Hello All and Happy Almost-Valentine’s Day!!
In honor of today, February 13, being Galentine’s Day and the day before Valentine’s Day, I wanted to take some time to talk about love.
I don’t just mean focusing on romantic love – I also want to include friendship and familial love. These are the different types of love that form us into who we are at an early age and are as important to discuss as romantic partnerships.
One of my best friends lent me a book a few months ago, called The 5 Love Languages: Singles Edition by Gary Chapman. You may have heard of the original 5 love Languages book by the same author, which focused on strengthening marriages and preexisting romantic relationships by being in tune with how both you and your partner receive love.
The Singles Edition, however, broadens the scope of the love language approach to include simple ways to strengthen any relationship. The book delves into parent-child relationships, friendships, coworkers, and the newly dating. My only caveat is that the author does come from a Christian, hetero-normative perspective, so I definitely took a few comments with a grain of salt. Overall, I honestly found all of the advice really useful and applicable to all of my relationships and would highly encourage you to check out this book whether you’re in a relationship or not!
The premise of this edition, as outlined on the website, is to: give you the confidence you need to connect with others in a meaningful way. Each person gives and receives love in a certain language, and speaking it will strengthen that relationship. For singles, that means you can:
Understand yourself and others better
Grow closer to family, friends, and others you care about
Gain courage to express your emotions and affection
Discover the missing ingredient in past relationships
Date more successfully
That all being said, I’ll give you a breakdown of the 5 types of love languages. You can also be fluent in two types simultaneously, or prefer to receive one type of love but give the other. There is even an online quiz you can take to find out – but I definitely found it helpful to read through each love language more in-depth in this book before taking the quiz.
The Five Love Languages Defined
l. Words of Affirmation – using words to build up the other person. “Thanks for
taking out the garbage.” Not – “It’s about time you took the garbage out. The
flies were going to carry it out for you.”
2. Gifts – a gift says, “He was thinking about me. Look what he got for me.”
3. Acts of Service – Doing something for your spouse that you know they would
like. Cooking a meal, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, are all acts of service.
4. Quality Time – by which I mean, giving your spouse your undivided attention.
Taking a walk together or sitting on the couch with the TV off – talking and
5. Physical Touch – holding hands, hugging, kissing, sexual intercourse, are all
expressions of love.
Out of these five, we each have a primary love language which speaks more
deeply to us than all the others. Discovering each other’s language and speaking
it regularly is the best way to keep love alive in any relationship.
What are my love languages? I’m a tie between Words of Affirmation and Quality Time for the way I enjoy receiving love. That means I enjoy being around people whose words uplift me and presence calms me, and where I can have deep, quality conversations for hours on end without distraction or disruption. However, I’ve found that gifts are how I enjoy giving my love – I adore paying attention to my friends and treating them to something they mentioned months before, surprising them with a trip to a new restaurant I know they’ll love, or seeing their faces light up when I’ve gotten them the perfect birthday gift!
Let me know if you’ve read one of the 5 Love Languages books and found it useful! And if you’ve taken the quiz, I’d love to know what your love languages are in the comments!
“Nothing has more potential for enhancing one’s sense of well-being than effectively loving and being loved. This book is designed to help you do both of these things effectively.” — Gary Chapman