The Languages of Love

I had always been fascinated by Dr. Gary Chapman’s book on the language of love but never really got around to buying or reading it. Maybe because his theory is so practical and readily observable in our daily interaction with the people who matter to us. He suggests that there are five ways by which we communicate, or we measure how love is expressed. The first, and probably the most common, is words of affirmation. Here, open verbal communication is vital to people who prefer this language because they perceive love through words of gratitude, encouragement and support as well as sincere compliments. For this language, actions can never speak louder than words.

The second is quality time. Physical presence is not enough to indicate quality time, nor the activity nor ambiance. Most of the time, I hear people part ways because one or both, drifted from the other. People can be too preoccupied with so many things BUT spending time with the people that matter to them.Spending time together means more than just being there for each other. When you are together, you need to focus your time and energy on each other to fully enjoy the experience. Do the things you enjoy without taking any disruption from school or work.  Quality time need not be as long as a weekend to enjoy. Even the little moments where you can truly feel each other’s presence is enough.

The third, and most convenient is receiving gifts. They do not need to be expensive nor effortful (i know there is no such word) but again, sincerity counts on the part of the giver. Most people respond favorably to visual or physical expressions of love. However, this can be difficult for people who are too prudent in their spending and some people slighted no matter how good the intentions are, because they view it as bribery. This is why it is necessary to establish the sincerity of the giver

Acts of service takes the fourth spot. This is usually done in romantic relationships, particularly in the courtship stage, where the man tries to prove to his beloved his intentions by offering his services at all times — offering to bring her home, picking her up from work or school, or even running errands with or for her. This is also a common expression for little kids who show their affection to their parents by promising to be obedient and do all the errands asked of them for a day, especially on special occasions (or when they need something in return. lol.).

Last is physical touch. A hug is very comforting, no matter what the situation is. A gentle pat on the back may be enough to express gratitude or encouragement and support. Holding hands is a very powerful communicator of physical presence. However, this is also the most complicated because there has to be an established level of intimacy first, before anyone gets to be comfortable in any form of physical touch. Some may require as little as a smile or a “hi!”, but some can take weeks or even months before letting go of their inhibitions regarding physical connection.

The moral of the story is, sometimes, conflicts and disappointments arise when two people have differences in their preferences for their love languages. Someone who wants physical touch may not necessarily have it as their own primary mode of communicating their love (although it almost always is the same). So we should all find out our own language first as we discover our personal preferences for getting love back.


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