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Monday, July 09, 2012

Who Gives a Damn About a Love Language?

"Love is the most important word in the English language-and the most confusing." That is one of the hundreds of sentences that caught my eye this past weekend as I read David Chapman's The 5 Love Languages. As I turned each page of the 201 page international bestseller I quickly realized my life was forever changed by the things Dr. Chapman shared about love. By sharing stories of the couples he's counseled throughout his thirty year counseling career he managed to maintain an optimistic tone while enlightening readers about the secret to love that lasts.  

Inside every man, woman and child is an 'emotional love tank' waiting to be filled with love. That emotional tank is a symbol of our desire for romantic love. When a person feels loved their love tank is full. The secret to helping someone feel loved is to speak their love language. Think about how they express their love to you, the thing they complain about and the thing they request the most often. Collectively, those things give you insight about someone's love language.

Dr. Chapman says everyone has a love language, and we all identify primarily with one of the five love languages: Words of Affirmation(verbal compliments, kind words or words of appreciation), Quality Time (giving someone your undivided attention), Receiving Gifts(visual and concrete symbols of love), Acts of Service(doing things you know your spouse would like for you to do), and Physical Touch(holding hands, kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse). 

I hear you asking "Raine what the f*ck is a love language and why the hell should I care?" Simmer simmer pots and pans. A love language is the way a person speaks and understands emotional love. Sounds simple right? Well its not. Discovering your own primary love language as well as the love language of your spouse starts with the decision to love.  According to Dr. Chapman, "Once you identify and learn to speak your spouse's primary love will have discovered the key to a long-lasting, loving marriage."  

Granted, the version I read was written for married couples but as a single person I still "got it." Suddenly I understood the love language of both of my parents, my siblings, friends and past boyfriends. It all became so clear to me that I wished I had known it sooner. One of the most profound things I learned is that the feeling of being "in-love" doesn't last forever. The "in-love" feeling lasts for two years max, according to those people to who to school to understand other people. 

I recommend Dr. Chapman's book. I always thought my love language was receiving gifts. Thanks to Dr. Chapman I realized I could go without receiving gifts if people gave me quality time. That means my love language is quality time. Now I realize why having people show up at my birthday dinners without a gift was ok with me. 

To find out your love language, take this quiz.  Remember as you take the quiz to consider which one would be the most difficult to do without. Share your results and ask your loved ones to take the quiz.

What love language do YOU speak? I'm listening...

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