We have all heard that marriage is hard work – but can couples not understanding what love language their partner speaks, cause their marriage to fail?
Newlyweds have undoubtedly been given solicited and often unsolicited advice on what makes a marriage work. Personally, I believe that commitment and communication are the most important ingredients in any successful marriage and I think a lot of people stay married due to their patience (emphasis on patience) and understanding for each other.
In this day and age of social media and instant gratification, people may forget that in a marriage your partner may not always be as romantic as Ryan Gosling in movies or bring you breakfast in bed every morning. In society, we are encouraged to always want more and keep up with a selfie infused lifestyle.
Our mobile devices and social media may divert our attention away from our spouse and instead follow and keep up the lives of other seemingly ‘perfect Instagram couples’. Again for me this comes down to healthy communication. As long as you talk to your partner face to face rather than through technology I have faith that the relationship will survive.
Now to get to the topic at hand, can the 5 love languages really save your marriage? Many psychologists and relationship experts often dive in way deeper into what makes couples compatible. Some people believe in reading horoscopes or taking compatibility and personality tests to find the answer to the much-asked question ‘Is he the one’?
Relationship counsellor Gary Chapman wrote his marriage handbook titled ‘Five Love Languages’ to provide couples with theories on what love language they and their partner speak. The idea behind the concept is that notably we all express and appreciate love in different ways. Understanding what your spouse values in a marriage and putting the work in to nurture those values can really build a strong foundation for your relationship.
Chapman has described the five languages in his own words;
”My conclusion after thirty years of marriage counselling is that there are basically five emotional love languages—five ways that people speak and understand emotional love. In the field of linguistics, a language may have numerous dialects or variations. Similarly, within the five basic emotional love languages, there are many dialects…The important thing is to speak the love language of your spouse.”
These are the Five Love Languages Chapman has coined and a brief description of what each emotional love language means:
1. Words of Affirmation
Using endearing language, expressing affections using speech, praising or complimenting and appreciating your spouse.
2. Acts of Service
Showing your love through actions rather than words, this can be things like cooking, cleaning or taking care of your partner.
3. Receiving Gifts
This is not a materialistic love language but rather a symbolic expression of love. For instance, this can be handwritten love notes or a surprise for your significant other.
4. Quality Time
Paying attention to your partner in an undivided way. Showing them you enjoy their company and want to spend time together.
5. Physical Touch
With this love language, the speaker feels affection through physical touch.
There is no scientific research to back up Chapman’s theory – however, a lot of us can apply a few if not all of these love languages to our personal expression of love. This is because it’s relate-able and we often wish our partner was more like us. We often find ourselves wishing ”if only he listened more, remembered important dates or just took the trash without being asked a 100 times”.
It’s true we can all find a long list of demands and expectations we place on our partners without them even knowing it and then wonder why they are not living up to those expectations. Let’s face it no one is perfect – but we can start with trying to understand each other and communicate more effectively.
Curious to see what your love language is? Why not click here to take the quiz. If you are in a relationship make sure you both take it, it will help you with understanding your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to connect with others.
It’s certainly worth a try, let us know what love language you speak and what your thoughts are on Chapman’s theory.