The 5 Love Languages: Why We Need to Return to the Origins

Though "love language" is now a common term, the true purpose behind the theory has become lost in translation.

The concept of the 5 Love Languages was first introduced by Gary Chapman in his 1992 book. Mr. Chapman, a Southern Baptist pastor, developed the theory through observations of the couples he counseled. Simply put, each person has a primary love language (a category of behaviors that makes them feel loved), as well as secondary options that may come into play under certain circumstances.

These categories are:

  • Quality time
    Unhindered time spent together
  • Physical touch
    Holding hands, hugs, kissing, cuddling
  • Acts of service
    Actions speak louder than words. (ex. Completing a chore unasked)
  • Gifting
    Physical tokens of affection, does not (usually) have to be expensive
  • Words of affirmation
    Sharing appreciation by speaking or messaging/leaving notes

Read more details on the categories here

Since it's inception, the love language idea took off exponentially and is now commonly considered a form of personality test. However, that was not quite the intention of Mr. Chapman. In fact, he only dedicated a single chapter in his book to discerning your own love language. The bulk of the book was spent in explaining how to discover your partner's love language and how to use that knowledge to adjust your own behaviors.

Read more about the misinterpretation of love languages here

So, yes, it's handy to know your love language, but the key is (surprise!) communication. Share what makes you feel loved with your partner (or friend or family member) and listen to and take action on what makes them feel loved in return.

In essence, the languages are a starting point to getting to know and understand someone you care about.

We love this article by Mind Body Green that details the types of love languages, has a quick quiz to figure out your own, and gives tips on expressing your love to a partner with with each "language" type. We think our Skinny Dip Candles can help you check off just about every love language type, especially if you mix in massage! Stay tuned a few days before Valentine's to get some tips from us on that very topic ;)

We also love this article by Hello Giggles, which brings a wonderful discussion on love languages in friendship and suggests how to reach your friend in their own "language."

We want to hear your thoughts! Tell us in the comments if you agree with this theory and, if you do, how have you used it in your relationships?


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