A few years ago, my sister gave me a book for Christmas called The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. I do not read a lot of books but read the back and thought it sounded very interesting. The synopsis on the book reads “Between busy schedules and long days, expressing love can fall by the wayside. We forget to compliment, to give gifts “just because,” to linger in our embrace. The things that say “I love you” seem to either not get said or not get through. This is a book about saying it—and hearing it—clearly. No gimmicks. No psychoanalyzing. Just learning to express love in your spouse’s language.”
The book teaches you how you can love your spouse, or any loved one in your life, the way they feel loved. People need to be loved in their primary love language vs. the way you need to be loved in yours, often times they are different. When trying to love your spouse, many will express their love in the way they know how, the way they feel loved, but often times the way one person feels loved and the way the other feels loved are completely different.
For over thirty-five years, Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of the book, was a pastor and provided marriage counseling. He met with many couples over the years and would write down notes from each of his sessions on notepads while helping them through their issues. After years of meeting with couples he discovered a common theme between them. Essentially he realized that when he met with these couples, the husband or wife, or both, were expressing a void that they felt within the relationship. They would express their frustration on various issues and how they did not feel loved. The couples would make statements about not having enough intimacy, not spending enough time together, feeling taken advantage of within the relationship, not feeling appreciated, or not feeling like a priority.
Dr. Chapman realized that each of these couples were expressing the same frustrations, maybe not in the same words, within their marriages and that they were all connected. He went back to his notes from sessions he had with couples throughout the years. Dr. Chapman realized in some way that they were all expressing the same frustrations. They were all speaking a different love language. This is why they were not feeling loved within their relationship, because their spouse was not loving them in the way they needed them to, their primary love language.
Dr. Chapman noticed that there were five main areas of which these individuals felt loved: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. A person can feel loved in many of these areas but usually always has a primary love language that fills their “love tank” (an expression used in the book) and makes them feel loved. You can take the free quiz on their website to see what your love language is and have your husband/wife, or even child, take the quiz too! Here is the link to their website: The 5 Love Languages. I am in no way affiliated with The 5 Love Languages, I just love the book and the value it has brought to my husband and I.
Right after my sister had given me the book, I read it right away. I love learning how to improve my communication and especially with my husband! We both took the quiz and calculated out our results. My husband’s primary love language is Physical Touch and mine is Quality Time, you also get to see where each love language falls in ranking for you. Some people can have two primary love languages or a strong secondary love language. For us, our primary love languages had a much larger score.
After taking the quiz we both realize how true they really are! We have been together now for over ten years and looking back at arguments through out the years they matched up perfectly. In our earlier years of dating, I would often make the statement that we were not spending enough time together. My husband did not understand, he thought that sitting in the same room while we were both on our laptops was quality time. For someone whose primary love language is Quality Time, that is not the case. For my “love tank” to be full, I need one-on-one quality time, such as playing cards while talking or trying a new experience together. For my husband, he would state that we were not intimate enough, for someone with Physical Touch as their primary love language, that could be, of course, sex but also laying on the couch together cuddling or holding hands.
The 5 Love Languages can also be done with your kids, use the same link above for this, or your family. Each person has their own primary love language so knowing what they are for those closest to you can be very beneficial. Visit their website to see all of the different resources they have to offer and a more detailed description for each of the love languages.
Have you taken the test? What is your love language? Do you have any examples of what fills your love tank? I would love to hear them!
xoxo – Katie
“Love is a choice you make everyday.” – Gary Chapman