Learning to Love Better with The 5 Love Languages

I set a goal to read 20 books in 2020. The first book I read back in January, was The 5 Love Languages by Gary Champman. Love languages are applicable in all relationships - couples, family and friends. It's how we express that we care and how we show others that we care. I was having dinner with some friends when the book came up. We started talking about love languages and I remembered that I bought the book years ago. I pulled it out the next day and finished in two days. It's a short, easy read and even has a fun quiz.

The author Gary Chapman is a marriage counsellor and pastor. He talks about his marriage, the marriages of his clients, falling in love and keeping the "love tank" full. He shares helpful stories and relates them to the five love languages. The purpose is to find your spouse's love language and use it in a genuine way to fill their love tank and keep it full.

Five Love Languages

  1. Words of Affirmation

  2. Quality Time

  3. Receiving Gifts

  4. Acts of Service

  5. Physical Touch

Gary believes we all have a primary love language, followed by a close second. Often times, our primary love language is not the same as our spouse's primary love language and that could be one reason for feeling unloved or getting into arguments. You might think you are doing something nice for your spouse because you would appreciate if they did that for you, but might find they don't appreciate it because it is not how they would profess their love.

When I did the love languages quiz my primary love language was quality time. Even before doing the quiz I knew this would be my love language. I've valued time with people more than anything else for a long time. I don't give time freely and also value the time of others. I think this is because I can very easily fill my time with things I enjoy doing and I'm very rarely bored. I'm also a bit of an introvert and being in large group settings takes a lot of out of me. My secondary love language is physical touch, which really surprised me as I'm not much of a hugger.

A key thing to note about the love languages is that one isn't better or worse than another. We are all different and due to our upbringing, lifestyle and events that we have experienced, we have different ways we give and receive love. For example, if your love language is receiving gifts, that doesn't mean you are a "gold digger" or material person, it just means you appreciate the time and effort someone put into thinking about getting you a gift and that helps you see that that person loves you.

The 5 love languages quiz is really helpful in determining your love language. The quiz is available for couples, singles, kids and teens. Although the main purpose was originally for relationships, there is a lot of value in understanding the love languages of others in your family as well as your close friends.

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