By: Erin Rose Hennessy
How do we as human beings express love? How do we let others know we love and care for them and want them to have all the good things life has to offer? Is it simply saying “I love you?”
According to Gary Chapman, there are five “Love Languages”. His theory is that human beings have one or two primary ways they show love and affection towards others and those are also the ways they need to feel loved themselves. Not only knowing your own love language, but knowing those of your family and close friends can be helpful and sometimes essential in understanding the best ways to let someone know you care about them.
The topic of “love languages” came up in deep conversation about other things with one of my best friends over the weekend. We both decided to take the quiz online to see what we got and the results were kind of eye-opening!
My top score was 12 (out of a high score of 12) in Quality Time. This is my primary love language. The ways I best show and receive affection is by “spending time,” and I totally agree. I love just sitting and talking with others. I love walks, picnics, days at the beach, and camping. I feel a little sad every time quality time is over and my friend or family member goes home. I like having my loved ones’ undivided attention and am a little bothered by phone or other distractions.
My second highest score, also a clearly preferred love language, was in “Acts of Service.” This language means an individual shows and receives affection best by doing things for others and having them do things for them. Showing people we care by mowing their lawn, watching their children, and helping set up and clean up after a party are a few of the ways this language is expressed. I see this in my family the most, as they were the first to drop everything to help when I moved a few months ago.
Just behind that, I scored pretty nicely in “Words of Affirmation.” This language is expressed by telling people that you love them, but also telling them they are awesome and they are appreciated. My job feels pretty thankless some days, so it is really nice to hear a compliment from someone that I am appreciated.
Then there is “Receiving Gifts,” which is not to be confused with materialism! This language is expressed with small tokens of affection. Buying someone flowers “just because,” or grabbing their favorite chocolate bar at the store. I got a four out of twelve for this one, and I agree it’s definitely not a preferred way for me.
And what is probably the most popular and displayed the most often in television and the one that I got a rather embarrassingly low score on is “Physical Touch.” Not necessarily amorous in nature, showing love by cuddling, holding hands, kissing, is the primary expression of this language. I think anyone who knows me well will know that this is one that I seem to have difficulty with. It’s not that I don’t like to be touched, it’s that I don’t like to be touched by people I don’t know well. Ergo, why I will never go to a massage parlor.
If you are interesed, the quiz I took is here: 5 Love Languages
What is your love language? What makes you feel loved and appreciated?