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5 Love Languages

Amazingly, 5 love languages are all that it takes to make the world go round. What are those five languages of love, and how fluent are you?

Gary Chapman has written many personal development books about love... a couple explaining the Five Love Languages which delves into the 5 primary modes which people appreciate receiving and expressing love. (More recently Gary wrote Love as a Way of Life -- find out how you can get it for $7.49 on audio)

Each person favors one of the five modes as their main language for receiving love from others. That's also often the main mode they use to express love.

Chapman explains that in building successful relationships and experiencing fulfillment through the stages of love, it's important to be able to communicate love through each and every one of the five modes.

The Languages of Love

  1. Words of affirmation - These are words affirming your love.

    They might take the form of appreciation, affection and encouragement, and are often given by way of compliments. People that have words of affirmation as their primary language of love will never tire of hearing kind and caring words from you.

    • You can praise specific tasks or achievements of a person
    • Simply praise their effort if you can't praise results
    • Tell them how much you value them or adore them

    The opposite to 'words of affirmation' would be 'words of condemnation'. Receiving such harsh words would have the affect of emptying the love tank for people with this as their primary language of love.

  2. Quality time - Spending quality time with someone is done by giving them your undivided attention.

    Here are key points to practice to help ensure you are satisfying the needs of people that prefer to receive this one of the 5 love languages:

    • Have good eye contact when communicating with them
    • Give them your undivided attention.. no multi tasking :)
    • Let them know you are listening and understanding by echoing back to them the words they've spoken

  3. Receiving gifts - Visible, tangible gifts mean a lot to these people. They don't have to be expensive, they can be simple gifts.

    But it's often best if they are in line with the financial position of the one doing the giving. Most of all, the gifts need to be expressive of your emotional love. Thoughtful gifts can come in all shapes and sizes.

    • A box full of kisses, specially wrapped and presented with care
    • Flowers and chocolates
    • A gift voucher to their favorite place of rest and relaxation

  4. Acts of service - Performing acts of service often require some thought, planning, time, and effort.

    So if you have one of these people in the family it will help to be organized! When they see your effort, they know they are loved. There are many possibilities for loving acts of service and often, what the person finds most meaningful is a very individual thing. The better you know this person, the more likely you are to identify what they would most like you to do for them. Some examples might be:

    • Making the kids lunches so this person doesn't have to
    • Cleaning the floor for them
    • Cooking a meal for them
    • Running errands for them (ex. shopping / library / video rental)

  5. Physical touch - It's no surprise that physical touch is one of the 5 love languages.

    Everyone likes to receive some loving touch from those they love, at least some of the time. But the people who have this as their primary love language are much more 'physical' than others.

    The type of touch that helps ensure these people feel loved can be quite varied, depending on their age and relationship with you, as well as their individual preferences.

    • Holding hands
    • Hugging and embracing
    • Having their hair tousled
    • A pat on the back or a hand on the shoulder
    • Rough and tumble play

Dialects Within the 5 Love Languages

Within each of the 5 main languages of love, there are many possible expressions. It's common for individuals to have personal preferences for a specific dialect within their main language.

For example, as mentioned above, people who appreciate 'acts of service' will likely have one specific act of service that means the most to them. I have a friend that loves to come home at the end of a long day and find that her husband has cleaned the floor if it was needed.

To her, this would 'fill her love tank' much more than if he had washed the car, even though he may have had the same loving intention when he did it.

Growing children are another excellent example of people having a specific dialect at a specific time in their life. If a young child's main language of love is physical, he/she was probably very happy to have lot's of hugs and kisses and cuddles from Mom and Dad early on.

Once they enter puberty, their dialect changes, and they don't want or need the same full on physical contact from their parents.

They still need physical affirmation, but now it might be best expressed through actions such as having a supporting arm put around your daughter, or helping her in sport by guiding her to correct body movements.

With your son it might be an encouraging slap fondly on his back, or playing a bit of rough and tumble sport.

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