However, do you even know your Love language? If not then this article would serve your interest.

It was only until a few years ago I learnt about love languages when I was strolling through a book shop in Menlyn, Pretoria, South Africa.

I stumbled upon an interesting book by Gary Chapman: “The Five Love Languages” and I bought it on impulse together with the other books I had planned to purchase. Upon reading the book, I came across some intriguing revelations on what Gary refers to as love languages and with the help of the test included, I was able to distinguish my primary love language out of the five.

A little on the book: Gary Chapman first penned the bestselling The Five Love Languages more than 10 years ago. The core message has hit home with over 5 million people as it focuses on the need to “feel” loved. This need is felt by married and singles alike. Dr. Chapman now tackles the unique circumstances that singles face, and integrates how the same five love languages apply in their relationship. The book outlines five ways to express and experience love that Chapman calls “love languages”. These love languages are gift giving; quality time; words of affirmation; acts of service (devotion), and physical touch. Examples are given from his counselling practice, as well as questions to help determine one’s own love languages.

Chapman’s book claims that the list of five love languages is exhaustive. According to this theory, each person has one primary and one secondary love language. Chapman suggests that to discover another person’s love language, one must observe the way they express love to others, and analyse what they complain about most often and what they request from their significant other most often.

He theorizes that people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive love, and better communication between couples can be accomplished when one can demonstrate caring to the other person in the love language the recipient understands. An example would be if a husband’s love language is acts of service, he may be confused when he does the laundry for his wife and she doesn’t perceive that as an act of love, viewing it as simply performing household duties, because the love language she comprehends is words of affirmation (verbal affirmation that he loves her). She may try to use what she values, words of affirmation, to express her love to him, which he would not value as much as she does. If she understands his love language and mows the lawn for him, he perceives it in his love language as an act of expressing her love for him; likewise, if he tells her he loves her, she values that as an act of love.

The book has been on the New York Times Best Seller list since August 2009. A new, revised edition of The Five Love Languages was released on January 1, 2015.

Let’s go through the five love languages

Gift of giving – this is more like being generous enough to buy or make gifts. This speaks to a lot of women in particular who always enjoy receiving gifts or presents no matter how small or big. It is not necessarily the price that counts but the thought of someone actually going through the trouble of packaging something just to put a smile on your face. This can make someone feel rather special.

Quality Time – This is when a loved person receives one’s undivided attention, in such a way as to strengthen the relationship. The key word hear would be undivided attention.

Words of affirmation – These are encouraging words that fill up the love tank making your partner feel appreciated and their efforts recognized. They can range from “thank you for taking care of me” to “I love how you love me” etc.

Acts of service – This is a devotion others like to be served and being offered help for example a man in the house will appreciate a cooked meal from his wife, a clean ironed shirt etc.. Either of the partners could appreciate help with school or work assignment etc.…

Physical Touch – this is obviously touching and mind you touching is not just about sex. There are other ways of touching that could communicate affection and love.

By now you should have a fair idea of what your primary love language is right? Well, with me I have a few love languages in fact I enjoy all five of them most importantly the gifts; touch and quality time but the one which speaks to me the most is quality time. If you say you love me but never make time for me as in quality time, I struggle to believe that you love me. For me quality time speaks the most and really makes me feel loved and the rest follows. It is okay to have more than one love language this simply means you’re bilingual or multi lingual, however, there will be one out of the many that speaks to you the most and that is your primary love language.

Go ahead and figure it out, believe you me it goes a long way and it makes a difference in relationships, especially in a world where everyone seems to have his/her definition of what love is. Understanding each other’s love languages narrows it down to helping you two understand each other better and purposefully love each other by making an effort to speak each other’s primary love languages to each other. Happy love life.

By Lerato Charlotte Letsoso/GhOne TV | Email: leratokayise@gmail.com

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