“At the heart of humankind’s existence is the desire to be intimate and to be loved by another”.
Have you seen the divorce rates of today? In the age of instant gratification, fast food, Ashley Maddison and Tinder, it’s a wonder why people bother getting married in the first place. I mean why spend the money? Because of Love. They say that it’s blind but Gary Chapman swears that its not actually blindness, often with love, it’s merely a love-language barrier. The 5 Love Languages is most definitely worth the read. It was simple, and beautifully written by an expert on the topic and it showed. Just like with health and wellness, working on improving relationship states is a form of self-care that takes effort and patience. Here are 5 quick lessons from the book of the week: The 5 Love Languages: The secret to love that lasts.
1. Love is a Language
Just like French, Spanish and Lingala (all of which I happen to speak fluently) Chapman writes that love is actually a language that is often lost in translation. Understanding and respecting your partners love language is crucial! But keep in mind that it’s a huge and take, Your partner needs to do the same with you as well. Chapman adds that Love languages have different dialects as well for example: If I’m a words person that enjoys talking things out, giving and receiving compliments and the like, learning to manage tone of voice and delivery of messages he considers this a dialect that falls under this love language category.
2. This isn’t for new love, and that’s a good thing.
The Honeymoon phase and infatuation that blazes the bright fires of new lovers is not a myth. New relationships (under 3 years old) have an eerily convincing way of making people feel like they’re perfect for one another and that nothing could ever go wrong to change that. This is a good feeling! Ride it out and enjoy it to the Max while it’s there! It’s as if new love gives a semblance of a great connection, that fades significantly once the rose colored glasses come off and the music stops playing. It’s only once it wears off however, that couples feel less inspired to discern and express the appropriate love languages. Chapman speaks about this change as a sort of natural order of things. Couples that make it long term master each other’s love languages.
3. What if I don’t have a Love Language?
Easy, you’re screwed. I kid! Rest assured dear doubtful one, you most definitely have a Love Language. Everybody does. Though you may not be aware of what it is yet! Here’s a hint: you know that thing your partner does, no not that thing! Keep it PG buddy! Little things that your partner does that you appreciate for example: How they react when they see you dressed up (verbal affirmations) or how they gently place their hand on the small of your back when you enter doorways (physical touch); when they prepare food for you or fix things for you without you needing to ask for it, (acts of service) etc etc. Thinking of specific moments that fill you with that warm and fuzzy feeling and makes both you and your heart smile will provide you with insights on your Love Language preferences. You can have more than one.
4. Ignorance is deadly
In every way shape and form (kudos to you for being hear and learning with me!) Without the regular commitment to learn both your own and your partners love Language, negative feelings about the relationship can really start to creep in and slowly poison your thoughts and feelings. Problems can arise and marital challenges can result. Taking the time to learn love languages is paramount in maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. The 5 Love Languages does a formidable job providing the reader with the tools to best identify the love language dynamics of their relationships, there’s hope for you, trust me.
Falling in love is easy, staying in love is the challenge.
5. Love is a choice
When I read this, the hopeless romantic in me cringed at the cynicism that seems to be looming behind that statement. Nonetheless The 5 Love Languages presents this statement as a simple fact. I’ve come to think of it this way, with divorce as an option (legally anyways) choosing not to go through that route and working on your relationship is, essentially, choosing love. Chapman empowers readers to get into the drivers seat of their love lives, but always with kindness in mind! Remember, we catch more flies with honey. Love can be expressed with requests. Instead of making demands or ultimatums it means asking for what you would like in a way that will be well received. Chapman guides us through several ways we can accomplish this in our relationships. Never be afraid to share how you like to be loved by your spouse (not just physically, though I like where your head is at, friend) You are indicating that she or he has something valuable that is meaningful to you, and it’s a great compliment to receive. Change your angle to ensure success here.
Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are powerful communicators of love. They are best expressed in simple and straightforward statements of affirmation.
All-in-all The 5 Love Languages are the five main ways that long-term love and committed relationships can succeed. As usual, I’m barely scratching the surface here (legally I can’t spoil the book) but Pick it up! There’s even versions for Men specifically that presents it all in a way that makes it seem like it was their idea. Genius.