People speak in many different languages. The mind may first go to languages like English, French, Italian, Spanish, etc., but there are also five other languages that most people may not think of. These languages are called the five love languages. A person needs the right kind of love. Just like being able to connect to people in different ways, a person also needs to be treated with different ways of love. This is illustrated in the feelings of children. Some children feel totally love and wanted, while others feel totally unloved and unwanted. The difference between these children is the way they are treated. One child may need told often that he is loved while another may need just a pat on the shoulder.1
One must keep the love tanks of those he loves full. “Keeping the emotional love tank full is as important to a marriage as maintaining the proper oil level is to an automobile.”2 Running on empty is extremely dangerous to the marriage. So how do we know what love is, what languages there are, and what language(s) a person speaks?3
First, we have what we call falling in love. When a person is in love they have the tendency to do outrageous things for the person that they love. Then they get married. Soon after the marriage they will seem like they fall out love. There is two choices: one, get a divorce and try again, or two, work on loving the other without the “in-love obsession”4 But the question is how does a person love another person in this way? The answer is one of the five languages. While a person may speak one of these languages, they may not speak it quite like another would speak the same language. Just as languages have different dialects, so love languages have different dialects. The person showing the love has to chose which language and which dialect. The five love languages are words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.5
“Mark Twain once said, 'I can live for two months on a good compliment.'”6 This is somewhat true when a person has the love language of words of affirmation. They long for someone to say, “I appreciate you.” or “You look great.” Someone who needs words of affirmation feels loved when what they do is affirmed. One dialect of this language is the encouragement. This person needs to be encouraged. “The word encourage means to inspire courage.”7 This person needs inspired to accomplish a task with just a simple, “You can do it.” To a person with this love language, words are important. They need to continually be reminded that they are love and appreciated.8
If a person says “Nobody spends time with me.”, you can probably gather that this person feels love when someone spends quality time with them. “A central aspect of quality time is togetherness. I do not mean proximity. Two people sitting in the same room are in close proximity, but they are not necessarily together. Togetherness has to do with focused attention.”9 One...