A friend tells you that she is going to end their relationship because her partner “doesn’t treat her the way she should”. He is your friend to whom his partner keeps taking him on trips despite earning little money. You are dying for the photos that appear on their facebook because you really love to travel; with your boyfriend you haven’t even been to the Alhambra in Granada yet.
Your friend, however, is craving your relationship because your boyfriend is a hardened romantic, and according to you: “an embarrasser who talks a lot but recently”, which you translate, he won’t like you so much.
The 5 languages of love
Often, in the private sphere, people discuss the different problems we encounter as a couple. Some issues are more visible (such as discussions in decision making, unrequited individual obsessions, etc.) than others, which go more unnoticed. This is the case with the type of problem that we will discuss below.
The 5 languages of love: modal preferences for manifesting and receiving love
According to Chapman (2009), there is 5 languages of love. These can be very important for the relationship to improve considerably, not just as a couple, but between friends, colleagues or family. Chapman emphasizes that each person tends to express their love and prefers to receive it in a concrete way. It is interesting to know which ones are types of love that exist. You can consult it on:
“Types of love: what are the different types of love?”
Here are the five modalities or languages of love:
We express our affection for verbalize words of encouragement, support, affection, congratulation, praise, kindness or humility towards others. These are words that are sometimes spoken without thinking and have a very positive effect on the other person; increase their self-esteem, security and well-being. “We almost all remember fleeting words that (…) marked our lives.”
It is recommended to use direct, simple and forceful sentences: “I love you very much, really”; “I love it when you tell me things so well.” But above all, it is important that it is credible for the person who receives it and for that it is essential that the person who transmits it really feels it (bodily expression, appropriate context).
2. Quality time
We live in a hurrying society which with the false needs created by the market (having the best car, trip, house, etc.) makes us forget what the quality time. Sharing quality time is not so much the act (a good dinner or an expensive restaurant), but the pleasure of sharing it with our loved ones; listen and be listened to, without haste or other distractors. There is no other goal for the person than to share this time with the person you want.
The meaning of the gift seems to have lost its value in a consumer society: “The more gifts there are and the more expensive, the better,” she tells us, whatever their need or usefulness. But many will agree that there are gifts that express a lot of love and affection that can be made by the same person or purchased effortlessly.
Therefore, for some people, this type of gift symbolizes a very beautiful expression of love; who gives it has had time to struggle and think about it. On the other hand, the one who works to make or obtain this gift, enjoys from the moment he has the idea, until he has given the gift to the other, without waiting longer than his smile.
4. Acts of service
Try to please the person serve them or render them a service for some people it is rewarding. Cooking, cleaning, repairing, taking care of heavier chores, or moving to faraway places, are acts that are performed meticulously and with a smile on your face, without waiting for you to return the favor or an immediate compensatory response. “It is not a need or an obligation, but something that is done generously to help the other.”
5. Physical contact
It is the form of simpler and more direct communication. Hugging, kissing, caressing, touching, having sex; they are means of transmitting and receiving the love of the couple. For some people, physical contact is their main language, they feel security and happiness through it; and without it, they don’t feel loved. “He can produce or break a relationship. He can communicate hate or love.”
Share how to like
It is common for the couple to attend a verbal consultation so as not to receive love samples from the other (Punset, 2010). Know, identify and share the different ways of loving it is a precious help; brings us a plus for communication as a couple. Obviously, there are multiple strategies and tasks to improve relationships, as the field of couples therapy is very wide. The 5 languages of love are part of it. Once visualized they may seem obvious, but if we think about it for a moment we rarely tell the other person which one we prefer. No one is a fortune teller, and ignoring that the other one knows is a very common mistake between couples.
Each person has preferences for manifesting one or more types of languages which may or may not match the reception preference. If we are not shown love through our preferred language, we may not feel loved (Punset; 2010). So, to give utility to these concepts, I suggest meditate on them and discuss it with your partner, friends, colleagues or family (as it can also be a useful tool for our loved ones):
- Know the 5 languages of love: Physical contact; Quality time; gifts; Acts of service; and words. (Explained above).
- Identify them in us: How do I prefer to receive love? And how do I usually prefer or express my affection? It can be difficult to answer these questions and identify just one (there may be two). To do this, we need to remember the intensity and duration of the emotion we feel when we receive the different samples of affection, and how easily or how often we perform them.
- share-: Once identified it will be useful when we come across your partner; if you have any questions at the time, resolve them (the more you specify the better, remember nothing should be taken for granted); and let the other party tell you their preferences as well.
- Put them into practice. This section looks easy, but it can go wrong. So you have to be patient. Each person evolves in a context and gets used to it (families where hugs are a daily ritual vs. families where the components never kiss). What we consider normal is not so normal for others and changing habits can sometimes be quite expensive. Therefore, you must be patient during the change; positively reinforce the effort of the other when he performs the desired act; and whether he ignores it or not, he does it as we wish, explain it again (otherwise, by examples, etc.).
Finally think about the fact that everyone in good health has the ability to express five types of love, And that to a greater or lesser extent, we express almost everything. Elsa Punset (2010) states in her book that: “If we get used to our children giving and receiving love in all languages, tomorrow they will be able to communicate freely in each of them”.
- Chapman, G. (2009). The five languages of love. Spanish LifeWay.
- Punset, E. (2010). Compass for emotional navigators. Aguilar.