Topic: What Love Language do you speak?
season is a great time to revisit the concept of “love languages”.
This is the notion that we each have differing ways of expressing
and receiving love; and our ability to experience love in our relationships
will expand if we can learn to “speak” each other’s
enjoy this article if:
• you’d like to identify your own love languages and
• you’d like to gain greater fluency in the love languages
of a loved one.
Vollett, BSW, PCC
Life & Relationship Coach
Something to think about…
connecting with a loved one comes down to one simple fact: You need
to know and speak his or her love language.
Wondering how to celebrate?
Valentine’s Day, try something different. Take a few moments
to learn your partner’s “love language”. And if
you don’t have a partner, think about your child, a friend or
a family member. These concepts can apply to any loving relationship.
Chapman develops the idea of love languages in his book, The Five
Languages of Love. Over many years of counselling married couples,
Chapman noticed that many couples complain they feel unloved by their
While one spouse believes he or she is expressing love, the other
spouse doesn’t seem to receive or feel it. (Ever picked out
the “perfect” gift or designed a “special”
evening, only to receive a lukewarm reception?)
The problem may lie in the fact that couples are often speaking different
love languages. According to Chapman, we all have a primary “love
language”, just like we all have a primary spoken language.
However, individuals in a relationship may not share the same one!
While one partner is expressing love in his or her own way, the other
is simply not “hearing” it.
what IS a love language?
put, your love language is reflected in how you express love and how
you feel loved. Your love language is composed of the behaviors through
which you EXPRESS love (like a loving touch or an affirming word)
and the behaviors of another which cause you to FEEL loved.
you identify YOUR preferred love languages, rank the following Valentine’s
Day options according to your preference. Which appeals to you the
1. Your loved one sets aside time to share a favourite activity and
just BE with you, giving you their undivided attention.
2. Your loved one makes a point of expressing in words (written or
verbal) how handsome/beautiful/intelligent/ talented/giving you are.
3. Your loved one plans something thoughtful for you: cooks you dinner,
handles one of your chores, or watches the kids so you can relax.
4. Your loved one surprises you with an unexpected gift.
5. Your loved one treats you to a foot massage or a sensual back rub.
enjoy all of these expressions of love. However your top choices indicate
your preferred love languages.
which number was your favorite?
Quality Time is your preferred love language if you chose
#1. You enjoy spending time with a loved one in meaningful ways. This
could include any number of activities, from chatting over a glass
of wine to spending play-time at the beach. What is important is that
you are doing something together and are giving each other your complete
and undivided attention.
Words of Affirmation is your love language if you
chose #2. You likely affirm your partner with words of praise, comfort,
appreciation and encouragement. You use words that build your partner
up. Likewise you feel loved when your partner compliments, appreciates
and encourages you verbally.
Acts of Service is your love language if you prefer
#3. You like to do things for your partner to make their life easier
and more comfortable. You enjoy doing things to help them out, and
you feel loved when they do things that are helpful to you.
Gift Giving and Receiving is your love language if
you chose #4. You take pleasure in intuiting the gifts that please
your partner and gifting them with these. You like to give things
that symbolize your love and let your partner know that you are thinking
of them. You also love to receive gifts (they needn’t be costly)
and you accept them joyfully.
Physical Touch is your love language if your choice
was #5. Physical touch includes, but is not limited to sexual intercourse.
You enjoy touch in many forms and expressions. Stroking, massage,
holding hands, hugging, affectionate squeezes are just a few of the
many expressions you may enjoy giving and receiving. Touch is a deeply
reassuring expression of love for you.
It’s important to remember that within each love language, there
are many different “dialects”. Each language can be expressed
in an infinite number of ways. Some couples share a primary language
(this may be part of their initial attraction for each other), while
they may differ on their secondary languages. Developing these secondary
languages can add new dimensions to a relationship.
may not be totally natural for us; however as an act of love, we can
choose to learn another’s love language. The Golden Rule says,
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” However
the greater challenge in relationships is expressing love according
to the Platinum Rule, which says, “Do unto others as they want
to be done unto!” This is what learning another’s love
language is all about.
this article with your partner. Then each of you list:
Share your list
with your partner and notice your similarities and differences. See
if you can learn something new about how your partner likes to be
loved. Experiment with expressing love in a way that they can “hear”.
Vollett, Life and Relationship Coach, delights in working with pro-active
individuals who want to make positive changes in their lives, their
work/business or their relationships. Her clients appreciate her ability
to listen deeply, her compassionate wisdom and her support in moving
forward. Shirley offers a complimentary intro session for those who
want to explore how coaching works and how it can help. Click on a
link below to contact Shirley or visit her website at http://shirley.vollett.com
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© 2008 by Shirley Vollett. All rights reserved.