We’ve all had relationships where we felt we just didn’t “speak the same language” as our partners. Somehow, despite all the best intentions, our messages crossed or never seemed to land. Misunderstandings, miscommunication, and hurt feelings built up until the relationship was forced to end, not because of a lack of love, but because we and/or our partners were not feeling loved.
Understanding the five “love languages” put forward in a series of books by Dr. Gary Chapman can help you save such a relationship, if you are in one, or avoid the pain and frustration of all those mixed messages, if you’re starting a new one. Not only applicable to romantic relationships, the five love languages are also relevant to platonic relationships, whether with family, friends, or coworkers. If you can identify your own love language, as well as that of the other person, you can communicate your affection and appreciation much more effectively, leading to a happier, more fulfilling relationship for the both of you.
The five love languages, as set forth by Dr. Chapman, are as follows:
Words of Affirmation
Positive verbal reinforcement. If this is your love language, you feel wonderful when someone gives you a genuine compliment. You may feel insecure without encouragement or regular expressions of approval. You feel loved when your partner expresses appreciation for the small things you do.