Welcome to February guys, the month of “love”. 😉
With Valentines Day just around the corner and how much attention this one day gets, made me question whether people actually even understood love or the different ways it is given expression.
This got me thinking of a book I had heard so much about by Gary Chapman, called “The Five Love Languages”. It essentially explains the different ways people can express and experience love.
The author categorises love languages for relationships into five:
- Gift giving
- Quality time
- Word of affirmation
- Acts of service (devotion)
- Physical touch
His theory explains that individuals have one primary and one secondary love language.
Whether this is an exhaustive list or not, it definitely helped me realise that for starters, I wasn’t weird lol.
I grew up watching people on TV express and experience the ideal “love” in primarily two ways, “words of affirmation” and “physical touch”. However, in contrast, I grew up in an environment where those two ways were not primarily emulated. Looking back on my journey thus far, I realised that I do not express love primarily through “words of affirmation” or “physical touch” – if I had to be specific, I probably express love more through “quality time” and “acts of service” (which the test results equally confirmed). It is also interesting to note that I don’t necessarily experience love the same way I express it. Do you?
How to find your love language
- Take the author’s test to help shed light on what your love language(s) might be
- Be more observant in your relationships and be patient as these things take time and a lot of reflecting to uncover
- Ask those closest to you what they value most about your friendship or relationship
- Think about the different relationships in your life – family, friends, partner etc and think about what these individuals do that you attach immense value to and the things that you don’t
Why do we need to find our love language?
By finding our love language, we are better positioned to educate those around us on the different ways love can be expressed and experienced.
The earlier we do this, the earlier we contribute to how mindsets are formed on this topic. It also prevents us from relying heavily on the media to define it for us, especially for those of us without good role models on this to emulate.
By learning our love language, we become more aware of how it shapes our daily lives – in how we relate to people in different scenarios, as well as in how we do life in general.
We are able to appreciate that people are different and learn how to express love to those who experience it in a different manner to us, which would ultimately improve the quality of those relationships.
That said, think about how boring life would be if love could only be the way it was depicted in the media or on tv?