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by Brittney Schrick - September 14, 2017
Have you ever been given a gift that you could tell was thoughtfully selected with
you in mind, but you didn't react the way the giver was expecting you to? Do you like
to hug and show physical affection like holding hands, but your child is less than
enthusiastic? Do you drop not-so-subtle hints to your partner about how busy you are
while looking pointedly at the dirty dishes, and they sit, immune to what you're suggesting?
In each of these situations, knowing your own and your companion's Love Language could make things easier!
Love languages are our preferred ways of receiving affection from others, and, often, our characteristic
ways of showing affection to those we love. Knowing your own love language(s) and
those of your relationship partner, close friends, family members, and even children,
can have a huge impact on how you relate to others in your life and can help you identify
some sources of conflict or dissatisfaction you may feel in your relationships if
you are not receiving your preferred type of affection.
The Love Languages identified by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book "The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love
That Lasts" are:
More than likely, you have a way (or two) that you prefer for people to show you love
and affection, and you may have trouble in or feel disconnected from relationships
where you don't receive enough of it. For example, maybe you love to know that your
partner is thinking about you while you're apart, so you love it when you receive
a "just because" text or gift. If your partner does that often, you probably feel
loved and cared for often. But maybe, your partner likes to hug you or tell you how
nice you look. Maybe they fill your car with gas or pick up the groceries on their
way home from work but rarely or never give you a special gift. You may not feel loved
even when they are trying to show their love for you in other ways. Helping your partner
understand how important it is for you to know that they are thinking of you can move
you both toward greater satisfaction in your relationship.
The website www.5lovelanguages.com offers a free assessment that you and your partner can take to determine your primary
love language as well as how much you value the other four. It only takes a few minutes,
and it may offer some insight into conflict or dissatisfaction (or satisfaction) you
have felt in your relationship. Over the next few posts we will explore these love
languages in the context of several relationships: Romantic partnerships, parent/child
relationships, and friendships. The insight you gain from knowing your own preferred
ways of giving and receiving love can be invaluable in relationships.