Friday, June 21, 2024

#LoveSpeaks: The Five Love Languages

By John Macklien Olandag | February 13, 2021


Unsa?” (What?)

“I love you hehehehe…”

These are very random moments of Jay and Jill— two sweethearts that have been dating together for almost five years already. It all started with a teenage tease, and just as a girl went to look at those manly smiles outside a childish boy, her heart throbbed. Then, when Jay saw Jill’s innocent smiles that spoke desire, he fell in an ecstasy of love. Jay has a massive stature, yet becomes vulnerable like a baby when saying these words to Jill. 

That’s love. No one is spared when Cupid shoots his arrow. Either it builds or tears a person apart. But how it makes or breaks a person whole is a vivid expression in five languages. 

Love in Five Languages

Dr. Gary Chapman, American author, pastor, and talk show host, wrote a book series entitled The Five Love Languages that discusses how to strengthen relationships with oneself and significant others. One of the books in the series, The Secret to Love that Lasts, written in 1995, enumerates five love languages specific for couples:

Words of Affirmation

The use of words that motivate or can build up your partner is one language of love that strengthens a relationship. These words don’t really need to be lengthy or complicated. Even one-liners can do the trick.

In Chapman’s book, one can give verbal compliments as a gesture of love. For example, saying, “You are beautiful” to your partner will captivate their soul, especially when told with certainty. These words are also meant to boost the self-esteem of your pair. Words of encouragement like “You can do it!” incites courage wrapped in endearment. Kind words, like saying “I love you” in a tender and sincere tone can go miles.

Quality Time

People often refer to quality time as sitting on the couch together, watching Netflix. But in this case, quality time is when you turn off the tv and look at each other—giving each other your undivided attention. 

As Dr. Chapman narrated in his book, when you give thirty minutes of time with your significant other, you are also giving each other thirty minutes of life. It is one moment that cannot be repeated, making it a powerful emotional communicator. 

Giving Gifts

A gift is not just something that you can give to commemorate special days. It is also something that you hold in your hand and say, “I’m remembered.” A gift is a symbol of thought, regardless of how much it costs. You look at a person, or in this case, your partner and imagine how they smile as they receive the gift. 

Gifts are visual representations of love. As we can see in most wedding ceremonies, there is the giving and receiving of rings, with the presiding person saying, “These rings are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual bond that unites your two hearts in love that has no end.” This isn’t just an indefinite rhetoric, but is both a visual and organic symbol of marriage. As  long as the ring is in each other’s finger, love is always present.

Acts of Service

This love language means doing things you know your partner wants you to do. You seek to make them happy by serving them, like cooking breakfast or ordering their needed supplies. 

For married couples, this can require time, energy, and sometimes exhaustive effort. The things a partner did when they were “young and in love” and the things they do after union are often very different. For example, cooking an exquisite meal  for one’s partner is one of the ultimate expressions of love and commitment, but later in life it is much easier to bring home readily cooked food from roadside stores. It is less time consuming.

But Dr. Chapman gives a great tip. You should learn to change the diapers of your baby, and make him sleep with your lullabies with that same gentle voice you used to sing for your sweetheart. That’s an act of service in a nutshell.

Physical Touch

Among the five love languages, this can be the most complicated. It requires an intimate knowledge of what part of the body is deemed gentle or irritating to the touch. 

A person with this love language expresses love by hugging, kissing, or cuddling. These touches can be explicit, like having a passionate moment together, or implicit, requiring only minimal touches like putting your hand on your partner’s shoulder or holding their hand.

Physical touch requires knowing the love dialect of your partner. It is a sensitive form of expression and can either make or break a relationship with just a single touch.

Knowing Your Language

What makes you or your partner feel loved? What makes you or your partner feel uncomfortable? These are the basic questions you can ask if you want to know each other’s languages. Spending time together helps you unlock the answers. Knowing the right language for your partner will help you strengthen your relationship. Anyway, what else is sweeter than knowing what makes your partner happy?


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