Happy Friday, dear reader!
As I’ve been on this spiritual awakening journey, I’ve been redefining what love means and how I express it. The 5 Love Languages (affiliate), by Dr. Gary Chapman had been on my to-read list for years, but I figured now was the perfect time to move it to the top.
I listened to the audiobook, read by the author. His southern drawl makes the messages seem like old-timey advice doled out while sippin’ lemonade on a front porch, but there was something familiar about his voice. I just about shouted when I realized it reminded me of Mr. DNA from Jurassic Park. But that doesn’t depreciate the value of his message – maybe imaging this advice coming from an animated DNA sequence will help it sink in.
After more than 30 years as a counselor, Chapman concluded there are five emotional love languages – “five ways people speak and understand emotional love.” He explains with linguistics (we’re off to a steamy start).
“Most of us grow up learning the language of our parents and siblings, which becomes our primary or native tongue. Later, we may learn additional languages, but usually with much more effort. These become our secondary languages. We speak and understand best our native language. We feel most comfortable speaking that language. The more we use a secondary language the more comfortable we become conversing in it. If we speak only our primary language and encounter someone else who speaks his or her primary language – which is different from ours – our communication will be limited.”Dr. Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages
He continues with the linguistics metaphor, saying a language may have numerous dialects or variations. In the same way, there may be numerous dialects or variations within his five basic emotional love languages. He points out that the number of ways to express love within a love language is limited only by your imagination, and he has plenty ideas of how to express love. I’ve included his suggestions for each language below.
I found valuable information in The 5 Love Languages, and it is my intention that I can provide an adequate summary that provides you value as well.
The Five love languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, giving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. While Chapman focuses on monogamous, heteronormative relationships, these love languages will be beneficial to your expression no matter your orientation or the nature of your relationship.
Over the next few pages, we’ll dive into each love language individually and see if we can figure out how love can be blind at the same time it is a many-splendored thing.