In Listen, Learn, Love: How to Dramatically Improve Your Relationships in 30 Days or Less, there is a section under Learn Them which focuses on learning one another’s love language:
This is based on Gary Chapman’s best selling book, The 5 Love Languages.
Did you know we give and receive love in unique ways or languages as Chapman calls them? And quite often our language differs from our spouses.
In years of working with clients, I found that most of us give or express our love in the way we want to receive it – in our love language- rather than learning and using our spouses love language. No wonder marriages are often filled with disconnected couples, who feel lonely, unloved and unknown.
“We must be willing to learn our spouse’s primary love language(s) if we are to be effective communicators of love.” –Gary Chapman
Here is how I teach the 5 Love Languages.
As you read through them, think about which one or two describe the way you most recently or most often show your love or appreciation to others. Take a few minutes and consider the way your spouse showed you love or appreciation as well. This simple exercise will give you huge clues towards identifying and understanding your love language, as well as your spouses.
Words of Affirmation:
Receives and often expresses love through words. Words express honor, appreciate, communicate feelings of care. Telling your spouse, using specific words, examples, and expressions about how and why you appreciate them is a way to communicates love. Words of encouragement, words of praise and affirmation all show your love.
Receives and often expresses love through gifts. Gifts express care, feelings and affection, because they communicate “I was thinking about you, and wanted you to know!” The gifts don’t have to be expensive, but are often more of a token gift because the point of gifts is the thought behind them. A card, a flower, a favorite magazine brought home unexpectedly. A gift does not have to be material! It is a thoughtful gesture that communicates that I was thinking about you and wanted you to know in this some way.
Acts of Service:
Receives and often expresses love through actions. Helping out and being helped is the way that love and care is felt. Efforts to help around the house, without being asked/reminded, or taking care of duties or tasks in order to give your spouse a break are expressions of love. Arranging a night off for your spouse, or doing something special for them, however small, like bringing your spouse a cup of copy or making them lunch, remembering and acting on things that are important to them all communicate care. The love is expressed in the act of serving.
Receives and often expresses love through touch. Physical contact communicates care and love. This is different from enjoying sexual touch. Physical touch as a love language is far broader. It focuses on love being communicated through physical contact and closeness in addition to sexual intimacy. Holding hands, a simple touch on the shoulder or back as you pass by, sitting close to your spouse while watching TV, or at church, expresses love, interest and affection. Initiating this type of physical touch with your spouse communicates love.
Receives and often expresses love through spending time as a couple. Love is expressed during focused time that is set aside just for the two of you. This includes special dates or time set aside to take a walk or talk. The important element of the time is the intentionality and the focused nature of the time. Quality time together means ‘face-to-face’ time, just the two of you, without TV, telephone, or other interruptions and does not include being together at the kid’s events. It can be as simple as a few moments before bed, earmarked for catching up on how each other is doing, rather than schedules, or praying together, but should also include longer chunks of time that are scheduled and anticipated.
Which ones resonated with you? Which ones described your spouse? (Feel free to post your love language in the comments)
Think about one or two ways you can show love or appreciation to your spouse or the other important people in your life using their love language and take action on that this week!
Let me know how it goes?
If you are really brave, have a chat with you spouse about this and ask for their feedback on how you have communicated your love in the past. Have you used their love language or yours? What would be the ideal way for you to communicate your affection or appreciation to them?
I share how this impacted my marriage in the Learn Them chapter of Listen, Learn, Love. Claim your copy and loads of bonuses at www.listenlearnlovebook.com