By: Juliette Levy-Gay (Grade 8)
These are 5 Languages that anyone can understand
English and French are not the only languages used in Canada. The language of love is all around us. Endless studies support the presence of what has come to be known as “love languages”. The concept of love languages was first introduced by Gary Chapman, who is an author and counsellor with a Bachelor of Arts, a Masters Degree in Anthropology, and a PhD in Adult Education. After years of observing couples as a marriage counsellor, Chapman began to notice that his clients had many different perspectives of what loving someone entails and in what “language” it should be demonstrated through. He began to research these differences and discovered something that highly impacted modern relationships.
Chapman is now most commonly known for his 1995 novel “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”. Although Chapman wrote primarily about couples, since then, research has suggested that love languages are applicable to any type of relationship.
At this point, you must be wondering, “What on earth is a love language? Love can’t speak!” While this statement is true, that does not mean that love cannot be communicated in other ways. The definition of a love language is how you show affection as well as how you like to receive it. Chapman wrote that relationships can be strengthened by knowing how your partner displays their affection and how they would most like to receive it. He discovered that there are 5 main love languages: quality time, physical touch, gift exchange, words of affirmation, and acts of service.
The love language of quality time is about giving your partner your undivided attention in a conversation or doing an activity that brings you closer together. For some people, spending one on one time with someone is the most sincere and genuine form of love.
Physical touch is said to be the most candid way to portray affection. As long as it doesn’t come across as oppressive – hand-holding, hugging, and kissing, are all very intimate ways of showing someone you love them.
While gift exchange may seem like the least thoughtful and affectionate of the languages, in a way, it is the most. Giving someone a gift shows that you care enough to think about them when you are not with them. Sometimes, a gift can show that you truly know and understand your partner and their interests.
Words of Affirmation
Some people need words of affirmation from their loved ones to feel appreciated and safe. Saying “I love you” and really meaning it is perhaps the purest form of expressing love for someone. Other words of affirmation could simply be “thank you”, “I’m here for you”, or commenting on something specific you love about someone.
Acts of Service
Acts of service do not have to be grand gestures that impact the whole world. Acts of service could mean nothing more than cooking dinner, or cleaning something up even if it wasn’t your mess. Some people really appreciate it when they don’t need to carry all the responsibility in a relationship.
Most people identify with either one or two of the love languages. Understanding which ones you personally use and those you would like your loved one to use, as well as the preferences of your partner, friends, and family can be highly useful in establishing healthy, long term relationships.
To find out your love language, click this link!