The other day I had a conversation with a client who mentioned that the woman he was dating didn’t really even know how to be a good friend, let alone a date. It got me thinking about the “5 Languages of Love” by Gary Chapman.
Chapman based his work on his own longtime relationship with his wife and over 30 years of counseling. He suggests that we fall into one of 5 areas when it comes to how we express emotional love saying, “Each person has a primary love language that we must learn to speak if we want that person to feel loved.” (You can take a short quiz to find out yours at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/)
I shared with my friend that I thought many people today would benefit from taking a look at the 5 basic ways not just as a lover, but as a friend. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your friend took the time needed to recognize, or was present to, the particular way you liked to be treated, your own love language.
The five basic ways are:
- Words of Affirmation – Simply put, if this is your language you like to be told often how much someone loves you, why they love you. You like compliments and words of appreciation.
- Gifts – If this is your language you love to receive thoughtful gifts, gifts from the heart. They don’t have to be expensive, they simply need to express how much you were thought of, how much you are cared for.
- Acts of Service – You love it when your partner, spouse (or friend) pitches in to help with the dishes, takes the trash out or does your laundry. Anything he/she does to lighten your load is going to make you gaga for them over and over again.
- Quality Time – Nothing is more important to you than spending quality time with your friend/lover if this is your language. You look forward to turning the T.V. off, sitting with a cup of tea and sharing a few moments connecting deeply.
- Physical Touch – A person whose primary language is Physical Touch thrives on a gentle touch, a warm hug, a pat on the back, and holding hands. Whether it’s a friend or lover, what they crave is physical presence.
Each and every one of us has a particular way we like to be treated that may differ from our partner or friends. It might not be easy, at first, to speak your friend or lovers language, especially if it differs from yours. It makes sense to take the time to understand what sparks the people in your life so you can help them feel more loved. Isn’t that really what we are here for?