The 5 languages of love – strengthen & refresh relationships
Every now and then it happens that in conversations with others you completely talk past each other. However, this happens much more often on a relationship level than on a linguistic level. Because there are different ways to express your affection for others. But how do we ensure that our expressions of love really reach the other person and that he or she feels loved? Unfortunately, it is not always the case that the partner perceives and understands our signals in the way we want to send them. The five love languages can help us with exactly this problem.
The 5 languages of love
The information I share with you in this post comes from Gary Chapman ’s concept “ The Five Love Languages ”. His book of the same name (German title: “The 5 Languages of Love”, ISBN: 978-3-86122-621-5) achieved worldwide fame and has now become a kind of standard work in couples counseling.
Okay, but what is so exciting in the book?
Chapman believes that there are different ways or languages to express and receive love : togetherness, praise and recognition, gifts, helpfulness and tenderness. There are people who express their affection particularly through touch. Others like to receive words of appreciation and others especially appreciate it when their partner spends time with them. I'll go into more detail about what exactly makes up these different love languages in a moment.
To some degree, each of us enjoys all of these different languages. However, we all still have a dominant language ; it is something like our mother tongue, so to speak. However, if these “native languages” differ in a partnership, conflicts and misunderstandings can arise. The way one person feels loved is not always the way the other person feels loved. It therefore helps to find out which language you send out and which language the other person speaks.
The concept originally referred specifically to romantic partnerships , but in a slightly modified form it can also be applied to friendly , professional or family relationships .
What exactly are the five love languages?
1. Praise and Recognition ( Words of Affirmation )
The first love language includes verbal support and spoken words that come from the heart. With honest compliments, words of praise, appreciation and thanks, people with this “mother tongue” express their love, honest appreciation, respect and gratitude to others. A benevolent tone of voice and a tender tone of voice are also used to convey these things.
It is of secondary importance whether special achievements and successes are praised or the smallest gestures and attentions. People with this primary love language often don't even notice when they express their appreciation verbally.
2. Togetherness ( Quality Time )
Love and appreciation are expressed here through consciously lived togetherness . People of this language consciously take time for others and want to spend time with them in a caring and attentive manner. This can include dinner together, a free slot in the diary, conversations, morning and evening rituals or undisturbed time on the weekend.
Watching TV together or sitting next to each other and working doesn't necessarily count here. It's more about sharing meaningful interactions or having conversations "with substance." The focus is on conscious togetherness. Time is a significant asset for people with this love language.
3. Gifts that come from the heart ( Receiving Gifts )
Contrary to what you would think, gifts are not a superficial way to express love. People who “speak” this language want to express through small gifts or tokens that they not only thought about the other person, but also thought about what the person might like and then got it and gave it to them.
Aspects such as creativity and unusual ideas, the surprise factor and being thoughtful play a primary role here. The gifts can be things you bought, found, or made yourself. The material value is unimportant; Rather, the gifts are a visual representation of love and a sign of appreciation.
4. Helpfulness ( Acts of Service )
People with the love language “helpfulness” would like to support their partner by offering help and relieving the other person of tasks . This can mean anything from ironing to cooking to looking through presentation documents for your partner's work. Even seemingly unimportant tasks and obligations in everyday life are taken care of and completed in order to enable others to reduce stress.
For them, helping is a labor of love and a given in a relationship. By doing things that relieve the burden on others, they show love and appreciation. True to the motto “actions speak louder than words”.
5. Tenderness ( Physical Touch )
We all know the power that touch can have. For people with this primary love language, tender touches such as hugs and caresses are an expression of love. The exchange of touch is more important to such people than words of appreciation or small gifts and makes them feel good. Even small touches such as holding hands while walking, ruffling your partner's hair or physical closeness such as sitting close together while watching a film are important and beautiful for these people.
Sending and receiving love languages
At this point in the article, you've probably already asked yourself what your primary love language is. Maybe you already have a rough idea of it. If you would like to know more, you are welcome to take the following little test, which will show you which love language is your dominant one.
If you want to find out what your primary love language is: take the test here.
The test is in English and takes about 10 minutes. By the way, you can also do it if you are not currently in a relationship. :)
Once you have taken the test, you will see that you have each of the five languages. But you resonate differently with each language. The language that is most “pronounced” for you is your primary love language.
Now let's come to a very important point:
Often we give love the way we would like to receive it.
What exactly does that mean?
Let's say your primary love language is tenderness. On the one hand, this means that it is important to you to regularly exchange touches and caresses with your partner and to receive them from him/her. If you don't get this, you can quickly feel unwell; you feel like your relationship isn't fully fulfilling.
On the other hand, this also means that there is a very high probability that you enjoy giving touches and caresses - just to show the special person in your life how important they are to you.
Problems can arise if your partner's primary love language is not the same as yours. For example, it may be more important to the other person to regularly hear how much he/she means to you than to exchange hugs, kisses or massages. At the same time, you may feel like something is missing if your partner tells you that he or she loves you but doesn't show it through physical touch.
So it can really help to know what each other's primary love language is. If you find out (together), you can talk about it openly and honestly. By making an effort to “speak” the other person’s language, you can accommodate each other. This way, the needs of both parties are satisfied.
Go one step further
Of course, you can't expect everyone in your immediate environment to take the test or forward the results to you. Another way to address love languages is to observe which love language the other person (e.g. your mother, your best friend or your work colleague) is sending out. You can then react to it by returning that same language.
This is exactly what I did with my parents and my closest friends. I quickly noticed how the relationships with these people became closer, more loving and more fulfilling.
Of course, the concept of the five love languages is not the key to solving all (relationship) problems. And there is a lot more to say about it than I could do here in this post.
But from my own experience I can say that it is definitely worth taking a closer look at the book.
Our relationships can actually only benefit from it. :)
If you would like to find out more about the topics of mindfulness, healthy eating, family & pregnancy or sustainability, take a look here .