The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.
I recently read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, an author, speaker, counselor, and someone who’s passionate about helping people last together in their relationships.
In today’s blog, I will briefly explain what the book is about. Ready? Here we go!
Researches have shown that our primary need in life is to feel loved. We’ll do anything for love, even sacrifice our time, other people, and even our hobbies. In the name of love, we are willing to stay up all night to chat with that one person, even if we have an important meeting the next morning.
According to Chapman, every one of us has a “love tank” ready to be filled (besides the love that we must give to ourselves). This love tank is at the center of our emotional desire—we needed love as children, before we “fell in love,” and we will need it for as long as we live.
We all have one primary love language—a way that we love to be loved by our partner. The book talks about five essential ones:
>> words of affirmation
>> quality time
>> acts of service
>> physical touch
Yes, we all desire to receive all of them, but if we dig deeper, we realize that we actually have only one essential love language, and if it’s not present, our love tank will always be empty.
You may ask how? How can I meet my partner’s needs? How can I make my partner feel loved? Or you may wonder, “I tried everything in my power to make them feel appreciated, but it’s not working.”
Well, it’s simple. All we have to do is ask our partner what’s his or her love language and work on filling their love tank.
Sometimes, we feel exhausted from all the effort we put into making a relationship work, but we miss out on the fact that we might be putting our effort in the wrong place. For example, if our partner’s love language is quality time and all we’re doing is throwing gifts at them, we might want to redirect where we’re putting our energy.
Today, I will tackle the love language of quality time. (Obviously, because that’s my own love language.)
If our partner thinks we’re not spending enough time together or always suggest trips, weekend getaways, or romantic dinners, it might be a sign that his or her primary love language is quality time.
Quality time means giving your full attention to your partner. Chapman suggests that it doesn’t mean sitting on the sofa watching television together, because in this case, the TV has your attention, and not your partner. It also means not spending three hours trying to light the bonfire if you go camping, because then, the bonfire has your complete concentration, and not your partner.
What I mean by quality time is sitting together, TV off, enjoying each other’s company, talking, laughing, and giving each other our undivided attention. Quality time means taking a walk just the two of you, without one being faster than the other. It means going camping, setting the campsite together, and actually enjoying your surroundings.
When I sit on the couch with my partner and give them 20 minutes of my attention (and they do the same), we give 20 minutes of life. As Chapman says, we will never have those 20 minutes again—we are giving our lives for each other. It is a powerful, emotional communication of love.
Here are some things we can do to spend more quality time together (some of the tips are extracted directly from the book):
- Prepare a sunset dinner, go to your favorite beach, spread your tablecloth, and have your sandwiches.
- Ask your partner for a list of activities they enjoy doing with you—make plans to do one of them each week or each month.
- Call your partner and say, “I want to make a date with you one evening this week to sit and talk.”
- Plan a getaway weekend just the two of you. (And no, you don’t have to spend all your money to do that—a tent, a blanket, and two pillows will be enough.)
- Have a “let’s review our history” evening once every three months and talk about your childhood, fears, dreams, happy moments, and your relationship evolution.
- If you’re married or you live together and lead a busy life, wake up 15 minutes earlier, cuddle a bit, or have coffee together.
NB: phones are not allowed.
If you truly love someone, you should want them to be happy with you and at ease. If you feel that this is too much for you, it might be best to leave—we all deserve to be seen and loved for who we are.