Three Words: Happy Valentine’s Day! (You do know it’s tomorrow, right?)
Another three words: Five Love Languages
The last set of three words: I love you.
Pondering these sets of words, I have to share with you that I’m a hopeless romantic. Yes, I am. I was the young girl who enjoyed watching all the teen movies about love. I am the woman who loves the Hallmark movies which are predictable and similar in theme. They are the best! I can be found reading Love Inspired Christian romance novels in my spare time.
Yet when I was single, I had a hard time with the big V-day. In my mind, I was left out. I was overlooked, and part of me questioned if I’d ever have my fairy-tale ending.
Once I met my husband, I remember feeling so happy. I felt too happy, actually. I told my best friend that I didn’t know if I should even be this happy and things should be this easy.
Real Love and a Real Love Story
Based off my preconceived romance ideas from the movies I had watched and books I read, my husband’s and I’s love story did not look like any of the movies did. It was not a perfect read like a Christian romance novel. Instead, it was and is a real love story. One that is full of love, happiness, hurt, forgiveness, and peace. Our love story is still unfolding, but we are creating it together with God at the center. Along with this, my husband and I also pay attention to how each of us receive love. This can be pivotal in a relationship.
When we were going through marriage prep, we were introduced to a book called The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. This book changed our lives.
Our Emotional Love Tanks
If you have not read this book, I would highly recommend it. This book is about figuring out how your emotional love tank can be filled. It can enlighten you and how you view others. It allows you to know why certain people feel more love than others when it comes to presents, being together as a family, getting hugs, doing something for someone, or even being given a compliment. This book is beneficial for any person, whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not.
Gary Chapman, the author, came to the conclusion that people have five different categories or ways that people express or feel love:
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
- Words of Affirmation
Knowing how to communicate these love languages—as well as what your family members, children, or friend’s love language is—will give you insight into what these people want and how they expect you to communicate and express your love toward them.
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The Five Love Languages
To help you understand these love languages better, let’s break it down.
People whose love language is Quality Time enjoy spending time with people. Their tanks are full when they can have uninterrupted, one-on-one time conversing with others. They enjoy doing things with others while getting that person’s full attention.
Quality Time people may have their love tank filled by: playing a game with them, eating a meal together, going for a walk together, reading a book and then discussing it, and/or going bowling together.
Basically anything that involves being together and focusing on each other will fill this person’s love tank.
Some Quality Time people can get their love tank full by watching a movie together. But most of the time, that doesn’t work since the movie is taking the attention of everyone involved.
People whose love language is Receiving Gifts will have their love tank filled by being given a tangible gift that is meaningful or thoughtful. These people thrive on the spirit of giving. If someone likes receiving gifts, it doesn’t mean they’re materialistic, which sometimes people assume of this love language.
Ideas for this love language include: a note telling the person how much you care about them, a basket full of good things you know they like, a piece of pie from Perkins (if you know they love sweets), a coffee, or even a gift of flowers to show them you were thinking of them that day.
When it comes to this love language, the idea of being thought of out of the ordinary is what makes these people feel loved. Your gift to them doesn’t have to be extravagant or large, it can be simple. Just thinking of them and getting them an item to go along with your thought of them will fill their tank to the top.
Acts of Service
Have you ever heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words?” If so, then you know who ever is telling you this is someone whose love language is Acts of Service.
These people love simple task done for them. It may be cooking them supper, cleaning up the living room, raking their leaves, fixing a light bulb for them, or anything that shows them you are willing to lend a hand and help out.
These people can become unhappy when they see someone who does not keep their promises or can view these broken promises as a sense of laziness which causes more work or worry for people who have this love language.
In order to fill this person’s love tank, doing small things for them will show them you care and want to make them happy.
Do you have a grandma who is always hugging you? Or how about the child that wants to continually be held? These people’s love language is Physical Touch. Someone who seeks out a hug, a kiss, a pat on the back, wants to hold your hand, or seems to even reach out and touch others as they’re speaking, definitely has this love language.
Things you can do to reaffirm people with this love language is to give them a hug, pat their back, and/or hold their hand. Giving them some type of physical touch will help these people know you care for them.
Words of Affirmation
We all like to be told that we’re good enough once-in-a-while. But instead of being told that sparingly, people whose love language is Words of Affirmation thrive on positive words. They are the ones who constantly need affirmation that what they are doing is good. Giving them simple compliments is all they need throughout the day.
Negative words affect everyone, but especially people who have this love language.
What can you do to show these people you love them? You can do this by telling them what makes you proud of them, what they do well, and why you are thankful for them. Writing a note, calling them on the phone, sending a text, or writing an email with positive words will uplift their spirit and fill their tank.
More than One Love Language
It is possible that people can have more than one love language. Usually there is one primary love language and then a second one that follows closely.
Love Language Quiz
Reading Dr. Chapman’s whole book will help you understand these languages more. In his book he has a quiz that helps you figure out your primary love language. This quiz can also be found online here.
More than One Love Language Book
Gary Chapman has published multiple books that include but are not limited to: The Five Love Languages for Men, The Five Love Languages for Teenagers, The Five Love Languages for Children, The Five Love Languages Singles Edition, The Five Love Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, and God Speaks Your Love Language.
Knowing your love language and how you can respond to other’s love language will allow you to have that fairy-tale ending. Both in friendships and relationships, in order for the other person to be the best-version-of-themself, they need to feel loved.
The Ultimate Love
Today, take the quiz, find out more about your love language. Enjoy the day whether you’re in a relationship or not. Most importantly, rest in the fact that you are loved by God. He is the one that can fill your love tank to the top and is always there saying, “I love you.” He’s everyone’s happily-ever-after!
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Ann Marschel is a licensed elementary teacher who currently is at home with her boys and teaches the Billings Ovulation Method (NFP) on nights and weekends. She loves spending time with her family and talking to Jesus as she goes for walks. Find out more about her here.