Speaking Love with Fluency

Using the love language model to develop healthier relationships

Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

Over 150,000 years ago, around the same time we were evolving as homo sapiens, we developed the complex communication system we now call language. Language allowed us to share our ideas and experiences with a stunning degree of accuracy. Similarly, human connections have a language system of their own. We express and experience love in a myriad of ways. Dr. Gary Chapman identified five distinct ways humans communicate love, which he called the love languages.

It is important to know the ways you give and receive love. The role of love languages takes on added significance when you are relating to others. Although the majority of us have one dominant love language, each of us technically speaks all five languages to some degree.

So, what are these 5 love languages specifically? Chapman describes them as Acts of Service, Gifts, Physical Touch, Quality Time and Words of Affirmation.

Now, what about you? What is your primary love language? Here’s a quiz to steer you in the right direction.

If you’re single, click here:

If you’re in a relationship, click here:

Humans are made for connection. For many of us, love is the apex of connection. But how do we love? Each of us expresses and experiences love in a different way. Identifying your love language is the first step towards giving and receiving love in more meaningful ways. Your love language can serve as a window into how you connect with others. Below, I expound on what every love language means for you.

Acts of Service

“There is no such thing as a simple act of compassion or an inconsequential act of service. Everything we do for another person has infinite consequences.” ~ Caroline Myss

An act of service is simply a physical expression of a thoughtful gesture. Perhaps it’s walking someone’s dog when they’re away, watering their plants or cooking them a meal after a long day.

People whose love language is Acts of Service essentially believe that actions speak louder than words. This group of people perceive the most powerful acts to be those done spontaneously with the aim of relieving them of responsibilities or burdens. Could this be you?

Gifts

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” ~ Mother Teresa

Human beings are naturally inclined to give to those they love. This language is centered on expressing love through tangible items. Gift giving is a universal expression of affection that most cultures understand and can relate to.

While most people misconstrue this love language as a need for material items, this is not the case. The value of the gift is not what stands out rather the sentiment behind it. It could be as trivial as getting flowers on your way home to say “You’re always on my mind.”

Physical Touch

“The human touch is that little snippet of physical affection that brings a bit of comfort, support, and kindness. It doesn’t take much from the one who gives it, but can make a huge difference in the one who receives it.” ~ Mya Robarts

Holding hands, giving hugs, locking arms, rubbing shoulders are some of the ways we connect physically. People who speak this love language have an affinity for small physical gestures.

Quality Time

“Relationships are built on small, consistent deposits of time.” ~ Andy Stanley

Spending time with a loved one is how people in this category express love. People who identify with Quality Time as their love language require focused attention from their loved ones.

Spending quality time with such people includes sharing activities and moments with them. It could be through a shared conversation that is uninterrupted by distractions or expressing an interest in their emotions.

Words of Affirmation

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ~ Mother Teresa

Words are powerful. Words that affirm our love and affection for others are a valuable form of communicating love. People who identify with this love language appreciate verbal expressions of kindness and encouragement. Whether you are reminding them of their place in your life, or you are simply letting them know you are proud of them, it is your words that speak directly to their hearts.

Discovering your love language breaks the barriers standing in the way of healthier relationships. Goodluck developing your fluency!

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