All you need is Love, the Beatles sang.
I have a large plaque in my office re-affirming this.
In fact, I have Love references all over my home.
Love is so important to me, its number one on my manifesto list and I believe deserves a capital L.
Poetry, music, art, films, books and magazines are so often all about Love.
Finding it, keeping it, losing it and finding it again.
Finding true Love can feel like the best feeling in the world.
Losing it the worst…
Love means everything to most of us.
I believe true emotional fulfilment comes from the relationships in our life.
The deeper the bond in the relationship, the deeper the fulfilment.
This applies to all of our relationships, not just the romantic ones. Family and friendship Love counts too.
Your bank balance and your ‘stuff’ won’t give you comfort when you’re on your deathbed, but your loved ones will.
So it’s very important for us all to cultivate as much Love in our lives as we can.
I believe, irrespective of your age, sex or background, it’s never too late to learn how to Love or to Love better.
In the 1990s marriage guidance counsellor Gary Chapman wrote an excellent book called The 5 Love Languages – The Secret to Love That Lasts.
It’s a New York Times Best Seller, and although 30 years old now, is still as popular as ever.
I absolutely Love this book and have recommended it to just about every person I know.
In fact, I can’t recommend it highly enough (and there are no paid endorsements here).
Please go and buy it, then once you’ve read it leave it lying around for everyone else in your household to read too!
In the book Chapman’s premise is that there are 5 distinct ways (languages) we all use to give and receive Love.
His 5 Love languages are:-
- Words of Affirmation – expressing Love through your words.
People with words of affirmations as a primary Love language value verbal acknowledgements of affection.
Compliments, praise, words of appreciation and regular I Love Yous are what float these people boats.
- Quality Time – expressing Love through spending quality one-on-one time together.
People with this primary Love language feel the most loved when their partner actively wants to spend time one-on-one with them, giving their undivided attention.
No TV, no phones, no distractions, just face-to-face, having meaningful conversations or sharing activities together.
- Receiving gifts – expressing Love though the giving and receiving of gifts.
This is a pretty straight-forward one. These people feel loved when given ‘visual’ symbols of Love.
It’s not about monetary value; it’s about the meaning behind the gift. The more thoughtful, the better. The gifts should matter to the person and reflect their values and/or wishes.
- Acts of service – expressing Love through doing things for each other.
An Acts of service person values it when their partner goes out of their way to make their life easier.
Bringing you soup when you’re ill or picking up your dry cleaning because you’re too busy. For these people actions speak louder than words.
- Physical Touch – expressing Love through physical touch.
People with physical touch as their main Love language Love to receive physical signs of affection.
Hand-holding, kissing, cuddling on the sofa and sex. They feel loved when they are held, kissed or touched by their partner. They enjoy feelings of warmth and comfort.
The idea is that one of these 5 will be our primary Love language.
If our loved one ‘speaks’ to us in that language we feel more loved.
If they don’t, we don’t!
It’s as simple as that – the Love just doesn’t land in the same way.
Chapman compares it to one partner speaking Spanish whilst the other is speaking Chinese.
You’re not communicating as effectively as you could be.
Learning someone else’s’ primary Love language can work wonders, so it’s a great thing to do no matter how long you’ve been in the relationship.
There’s a quiz you can take at www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes that will tell you what your primary Love language is.
Why not take a look?
I have two favourites (as I find it impossible to choose between the two).
My two primaries are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch.
With my loved ones, I like to be touched and I like to be told!
Chapman states in his book that roughly 20% of the population relate to each of the 5 Love languages, but in my coaching practice I haven’t found this to be the case at all.
Most men I work with are Physical Touch people – I think this is because physical affection stops at such a young age for most males.
A lot of men really enjoy affectionate touch (not just sex).
The women are usually more spread out between Words of Affirmation, Quality Time and Acts of Service.
Most HSPs (Highly Sensitive People) I work with are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch like me.
It’s interesting that it’s almost always these two.
I’ve had very few clients whose primary language is Gifts.
Once I’ve got to know a client, I can usually guess fairly accurately, what their Love language will be.
Although the original book relates to couples and romantic Love I definitely believe it can also be applied to parental and friendship Love too.
So when you understand the concept of the Love languages you can use them with all the people in your life that you Love.
Find out what all of your family and friends are, as well as your partner or future partner and learn to Love them in their Love language.
Most of us give Love in our Love language.
We give what we want to receive, not realising that that may not be the best for our person.
This way all of your relationships will flourish.
As well as learning each other’s primary Love language Chapman recommends couples have regular weekly get-togethers to discuss how full their ‘Love Tank’ is.
Your Love Tank is a symbol of how much Love you’re experiencing.
Completely loved up and happy would be a full Love Tank at level 10.
Not feeling loved at all; your Love Tank will be almost empty at level 1.
If your person’s Love Tank is anything but a 10 ask them to tell you how they could feel more loved – and then actually take action.
Ask them to do the same for you.
If you really care about your partner and relationship then make this non-negotiable each week.
These may seem like small shifts, but they have a huge impact.
Clearly Chapman saw this with his clients and I’ve seen it with mine too.
Each new relationship you’re in go through the process again.
If you’re in the kind of relationship we’ve been talking about in my previous 2 blogs, where your person is not interested in growing your relationship in a healthy way then please, please consider moving on.
The RIGHT kind of person will be happy to speak to you in your primary language.
And that’s what you so deserve.
That’s it for this week Love birds 🙂
Please get the book; it’s a life-changer.
P.S If you’re a man reading this blog, you may be interested in my other articles teaching men how to use each of the 5 Love Languages. Go over to my LinkedIn page here and click on Activity.