When we were newly-engaged and not yet married, Jaffar and I thought we would never become one of those jaded-resentful couples: the ones who make jokes about the husband-wife relationship. We had assured each other that we would be different and will cherish our relationship. However, things and life happens and we were two people from different backgrounds. I did not realize till last year that both of us were speaking different languages. I am not talking about linguistic ones but the five love languages proposed by Dr. Gary Chapman in his famous book.
While I wrote cards and notes, Jaffar made parathas. I loved getting recognized for any contribution towards the family and Jaffar was the happiest the day I made a delicious meal for us all or cleaned the house.
Can you guess what our love languages are?
The five love languages is a beautiful concept that was introduced by Dr. Chapman after years of work in psychology and counselling. All of us have our love languages that are shaped by our upbringing, personality and genes. We give and receive in our own love language. The problem arises when we expect our partners to have the same love language as us which might not be the same. We need to understand our partner’s love language and fill their love tank in the language they understand. Make your partner understand the five love languages so that they can fill your love tank also.
So what are the five love languages?
Words of Affirmation: Words matter to you and compliments are what fill your love tank.
Quality Time: Undivided attention is what you need and give!
Acts of Service: You express love by taking care of those around you. These usually include household chores.
Gifts: Visual symbols of love are important to you.
Physical Touch: Touch is a critical vehicle to express love for you.
How do i find out what my love language is?
An easy way to find out your love language is to ask yourself how do you give love yourself? How do you like to receive love?
Do you express it with words? Do you like to give gifts? Do you love hugs? Do you take care of people who you love or do you like to spend exclusive time with the one you love?
You can also give the test here to find out your love language.
Also pay attention to your partner’s behaviour to find out their love language. OR convince them to give the test above.
Can I have more than one love language?
Yes, it’s possible to have more than one love language but everyone usually has one primary one and then a secondary one.
Put love languages to work
Finding out love languages is step 1 and putting them to work is the true test!
Now that you know your own love language and your partner’s primary love language, sit down and discuss ways in which you can fill each other’s love tank. This is especially true for ‘acts of service’.
As Mark Twain once said: “I can live on a good compliment for two months.”
Can you guess what his love language was? Yes, it was ‘words of affirmation’.
So for our own marriage I have realized that neither love notes nor thoughtful gifts matter, but what makes Jaffar happy is if I take out the garbage! Unromantic like anything but it works!
The concept of five love languages is simple and effective. It actually applies to all human relations especially children. But that’s a topic for another blog post.
So what is yours and your partner’s love language?