5 Tips About Love Languages You Need To Know So Your Relationship Flourishes
It’s been said that marriage and relationships are hard work. We respectfully disagree. We believe there are two things overlooked when relationships feel like a struggle: understanding and communication. When you don’t understand or “get” your partner, you’ve added an unnecessary heaviness to the relationship. And with an existing dynamic of disconnect, healthy communication doesn’t stand a chance.
But what if it could be easier? What if you could, after 10 minutes, flip a switch on understanding the one thing you are missing in your relationship?
We had the wonderful opportunity to interview The 5 Love Languages® renowned author and counselor, Dr. Gary Chapman. We discussed how his research, book, and work has improved the relationships of millions of people.
Here are 5 nuggets that Dr. Chapman shared for people to “meet that emotional need for love,” by tapping into your partner’s primary—really—all five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch:
1) Love is a choice. We have all heard that love is a verb, but it is also something we can choose. “If you know your spouse’s love language, then speaking it—is a choice,” Gary Chapman insists.
Even though learning your partner’s love language may not feel comfortable, do it anyway. “I say to people sometimes, ‘You know, my wife’s language is acts of service and I say I vacuum the floors for her. Do you think that vacuuming floors comes natural for me? No no. But I do it, not because I enjoy vacuuming, but because I know it makes her feel love.’ So you have to determine that you’re going to learn the love language and then you choose to do it.”
2) You can develop fluency across all 5 love languages. After learning the ins and outs of each of the love languages, it’s valuable to dig deeper to understand the subtleties that Dr. Chapman calls the “dialects” in each of the 5 love languages.
As each verbal language has its own colloquialisms, (“You know you’re from _____ city if you say this…”), the love languages have nuances as well. For example, if both of our primary love languages are acts of service, but we don’t do the same things for one another. Geoff chooses to fold laundry, and vacuum, while Poppy chooses to make meals and manage most of their business correspondences.
Being proficient in all 5 languages is the secret to a fulfilling relationship. Dr. Gary Chapman shares: “That’s the healthiest adult who learns how to receive and give love in all five love languages.”
3) How to know if your partner is a “Dead Sea,” or “Babbling Brook.” Dr. Chapman highlighted personality differences in addition to different primary love languages: “It will be frustrating when you grew up and your personality is one type and their personality is another type.
“And so we sometimes talk about Dead Seas and Babbling Brooks. You know the Dead Sea is the one we’re describing here—that they can receive things throughout the day. They have a large reservoir where they store all of that and they’re perfectly happy not to talk.
And if you ask them a question, they have to think about it. They want to stay in response to that. But the Babbling Brook—whatever comes in the eye gate or the ear gate—comes out the mouth gate. And there’s hardly sixty seconds between. And they marry each other. So yes, they will be frustrated with each other.”
Partners who are together, and are Dead Seas and Babbling Brooks, need to be hyper aware to “speak” in each other’s primary love language. And, the Babbling Brook and the Dead Sea both need to exercise the art of patience.
4) Why it’s critical to keep the “Emotional Love Tank” filled. An emotional love tank that has a gauge pointed toward empty, represents a person whose relationship is disconnected and unfulfilling.
We asked Dr. Chapman if one person entered into the relationship with a near-empty tank, whose job is it to fill it? “I don’t know that we can fill our own tank. But I do think we have to be open to love,” Dr. Chapman said. He added that those who had grown up not receiving love in any form, “will have difficulty believing that somebody could really love them.”
Ultimately, sharing that vulnerability is important, and Dr. Chapman suggested that one might say: ‘Okay, this is my history. This is what I grew up in. But now I’m an adult. And let me learn the skills that are necessary to have good relationships.’” #accountability
5) The apology languages: The way you say “I’m sorry,” is essential to a heart-healthy relationship. In their co-authored book, Dr. Chapman and Jennifer Thomas give us 5 apology languages: expressing regret, accepting responsibility, making restitution, genuinely repenting, and requesting forgiveness.
If you and your partner have misaligned apology languages, the “I’m sorry,” may come across as inauthentic. Knowing your own and your partner’s apology preference, will smooth those challenges that obstruct your open and vulnerable communication.
Dr. Chapman offers this: “So if you understand that we have different ideas about what a sincere apology looks like, then you can share that with each other and you can learn to apologize in a way that’s meaningful to the other person. Because you know what we’re asking in the back of our mind when someone’s apologizing: ‘Are they sincere?’ Because if they’re sincere, we can forgive them. If we think they’re just trying to whitewash it, it’s harder to forgive.”
What’s wonderful about this information is that when you know your love languages you truly can make your communication so much better. By understanding your partner’s love language and your own, you break through those barriers that prevented you from giving and receiving love at its best.
For the complete interview with Dr. Gary Chapman, please listen to our chat with him on the Relationship Restaurant podcast.
Want help learning how this works? Let us teach you more about your love language, your Myers’s Briggs score AND your personality compatibility with your partner. Contact us today at www.poppyandgeoff.com/.