Harry would do anything for Louise. Every morning she wakes up to a cup of tea in bed. She never has to take out the rubbish or worry about DIY chores. He adores her. Yet somehow she feels strangely unloved and disconnected. In his own way, Harry is saying ‘I love you’, but Louise doesn’t hear it. It is as if they are speaking a different language…
Dr Gary Chapman, the author of ‘the 5 love languages – how to express heartfelt commitment to your mate’, says this is very typical. In his studies of relationships, he found that a mismatch in communication style of feelings of love fell into five different categories:
Acts of Service – those who express their love by serving others, i.e. making a meal, mowing the lawn, going to the chemist, tidying the house/garage, taking children places etc.
Quality Time – this is time spent giving each other your focused attention, quality conversation or quality activities.
Gift Giving – The act of handing over a gift, or receiving one, is very symbolic. All gifts have emotional value for those who speak this language.
Physical Touch – Being in a close, loving, tactile relationship for some people is the way that they know that they are loved and show their love.
Words of Affirmation – Those with this preference frequently need to hear in words how much they are loved, otherwise they may not truly believe it. This could be by verbal or written compliments, encouraging words or praise.
So, how can we spot our partner’s love language?
Dr Gary Chapman offers these tips:
Consider that you may have one love language that is your way of receiving love, and that may be different from your way of showing love. The secret is to find out your combination and that of your partner, so that you can meet each other’s needs…