February 10, 2023
Writers: Abby Alvarado, Jasmin Cyrille
Researcher: Abby Alvarado
Editor: Jasmin Cyrille, Rafael Reyes
Graphics: Sarah Mondoy, Jia Moral
Tweetchat Moderators: Patricia Sevilla
“For love, we will climb mountains, cross seas, traverse desert sands, and endure untold hardships. Without love, mountains become unclimbable, seas uncrossable, deserts unbearable, and hardships our lot in life.” – Dr. Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
As humans, we crave to be loved as much as we crave to love. We all have an intense desire to be nurtured—to be taken care of. In fact, research shows that love is one of the most basic and fundamental needs of the human race (Raghunathan, 2014). We are all born in this world to live and find love, but we all know that it was never that easy.
In the first place, finding someone to love is already hard. Expressing your love for them and making them feel loved is another story. As people, we tend to show our admiration towards someone through the typical acts that society sets for us. We shower our loved ones with flowers, take them on dates, hold their hand, tell them how beautiful they look, and accompany them on every step of their day, hoping that through it all, they will acknowledge our feelings and share the love.
Breaking news, that is false. It turns out not everyone feels loved when you watch Netflix shows with them all night, and not everyone feels loved when you give them a morning hug. Everyone has their own standards when receiving love, and not everyone has to be loved the same way.
For sure, you might have heard about the love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of the book The Five Love Languages (1992), defines them as different ways of expressing and receiving love: affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. The idea behind this psychology is that every individual has a different way that they give and receive love.
Meaning no matter how much you try to express your love through gifts, if your partner’s love language is acts of service and you never go out of your way to help her with an errand or two, they would likely feel unappreciated. Learning your partner’s love language is crucial to express how you care for them in a way that speaks to their heart. However, your partner has to do the same. Figuring out each other’s love languages might be the hack to having a healthy, loving, and long-lasting relationship.
Love Languages v. Love Tank
The million-dollar question is, how does having our love language spoken satisfy us? According to Dr. Chapman, every person has a love tank. The only way to fill in the tank is to pour in the right fuel (in this case, the correct love language). When the people around us begin to speak our love language from time to time, our love tank gets filled in little by little. Our emotional love tanks are somehow like gas tanks. When it’s full, we can go anywhere we want to; when it’s empty, we can’t go at all. Albeit it can be filled, it empties a little every single day, and one must find a way to replenish it.
People who have full tanks are most likely to feel extraordinary amounts of love. Genuine appreciation makes people feel better. It gives us a basic sense of security, which frees us to perform at our highest level. It also gives you energy. When our value seems threatened, as it does so frequently, that fear takes over and takes our attention away from creating value. There are also physical health benefits such as lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, improved immunity, less pain, and longer life. Being in love works wonders for your mental health as well. Love, a happy marriage, and overall well-being reduce stress.
On the other hand, although life is about love, it is not always about your significant other. Love languages can also be used to figure out how to treat your family, friends, and even co-workers right and make them feel appreciated amidst the burnout that our responsibilities bring.
The Five Love Languages
“The 5 Love Languages” by Dr. Chapman was first released in 1992. Chapman started observing trends in the couples he was working with as a marriage counselor before writing the book. The couples were misinterpreting each other’s needs, he recognized.
That inspired him to identify five “love languages,” or methods of expressing affection in partnerships. They are:
Words of Affirmation, actions speak louder than words—unless, of course, your partner’s love language is “words of affirmation.” In this case, words are everything. Whether they are written or spoken, a person who particularly enjoys words of affirmation will place a lot of importance on what you have to say to them.
Quality Time, people whose love language is quality time appreciate your undivided attention whenever you’re with them. Undivided attention means putting your phones away and keeping your eyes and ears upon them. Spending time with these people for hours or an entire day makes them feel loved, nurtured, and feel deeply connected to you in time.
Physical Touch, if physical touch is your preferred love language, you value it above all other forms of expression (such as verbal compliments or gifts). Keep in mind that physical touch is a love language that encompasses more than just sex, though it certainly plays a significant role in romantic relationships. To your lover, a hug, shoulder squeeze, hand hold, or even a pat on the back might be what will make their day whole. People who prefer this love language value physical expression more than anything else.
Acts of Service, in terms of intimate relationships, is a language that can best be described as doing something for your partner that you are aware they would like, such as filling up their car’s gas tank for them, watering their plants, or preparing them a meal. Offering your shoulder when they’re down and giving a helping hand even if they are doing alright is something that people who have this love language wholeheartedly appreciate.
Receiving Gifts and receiving, in general, are likely the love languages that are misunderstood the most. Some people can see it as being greedy or as the recipient being preoccupied with material goods rather than love. That’s not the case, though. People who love receiving gifts tend to appreciate the message that tangible presents convey. The thought of you thinking about them while staring at the gift in the mall, thinking how they’d love it, warms their hearts the most.
Knowing the love language of your partner and family is extremely important, but knowing your own so you can show people how to treat you right is just as important. It also raises self-awareness and promotes standards in relationships.
“Something in our nature cries out to be loved by another. Isolation is devastating to the human psyche. That is why solitary confinement is considered the cruelest of punishments.” – Dr. Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.
Although we find peace in the depths of being alone, life is nothing without love, not just towards another individual, but within yourself. Love, like music, is a universal language. It needs not to be translated but appreciated and enjoyed in all the forms and all the ways that we can. Although it can be a bit hard, keep chasing love, and when you find it…love it hard.
If you or someone you know needs mental health consultation, kindly refer to our directory for mental health facilities, services, and organizations around the Philippines: https://mentalhealthph.org/directory/
- Compatibility test: What is your love language? (Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts)
- How did you learn about your own love language?
- How do you express your love language to the person you love?
- What efforts do you make to make others feel loved? Do you think it is their love language?
- An open letter to someone you want to express your love language to
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