From Building Strong Families
We all recognize the importance of speaking and understanding the correct language when attempting to communicate with people from different countries. It is also important that you speak and understand the correct love language when trying to communicate your love to your spouse.
Many couples ask the question “What happens to love after the wedding?” It seems that very few couples find the secret to keeping love alive or keeping the “emotional love tank” full after the wedding.
Dr. Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages- How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to your Mate” believes that the problem can be traced to one fundamental truth: people speak different love languages. Dr. Chapman says in linguistics there are major language groups and most of us grow up learning the language of our parents or siblings, which becomes our primary or native tongue. We may learn other languages which become our secondary language; however we are most comfortable speaking our primary language. If we want to communicate effectively across cultural lines we must learn the language of those of which we wish to communicate.
Dr. Chapman says it is similar in the area of love. For example, your emotional love language and the love language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse only understands Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other. You must be willing to learn your spouse’s love language if you are to be an effective communicator of love and keep the emotional love tank full.
There are basically five emotional love languages – five ways people speak and understand emotional love. Just as in the field of linguistics, a language may have numerous dialects or variations, within the five basic emotional love languages, there are many dialects.
Dr. Chapman identifies the five love languages as 1) Words of Affirmations-verbal appreciation, honest compliments and words of encouragement, 2) Quality Time- spending time with all energy focused on your mate; includes quality conversations and quality activities, 3) Receiving Gifts- visual symbols of love; they need not come every day or even every week and don’t need to cost a lot of money 4) Acts of Service-doing simple chores around the house can be an undeniable expression of love and 5) Physical Touch- maybe big acts such as back massages or lovemaking, or little acts such as touches on the cheeks or a hand on the shoulder.
Discovering your primary love language and discovering your mate’s primary love language is essential if you are to keep you and your mates emotional love tank full. After reading about the five love languages some may know right away what their primary love language is and that of their spouse; however for others it may not be that easy.
There are three key questions that can be used to help you discover your love language as well as the love language of your spouse. 1) What makes me feel most loved by my spouse? – What do you desire from your spouse above all else? 2) What have I most often requested of my spouse? – Whatever you have most requested is probably in keeping with your primary love language. , and 3) how do I express love to my spouse? – Chances are what you are doing for your spouse is what you wish your spouse would do for you.
To learn more about the “Five Love Languages” and other relationship classes offered by Building Strong Families contact Ethen Gillespie at 662-615-0033 or 662-769-1723. Building Strong Families is a federally funded grant awarded to the Starkville School District’s Department of Family Centered Programs.