Valentine’s Day is coming! Learn to speak the language of love!
How are you going to express your love to that someone special on Valentine’s Day? Better yet, how do you express your love to them on a daily basis? Did you know each of us has a dominant love language that dictates how we feel loved? It’s not too early to find out your own love language and that of others, including your kids, so every day will be a love-filled day for all of you.
WHAT IS A LOVE LANGUAGE?
You can think of it as a second language, the language of love. A love language is the verbal and non-verbal communication between people which improves the mental and physical well-being of both people. You receive verbal and non-verbal messages of love through one of the love languages. The idea of discovering your own love language and that of others comes from Gary Chapman‘s books, The Five Love Languages(singles edition) and The Five Love Languages (for your mate). Both books include sections about kid’s love languages.
WHY SHOULD WE LEARN OUR PARTNERS LOVE LANGUAGE?
According to Chapman, our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love, but to be genuinely loved by another; to know that that love grows out of reason and a choice, not instinct. If we want the important people in our life to feel loved, we must discover their primary love language. Once we know their love language, we love them using their second language, the language of love.
KIDS HAVE A LOVE LANGUAGE?
Yes, children have their own love language. Initially, they will use all five languages, but over time one will emerge as their primary language. How they express their love to others is a clue to their love language. Watch your kids and you will be able to see which language they most often use. Notice the things they appreciate the most, those are likely indicators of the primary love language. It’s important to know your child’s love language because it will be important to how their self-esteem and self-worth grows. For instance, if a child is always touching you, messing up your hair, wanting to be in your lap, his/her love language is probably physical touch. This is the way they feel comforted and loved. Now imagine that this same child misbehaves and you spank them. The way they feel loved and punishment are at odds and their spirit is crushed. If you know that physical touch is their love language, then talking to them, placing them in time out, taking away a toy would be a better punishment. If a child feels unloved, it doesn’t mean the parents don’t love them, it may just mean the parents never learned how to communicate love in a language the child could understand, their love language.
DO WE SPEAK OUR LOVE LANGUAGE?
According to Chapman 75% of us speak the language we most desire. If we want gifts, then we will usually give gifts to others because what we really want is for gifts to be given to us; and 75% of us will do just that. On the other hand, 25% of us speak one love language but wish to receive another love language. For instance, if after years of marriage your spouse never gives you a birthday gift but makes sure your car is clean, you may have learned to accept a clean car in lieu of a gift. Now, instead of you giving gifts to others, you will start doing things for them. But, to really feel loved, your desire would be to receive a gift. On the whole, most of us do speak our love languages though.
Answer these 30 questions. Add up how many answers you have for each letter, A through E. The letter with the highest number is your primary love language, and so on down the line. You can have two primary love languages. Most people, though, will have one predominant one.
To score: The letter with the highest total number is your primary language and so on. A high score for the letter A means your language is words of affirmation. B is quality time, C is receiving gifts, D is for acts of service, and E is for physical touch. Now that you know your love language, let’s look at each of them.
WHAT ARE THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES
Words of affirmation. These are words of appreciation, encouragement, kind words, and words of praise. When we receive affirming words we are more likely to be motived to reciprocate. They are humble words. Love makes requests, not demands. When you make a request you are confirming the other person’s worth and abilities.
Quality time. This means giving someone your undivided attention. Quality time is togetherness with focused attention. This does not mean watching television together. The program you’re watching is getting the attention, not the person you are with. This means sitting together, looking at each other and talking and listening to each other. If you are on the phone and your child wants your attention and you roll a ball back and forth to them and they still want your attention, chances are their love language is quality time and they are not getting it. If they keep getting up in your lap as you speak on the phone, and you keep putting them down, chances are their love language is physical touch. Sometimes wives just want to talk to their husbands about a problem they are experiencing. They want their husband’s quality time. The husband listens and then provides the solution to the problem. That’s not what she wanted. She wanted him to listen, support her and just understand while spending quality time with her.
Receiving gifts. Gifts are visible symbols of love. The important thing is not the gift, but the emotional love that is communicated by the gift. Gifts come in all sizes, colors and shapes. Some cost money, some are free. If your partner or child’s love language is gifts, don’t wait for a special occasion to give them something. One of my prized gifts is a rock. Years ago we were living out of state and my husband I were in the yard talking. He found a rock in the shape of a heart and handed it to me along with some awesome words. Years later it sits on my desk where I look at it every day. (Receiving gifts is my second love language.)
Acts of service. This is you doing things you know your partner would like you to do; anything from cleaning the bathroom to cleaning the bugs off the windshield. These acts require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. If you do them with a positive attitude, they are definitely expressions of love.
Physical touch. Be careful with this one. The purpose of love is to enhance the well-being of another, not to satisfy your own desires. Physical touch can make or break a relationship. It can communicate love or hate. When your body is touched, you are touched much more deeply than the mere physical contact. When someone withdraws from your body, they distance themselves from you emotionally.
LOVE LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN ON A DAILY BASIS
All of this information was gleaned from the Chapman books. Of course, as this is just an overview, there’s much more information to be had in each of them. Every day we can see that what we say, how we say it, what we do, what we give and how we touch another person all contribute to how loved they feel by us. Knowing the love language of the important people in your life will help you express your love in a meaningful way so that they will know how very much you love them. Happy Valentine’s Day!