THE LAN­GUAGE OF LOVE

Fairlady Bride - - Contents - By San­dra Parmee

Dr Gary Chap­man has some great re­la­tion­ship ad­vice to make love last

No, we’re not talk­ing about French! Cou­ples coun­sel­lor Dr Gary Chap­man has dis­cov­ered the five ways in which cou­ples ex­press their love for one another. Read on to learn what makes your part­ner tick – and how to hold on to that loved-up feel­ing.

Right now, your mind must be swirling with dresses, menu plans, guest lists, po­ten­tial dis­as­ters, and the favour boxes that you must not for­get to pick up to­mor­row af­ter work! With all the things you need to plan for, it’s easy to lose sight of what it’s re­ally all about: your re­la­tion­ship.

First pub­lished in 1992, Dr Gary Chap­man’s over­whelm­ingly pop­u­lar The Five Love Lan­guages: How to Ex­press Heart­felt Com­mit­ment to Your Mate is a peren­nial New York Times best­seller. Many cou­ples have sought Gary’s guid­ance, and over the years he no­ticed a pat­tern in their con­flicts. Look­ing back at notes he’d made over more than a decade, he iden­ti­fied five dif­fer­ent ways in which peo­ple ex­press love. He be­lieves that each of us has a pri­mary love lan­guage – a dis­tinct way in which we most of­ten ex­press love to oth­ers, and also a way in which we would like oth­ers to ex­press love to us. See if you can spot yours:

THE 5 LOVE LAN­GUAGES Words of af­fir­ma­tion

We all know the adage ‘ac­tions speak louder than words’, but this isn’t the case with a per­son who com­mu­ni­cates with this love lan­guage. They need to hear you ver­balise how you feel, and what you love about them. ‘If this is your love lan­guage, un­so­licited com­pli­ments mean the world to you,’ says Gary. ‘Hear­ing the words “I love you” is im­por­tant – hear­ing the rea­sons be­hind that love sends your spir­its sky­ward. In­sults can leave you shat­tered and are not easily for­got­ten.’ This per­son en­joys be­ing paid com­pli­ments, and re­ceiv­ing ac­knowl­edg­ment for the things they’ve done, e.g. a meal they’ve cooked, or the way they han­dled a cer­tain sit­u­a­tion.

Qual­ity time

If this is your love lan­guage, you en­joy hav­ing your sig­nif­i­cant other’s un­di­vided at­ten­tion. Time spent to­gether with no

dis­trac­tions makes you feel spe­cial and loved. If your part­ner can­cels a date, doesn’t seem to be lis­ten­ing to you or spends too much time on their phone while you’re to­gether, some­one who val­ues Qual­ity Time will be es­pe­cially hurt and de­jected.

Re­ceiv­ing gifts

It sounds a bit su­per­fi­cial, but Gary in­sists that this love lan­guage must not be mis­taken for ma­te­ri­al­ism. If this is your love lan­guage, you ap­pre­ci­ate the thought that went into the gift; it re­ally thrills you when your part­ner or friend took the time in their busy day to think of you. ‘A missed birth­day, an­niver­sary, or a hasty, thought­less gift would be dis­as­trous – so would the ab­sence of ev­ery­day ges­tures,’ says Gary.

Acts of ser­vice

‘Any­thing you do to ease the bur­den of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties weigh­ing on an Acts of Ser­vice per­son will speak vol­umes,’ says Gary. If this is you, it means a lot to you if your part­ner or some­one in your life no­tices the pres­sure you are un­der and steps in to re­lieve some of that pres­sure. If your part­ner doesn’t help out – or, worse – makes more work for you, this tells you that they don’t care about your feel­ings.

Phys­i­cal touch

Don’t jump to con­clu­sions – this one isn’t just about sex. For a Phys­i­cal Touch per­son, hand­hold­ing, hugs and kisses and thought­ful ca­resses on the arm or face make them feel close to their loved one. This one is backed up by science: thanks to neu­ro­sci­en­tist Ed­mund Rolls, we know that touch ac­ti­vates the brain’s or­bitofrontal cor­tex, which is con­nected to feel­ings of re­ward and com­pas­sion. Stud­ies have also shown that touch soothes, builds up co­op­er­a­tive re­la­tion­ships, calms car­dio­vas­cu­lar stress and sig­nals safety and trust. Plus, touch can trig­ger the re­lease of oxy­tocin, known as ‘the love hor­mone,’ help­ing you bond and cul­ti­vat­ing feel­ings of con­nect­ed­ness.

LOST IN TRANS­LA­TION

Ac­cord­ing to Gary, love is fre­quently lost in trans­la­tion, as we of­ten choose some­one who is our op­po­site. ‘In a mar­riage, al­most never do a hus­band and wife have the same lan­guage,’ he says. ‘The key is we have to learn to speak the lan­guage of the other per­son.’

Strug­gling to iden­tify your love lan­guage?

Think about how you ex­press love – what you give is of­ten what you crave, says Gary. Per­haps you’re al­ways do­ing things around the house; wash­ing the dishes, help­ing to track down miss­ing items when he’s in a panic, and as­sist­ing your part­ner in any way you can. He, mean­while, ex­presses his love by spend­ing qual­ity time with you. The re­sult? You feel re­sent­ful be­cause he never helps out around the house, and he feels that you never take the time to just sit with him and have a con­ver­sa­tion. Even though both of you are ex­press­ing love, both of you feel unloved, as you’re not speak­ing each other’s love lan­guage. The sec­ond clue: think about what you ask your part­ner for the most. ‘We of­ten get de­fen­sive when our spouse com­plains, but they’re re­ally giv­ing us valu­able in­for­ma­tion,’ Chap­man says. Do you take his hand when you’re walk­ing to­gether, or ask him for back­rubs? You are ask­ing for phys­i­cal touch. Un­der­stand­ing how your part­ner ex­pe­ri­ences love is not a cure-all for ev­ery re­la­tion­ship prob­lem. It does, how­ever, lead to a deeper un­der­stand­ing of one another, and can help you avoid fu­ture con­flict. It can also help you tran­si­tion from the ini­tial ‘in love’ feel­ing to a more in­ten­tional type of love, that you have to work at.

Stud­ies have also shown that touch soothes, builds up co­op­er­a­tive re­la­tion­ships, calms car­dio­vas­cu­lar stress and sig­nals safety and trust.

64

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.