The 5 LOVE LANGUAGES
I have heard of this book many years ago and was intrigued by the overwhelming good reviews it gained.
One time I had an interesting conversation with a friend about the different ways of expressing our love for our family. It then reminded me of this book. 5 days later I decided to finally get my own copy. And since then I have been totally hooked on this one.
In my desire to establish and sustain wonderful relationships, I realized that I have to learn how to communicate effectively and lovingly to people close to my heart. And the best way to do this is to understand my primary love language and to learn to speak in the love language of the other person. Consequently as I do this, I am "investing in [my] relationship and filling the other person's emotional love tank."
Our primary language of love is through which we feel being loved the most. More often, we communicate in our primary love language forgetting that different people speak in different love languages.
Gary Chapman, the beautiful mind behind this epic book, acknowledges the most basic human need, that is, the need to feel loved. And I quote what he rightly said, "All of us blossom when we feel loved and wither when we do not feel loved." This book highlights the importance of knowing how to communicate love as love stimulates love.
I like how the author started by saying, "It is our hope that this book will encourage singles to pursue Love above all else, knowing that to pursue Love is to pursue God."
According to the book, there are 5 Primary Love Languages for ALL types of relationships. And there are a number of dialects for each of them. These are the things I learned and noted:
1. Word of Affirmation - Words are powerful. They can haunt you for life. It can either bring the person up or down. Yet when put to good use, they can powerfully convey love to the other person through: Encouragement, Praise and Kind Words. A simple "Thank You" could mean a lot to someone. Saying "I love you" to your parents may sound like a song to their ears. Personally, I also need to hear affirmation every now and then.
2. Gifts - As the book defines, it is a tangible object that says, "I was thinking about you, I wanted you to have this. I love you." Take as an example, a couple giving gifts to each other on special occasions. The gifts given are the results of their desire and effort to communicate their love to each other. (Perhaps this explains the expensive engagement rings?) I personally have a strong inclination to this.
3. Acts of Service - "True Love often finds its expression in acts of service. It is service freely given, not out of fear, but out of choice. It comes out of the personal discovery that it is more blessed to give than to receive." On a personal note, I see this through my mom. She once said that she loves cooking for us and feels happy doing so. I guess her language is labor of love.
4. Quality Time - People whose primary language is Quality Time desire togetherness, which does not necessarily mean close physical proximity but more on the focused attention given to them. It's like saying to them "I love you and I choose to be with you here, right now." Perhaps, you can ask your little brother how he feels whenever you spend time playing basketball with him. This has become my primary language of love now.
5. Physical Touch - Now be careful not to associate this immediately and solely to human sexuality. More than that, this highlights the importance of the warmth of a mother's touch on a newborn baby, the consoling hug of a friend, the much needed pat on the back or the sweet kisses from your loved ones. Some others would need to feel the emotional intimacy or connection first, at the very least, before they can appreciate receiving love through this language as in my case. There are a number of ways to connect physically, it just needs a careful thought on whether the other person is comfortable communicating in this language.
In summary, I believe that the most essential responsibility one has in any relationship is to learn the Art of Loving. And this entails mastering not only your primary love language but also learning to speak in the language you may have never spoken.
I highly recommend this book not only to Singles but to everyone. This is like taking any of your relationship to a deeper level. It is like doing yourself a favor, really.
"Nothing has more potential for enhancing one's sense of well-being than effectively loving and being loved. This book is designed to help you do both of these things effectively." - GARY CHAPMAN
And as a "thank you" for taking time to read this post, I am giving away the extra copy I bought. You just have to tell me about your primary love language and how best you communicate your love to other people. Post it in the comments section below. Allow me to read through and pick the best answer.
Keep spreading the Love! :)
This post is part of the A to Z April Challenge
a blog hop that goes through the alphabet
for all the days of April except Sundays.
Today's feature is L for LOVE LANGUAGES.