The 5 Love Languages 1 Couple's 7-Day Test
We have learned to express our feelings in ways that are meaningful to each other. We are fluent in what Dr. Gary Chapman calls ''love language.''
You may be familiar with Chapman's best-selling The 5 Love Languages. My husband and I tested it 11 years ago and wrote about it on WebMD. Now that our marriage has reached the quarter-century milestone, we're giving Chapman's method another try. Has the language of love stood the test of time?
What are the five love languages?
Thirty years ago in Winston, North Carolina, Chapman, his Salem marriage and family therapist, came up with his five categories of what couples want from each other, which he noticed during his counseling sessions.
1. A word of confirmation:
words of praise or encouragement
2. Quality time:
undivided attention of her partner
3. Receive gifts:
Love symbols such as flowers and chocolates
4. Official Action:
Setting the table, walking the dog, and other small jobs
5. Physical Touch:
have sex, hold hands, kiss
Chapman writes about this in his book. Learning each other's love language, he says, can help couples express their feelings in ways that are ''deep and meaningful'' to each other.
On our first date, my husband and I took Chapman's love words quiz and spent the week filling each other's ''love tanks.''
I discovered that we share the same love language.
fulfilling time. For a week, strolling the local farmers market, shopping for antiques, and chatting over a glass of wine at our favorite date night bar/restaurant, we experienced things we haven't experienced in years. We deepened our bond.
Our respective love tanks were actually very full. But it was then. Now how does love language apply to my marriage? Relationships in general?
5 Love Languages Today
Much has changed since Chapman's book was published. And technology plays a big role in that.
''We're all so tied to our phones that in our spare time, we tend to look at them more than each other,'' Chapman said when I spoke with him again recently.
Guilty. Most nights, her husband and I are curled up on the couch, both scrolling through Facebook or Instagram while the TV blares in the background. According to Chapman, the best way to combat technology disruption is to put down your phone and have him talk two or three times a week. that's what we did. But first he did the five love language quiz again. This time the results were not the same. My husband scored the highest on physical contact. Quality time was again my top priority, but words of affirmation came very close.
''I think there are life stages and circumstances that affect love language,'' says Chapman. ''It doesn't hurt to take a quiz every five years just to see.''
Her husband and I still speak the language of love. However, the dialect may be slightly different. i love theater He likes to spend time in brewpubs. I would like him to give me a massage before going to bed. He would like...you get the picture.
This time, instead of planning activities together, we focused more on each other. As Chapman suggested, several times a week we put down our phones, looked each other in the eye, and listened. I touched him more often, even if it was just for hugs and arm massages. Every day he told me how much he loved and appreciated me.
I asked her husband if her love tank was full. am. Me too. Are 5 Love Languages Enough?
In the book, Chapman says his technique has the potential to save ''thousands of marriages.'' can? I entered the process with an already solid marriage that only needed a few adjustments. Will it have the same impact on volatile relationships?
Chapman is optimistic. He believes we can change our relationships for the better, no matter how rocky they are.
''What the love language does is give you the most powerful way to have a positive influence on your spouse, because you're addressing one of their most powerful needs:
the need for love,'' he says. ''When a person feels loved, they tend to be drawn to the person who's loving them.''
While there's nothing wrong with the 5 Love Languages approach, it doesn't have the weight to solve more serious marital problems, says Julie Nise, a licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship trainer in Pensacola, FL.
''The 5 suggested expressions of love and care are quite lovely and would be a nice addition to an already pretty good, stable marriage,'' she says. ''However, couples with very poor communication and problem-solving skills, or in very damaged relationships with years of unresolved resentments and frequent arguing, should not expect them to work in the same way.''
Some couples have to sort out their basic issues and understand things like their goals, patterns, and perceptions before they can be a team that works well, Nise says. Chapman agrees that love language may not solve all the problems couples have, but it can address basic emotional needs.
“Once that need is met, we are more likely to be able to address other issues in the marriage,” he says. It's another tool that can help.''
So if you and your partner want to explore the language of love, understand that while this is a good way to reconnect, it is not an easy fix. requires a solid foundation and a lot of effort.
16 Jan 2023