Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dating & Mating: Your Love Language

When Gary Chapman published his book The 5 Love Languages in 1992 it was a big hit in many of my circles.  There seemed to always be a class available somewhere in town, and likely still is.

 From this initial volume there are over eight additional editions specifically for children, men, singles, teens etc.  In a world populated with personality tests, self-help tomes, relationship guides and happiness solutions Chapman offers sound advice in simple terms.

Everyone has a language of love ;"a primary way of expressing and interpreting love", the actions that fill their love tank. Chapman makes five categories:
Quality Time
Physical Touch
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Receiving Gifts 

You may have shades of some but one is generally strongest.  Relationally, you will often perform your strongest language but when those actions are performed FOR you, your love tank is filled.  When you do not receive these actions, from family members, friends, people in your life, your love tank diminishes and problems will develop in those relationships.

For personal growth I encourage people to take the personality test from David Keirsey's Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types in order to understand themselves and then Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages in order to develop, understand and enjoy their relationships.

As with most things, doing what we enjoy or what comes easily to us requires minimal effort and maintains our character but doing what is difficult or unnatural takes maximum effort and builds our character.  Speaking a love language opposite to our own builds solid relationships, deepens ties and says, "I love you" louder than words.

Speaking a love language takes conscious effort and selflessness.  Becoming fluent in your partner's love language is a gift beyond measure. . . to you both.

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  1. I read bits and pieces of this book (I think I'd borrowed it and needed to get it back so never finished it). It was interesting; I should probably pick up a copy. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. We've employed this concept in our own family, and it really helps. Good to be reminded of it again as it's been a long time since we talked about it.