Five Love Languages Summary
The five love languages, based on the book by Dr. Gary Chapman, are a method of understanding how romantic partners feel loved. When we understand our love languages, and the love languages of our partner, we are better able to communicate love in ways that will be heard.
Five Love Languages Summary (read the full overview here):
1.Words of Affirmation: With this love language, verbalizing love goes a long way.
2.Physical Touch: This love language longs to be physically close.
3.Gifts: Small meaningful gifts make this person feel loved.
4.Acts of Service: With this love language, actions speak louder than words.
5.Quality Time: This love language longs to have your undivided attention.
Primary and Secondary Love Languages
According to Dr. Chapman, people have primary and secondary love languages. A primary love language is what will have the largest impact on you or your partner, and if this primary love language is missing in the relationship it can have a deep and painful impact. For example, I have a best friend whose primary love language is gifts. If I give her a gift, it will make her feel very loved; and if I forget to give her a gift on her birthday, it will sting.
A secondary love language is another language that can make you feel loved, but doesn’t have as huge of an impact—either positive or negative. So in the case of my friend, compliments and words of affirmation make her feel good, but they don’t have the same positive impact as gifts. It also doesn’t hurt as badly when there aren’t as many words of affirmation.
How do you know your love language?
In order to know your love language, think about a time when you felt really loved. See if you can pinpoint the times and events in your life where you were feeling loved. It may have been a time you were cuddling on the couch, or when someone gave you a meaningful complement or gift, or maybe the time someone helped you with grocery shopping or did laundry together. The times you felt loved are good pointers as to what your love language might be. Ask you partner about the memories when they have felt most loved. This will help you determine their love language as well.
Knowing primary and secondary love languages in a relationship is important because you want the most bang for your buck when it comes to making your partner feel loved. If you know your partner’s primary love language, then you know where to put a lot of your efforts in demonstrating love to them. The secondary love language is also helpful to know because you can bolster your efforts at showing love through sprinkling in healthy doses of your partners secondary love language on top of the primary love language.
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Elizabeth Polinsky is a marriage and couple therapist specializing in working with military members, veterans, and their families. Liz is located in Norfolk, Virginia, and provides online counseling services throughout Virginia, South Carolina, and Arkansas.
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The Communicate & Connect Podcast
In Communicate & Connect For Military Relationships, I provide educational tips for relationships, communication, and navigating military family life.
Hey, I'm Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Polinsky and I am a marriage counselor in Virginia Beach. I provide online counseling across the states of VA, MD, NC, SC, AR, and NV.