Monday, March 9, 2009

Love Language

Several years ago I read a book by Gary Chapman called The Five Love Languages. I am not sure why the ideas from this book popped back into my head this week, but they have. The main idea of this self-help book is to identify the five different areas that speak love deep into our souls, that truly resonate within us. These areas, according to Dr. Chapman, include:
  • Words of Affirmation;
  • Quality Time;
  • Receiving Gifts;
  • Acts of Service;
  • Physical Touch.
The interesting thing is that if your spouse or significant other does not express love and committment to you in a language that you "know" or "understand", your relationship will either suffer or not be as strong as it could be. The book helps us to identify what our own personal love languages are, and perhaps more importantly, to identify the love languages that are appropriate for and relevant to our partner.

I can say that I have seen first hand how true the notions of Dr. Chapman really are. I have killed myself at times to give of myself, to really sacrifice, to work on something that I thought was valuable and would express my love, only to have my efforts go completely unappreciated and unrecognized. This caused palpable strain to develop and fester because neither of our needs were met. This lead to unnecessary misunderstandings, quarrels, and divide. The important thing is to communicate without pride, without a quarrelsome nature or aspect, and without indignation. I stress that this is not a one-time conversation. It is something that must be continuous between you and your partner. I speak from painful personal experience. Hopefully my warning and advice will at least give you pause, maybe to think of ways to reach out.