Written by Clara Lai
Regardless of race, gender, nationality and all the other labels that have come to divide us, it is undeniable that all of us in this world share a common experience linking us all together – love. Love is what humanises humans and paints colours in a monochrome world; and so, this Valentine’s month, let us examine the ways in which we express this beautiful emotion – through the 5 languages of love.
The languages of love can be categorised into 5 different types: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. Well, at the very least, these are the words of world-famous writer Gary Chapman in his best-selling book, The 5 Love Languages. Chapman describes these love languages as such:
Words of Affirmation: “This language uses words to affirm one’s loved ones”;
Acts of Service: “For these people, actions speak louder than words”;
Receiving Gifts: “For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift”;
Quality Time: “This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention”; and finally,
Physical Touch: “To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than an appropriate touch”.
These languages of love are what connect people from all around the world despite their differences, as universal signs of endearment and adoration. Indeed, the act of conveying our affections to our loved ones through these 5 languages is not an idea foreign to any of us – in fact, one could say it’s become a reassuring routine in our lives – but not everyone uses the same love language, and some may even have more than one that they favour.
In light of this, understanding the way your significant other, family member or friend ticks can really help improve and build a healthier relationship. If you’ve ever gotten into an argument with someone and tried calming them down in a way soothing to your own preferences, you know that this can sometimes escalate things further rather than help. This is because everybody views and sees things differently. Some may prefer receiving gifts or spending quality time together instead of physical intimacy. This isn’t to say that they detest the idea of other love languages – they merely prefer others instead.
On another hand, understanding the love languages you favour can also help you understand the areas you yourself ‘lack’ in. At times, empathising with others requires you to be able to view things from their point of view. For example, although you might not consider verbal affirmation a key factor in feeling happy and valued in a relationship, your significant other may disagree and need this reassurance. Learning to address one another’s needs and communicate effectively your love for someone – no matter verbally or nonverbally -is a vital skill in every relationship.
It’s true that there isn’t any solid proof behind Gary Chapman’s theory of the 5 love languages, and you might find it very cheesy and fluffy. However, you can probably find that it’s not that difficult to relate to these ‘languages of love’. As social beings, we humans tend to constantly discover new, different ways to find and express our affection and love.
Curious to find out what you or your special someone’s love language is? Check out the love language test on: http://www.5lovelanguages.com to learn more about it.