The Language of Love
“All of us blossom when we feel loved” Gary Champman
Given that it’s Valentine’s Day later this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about love and relationships. We all know that having friends or being in a romantic relationship makes us feel good emotionally but did you know that good relationships can keep you healthy too?
Research shows that love, relationships, happiness and health are all intertwined and that humans are hardwired for connection. Cultivating good relationships can have immense rewards on health and happiness such as:
- Fewer doctor’s visits, faster healing and recovery, lower blood pressure and a longer life expectancy. It’s said that positive emotions like love, joy and happiness help boost the immune system which helps people stay healthy.
- Less anxiety and depression and better management of stress. Loneliness and social isolation has been linked to higher rates of depression while people who have supportive relationships are less likely to have mental health problems and can manage stress better.
With all these benefits it makes sense to take the time to invest in building healthy, supportive relationships.
One way of doing this in a romantic relationship would be finding out each other’s love language. In Gary Chapman’s cult classic The Five Love Languages, he says that many couples stay together for years but are totally unsatisfied. Why? Because they are not keeping each other’s ‘love tanks’ full. They don’t know what their partner’s ‘primary love language’ is.
He identifies five love languages (aka ways you communicate love): Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts or Words of Affirmation.
So for example, if your primary language is Acts of Service you may show love to your partner by doing small things for him/her such as making cups of tea, doing their laundry, tidying up after dinner etc. If your primary language is Physical Touch then maybe kisses, hugs and hand holding is how you tend to feel loved and show love. Where problems may arise is if your primary languages differ like, for example, yours is Physical Touch and your partners primary language is Words of Affirmation – while you are showing your love with hugs, they need to hear the words from you and while they may be talking the talk, you could feel starved of physical contact.
Finding out each other’s love language and being mindful of them can be hugely beneficial in deepening connections and therefore increasing the likelihood of a better relationship and therefore better health and happiness.
Find your primary love language here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/.
What’s your primary love language? What do you think of the idea?