While at a high school leadership program alumni dinner, I was talking to one of the program directors about the 5 Languages of Love. Not to be confused with the romance languages, the languages of love refer to the ways we communicate love and affection. Different people will communicate differently, so if you aren’t communicating with the language that your significant other uses, then your message may be lost in translation.
As written in the book, the author lays out his five languages of love: Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. I’ll elaborate on each.
For some, just spending time with each other is sufficient to convey how much you care for your significant other. Also this time must be quality time, involving complete involvement and not simply being around.
Gifts is fairly self explanatory conceptually, but still warrants discussion. Gifts can symbolize thoughtfulness and understanding of the other. A simple gift can say so much with so little, and for many, it’s achieving that is true love.
Acts of Service
These include acts that are done either without the other asking for them or done without intended reciprocity. In short, it’s when you do something that you don’t have to do.
Words of Affirmation
By providing words of affirmation, you provide explicit recognition of achievement. as we go through life, we are constantly working and performing, and the vast majority of the time, we receive little recognition for what we’ve done. Just hearing someone verbalize that they see what you have done can make it all worth it.
Last but definitely not least is physical touch. For anyone who has really liked or loved someone, a touch can electrifying, soothing, or chilling. A touch can convey more than a thousand words, like holding ones hand in public.
What Language do you speak/listen?
When you try to communicate you love, are you more inclined to provide quality time or acts of service? Maybe you speak via the three other mediums? And what means do you personally use to “receive” love? Does another’s physical touch or words of affirmation convey more love to you? I ask because I believe everyone should learn how they communicate. So when you do find that someone special, or just family and friends, you can truly convey your love them, and ensure they “hear” you loud and clear.
To speak personally, I think Acts of Service ranks #1 for me. I love when someone does something out of the goodness of their heart, like cooking me dinner the night before an exam. Having that recognition that my last concern is to cook something and taking the time to make something delicious shows unselfishness, thoughtfulness and just genuine kindness.
As for speaking the language of love, I think I predominately use Quality Time. I always have believed that the best way to convey to someone else that they are important is to make time for them. We are always busy, and that can’t be helped. But what one can do is find the time for those whom are important to you. A friend of mine nicely sums it up with this quote–“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”
I’ve created two polls, one for how you “receive” love and the other how you “give” love. I urge everyone to vote. And if you aren’t sure, check out the official site for 5 Languages of Love and take a quiz!