By Susan O’Halloran, MPH
This is a blog to help you prepare for Valentine’s Day. The info I’ll share is from author Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages. I thought it would be a good idea to get this out there early so anyone interested in following up would have time for the book to work its magic.
In a nutshell, Dr. Chapman says that many couples speak different emotional love languages, much like one person speaking Chinese and the other English. Over time, it can get exhausting and frustrating for couples to never feel like they are on the same page. After over 30 years as a marriage counselor, Dr. Chapman has concluded there are five ways that people speak and understand emotional love. These are the “love languages” and like any language, each one has numerous dialects or variations. The love languages follow:
- Words of Affirmation – Compliments, Encouraging Words, Kind Words, Humble Words (no sarcasm or biting tone here)
- Quality Time – Focused Attention, Quality Conversation, Learning to Talk, Quality Activities (can’t be watching TV for this one)
- Receiving Gifts – Visual Symbols of Love, Gift of Self or Presence (doesn’t have to be a big gift, just thoughtful)
- Acts of Service – Helping with Chores and Errands (no “would it kill you to get over here and help me for a change!” allowed)
- Physical Touch – Holding Hands, Kissing, Embracing, and Sexual Intercourse (you get the picture)
Dr. Chapman says each of us has a primary love language and it is almost always different from that of our partner or spouse. So, to make love last, we all need to learn the love language of our partner and vice versa in order to keep our emotional tank filled with love. I love this idea of a “love tank” and the recognition that your needs are ever changing…from running on fumes to half-full to filled-to-capacity depending on what’s happening, or not happening, in your life.
The book comes with a quiz you and your partner can take at the end to determine what your primary love languages are. It’s a very practical and humorous way to improve relationships. A simple question such as, “How’s your love tank doing?” should bring a smile and hopefully spark some dialogue. I highly recommend the book and suggest reading it before Valentine’s Day to start filling up the tank!!
Written by: Susan O’Halloran, MPH. Susan is Founder and President of Here’s to Life Now! a healthy living company that works with companies and individuals to build sustainable health habits that cut health care costs and improve quality of life. In addition, Here’s to Life Now! has an online network of traditional and complementary health care practitioners that provide expert advice and services locally and nationally.Tagged: love , marriage , marriage counseling , relationships , Valentine's Day