By Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CPC
What if there was a way for you to know how to have better relationships? A way to better understand yourself and a way to better understand your partner? Wouldn’t that be great? Well guess what? There is!
It is the New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. This classic book is a favorite of pre-marital counselors and marriage counselors because the information it contains is helpful to any relationship. In fact it has been translated to more than 40 languages and has helped people around the world.
The premise of the book is that although there are many ways we can show our love to others, there are five “love languages” that are universal. Dr. Chapman states that we all have a love language and we can all relate primarily to one of these five love languages:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch
The book describes the different love languages in detail to help you understand both your primary love languages, as well as your partners. There is even an assessment in the book that will determine your primary and secondary love languages.
Why is this important? As a counselor I often work with couples who do not really understand their partners. They spend a lot of energy trying to show love to their partner, but it is usually in their own love language, not their partners. This ends up being wasted time and energy that only leads to frustration for both parties.
As an example, I once worked with a couple who just weren’t connecting. The husband was confused and frustrated. He came home from work every day and did a lot of housework thinking he was showing his love to his wife. He thought this way because his “love language” was acts of service. However, his wife’s love language was quality time. She just wanted his time and attention; she didn’t care about him mopping the floor, so she felt unloved and she let him know it!
They were not connecting because they were not speaking the right language to each other. Once they learned about their love languages, they were able to express their love to each other in ways that really led to deeper and more fulfilling connection.
How about you? Do you know your love language? And more importantly, do you know your partner’s love language? If not, I highly recommend you read The 5 Love Languages. A little education and a little effort can go a long way towards improving your relationship and transforming your life!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you have any questions or comments, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.