This article looks at the five love languages inspired by Dr Gary Chapman. I have tried to relate Chapman’s ideas to Keirsey’s. Even though they are two very different approaches, together they make the perfect relationship advice.
A couple who can speak the same language can communicate more effectively and therefore get along better. In Keirsey’s theory, it is the abstract and concrete nature of the language both people use to communicate that makes the difference, while in Chapman’s it is the language you use to show your love that is important.
I would say, it is the temperament compatibility that attracts and connects couples initially; and it’s how you express your love that nourishes and keeps the love going.
In Chapman’s theory, there are five love languages:
Words of Affirmation
If both couple’s primary love language is Words of Affirmation it saves you a lot of cost and effort. All you need to do is to say or write love words in whatever form! A poem, a greeting card, a handwritten note, a voice message, a love song, a video message all work in any occasion. It doesn’t even need to be your anniversary.
Some people are born good at Words of Affirmation. This is one of the traits some Idealists possess.
For those who are not good at it, reading love poems and stories will help, and above all, you may need to overcome your shyness.
The skill of Words of Affirmation benefits not only your love relationship, but also your social life and work. That’s probably because the soul and mind need nourishment too.
Another secret of some Idealists is that one of their primary love languages is the Physical Touch. When we say Physical Touch, we don’t refer to pure sex, even though Idealists are sensual. The sensuality of Idealists is reflected in their minds, their words and their need to be close.
When we say Primary Love Language, we mean the level of the language and how often it is needed. Some may prefer cuddling, while some others may prefer public displays of affection or even both.
Chapman says he discovered the five love languages from his counselling practice. I boldly assume that Chapman is an Idealist himself; he’s better at helping abstract thinking couples, and he’s inclined to notice abstract language patterns.
Let’s get down to the Quality Time Love Language. It’s all about doing things together alone with full attention. Isn’t that abstract? It’s all about the Quality Time that’s invisible. It’s the time spent with 100% focus on the couple being together and the ideas they exchange rather than the things they do.
If the Quality Time is your Primary Love Language, then pleasing your partner can be as simple as spending time together just talking. This is additional to the other time you spend together doing grocery and watching movies.
Acts of Service
I believe that action speaks louder, especially when it’s day-to-day chores done without being asked. Other than cooking a special meal, helping your partner with their tasks and projects also shows your thoughtfulness.
If you iron your partner’s clothes, he or she will always appreciate your kindness. Acts of service cost effort and time rather than money. You could wash your partner’s feet as a special treat, brush her hair or lay out her clothes while she is in the shower. All are small actions that are highly appreciated by someone who values Acts of Service above other love languages.
Did you notice that Receiving Gifts is the only concrete love language, and the other four love languages are all abstract?
What if all love was expressed in the form of a gift? What kind of anniversary gift would you like to receive or give; what kind of birthday gift would affect you on an emotional level? Could a love gift also be abstract? Many couples give themselves a gift, as a bonding experience. Short breaks, wine-tasting experiences and pamper days are the gifts for your anniversary that both of you will enjoy equally.
Gifts can be concrete like a necklace or they can be abstract like an experience. Sometimes an abstract gift works better than a concrete one. It all depends on the Primary Love Language you and your partner speak. Understanding your partner’s needs will help you to choose appropriate gifts.