It all starts so fast that you don’t even notice it. Before you know it, you find yourself saying things you never expected and doing stuff that never crossed your mind.
You feel like you can take on the world and nothing can bring you down. You are in love and this time is different. Maybe you have experienced it before, maybe you have only fantasized about it, in any case, I’m sure this book finds you at the right time.
Recommend it to me by a friend, she was so excited about the concept of the love languages that it caught my attention. Without giving it too much thought, I got the book and after 2 years, I finally decided to give it a try. I’m sooo glad I did…!
Love and Limerence.
It’s estimated that the “in-love” obsession phase of a romantic relationship lasts around two years.
According to the studies done by the late psychologist Dr. Dorothy Tunnov, Limerence (a term she coined) refers to the period of obsession experienced in a romantic relationship by either one or both of its members.
She discovered that just as drug addicts, people who start dating may experience a similar stimulus during the first two years of their romantic relationship.
A period characterized by abnormal behavior, where members of the couple find themselves going out of their way to fulfill their needs for acceptance and reciprocity from each other.
The problem is that eventually, the obsession goes away and reality kicks in, hitting those who expected it to last forever the hardest. This results in one of these three outcomes:
- First: the small negative details are not so small anymore, pushing the couple to break up the relationship in search to experience limerence again (this can explain why some people jump from one relationship to another within the 2-year frame).
- Second: the couple decides to learn how to love each other without the excitement of the in-love obsession period or,
- Third: the couple recognizes that their relationship has moved on to a new phase and begins to pursue “real love.” Dr. Chapman explains that it’s after people have come back to their senses, that they must then choose to love the other person and therefore, starting to build a relationship based on “real love.”
Love is a Language.
Just as one culture may speak Chinese and another English, in our relationships, many times we may express our love in ways that don’t really mean much for the other person.
Not because we are not loved back but, because the other person may just don’t see it (or understand it).
Dr. Chapman explains that there are actually 5 love languages through which we communicate and feel loved, and each of these languages has as well its own dialects.
At the same time, he also noticed that although we may use all the languages, we all have one main language to which we are more receptive, allowing us to keep our “love tank” filled.
By understanding how we like to be loved, we can figure out our expectations towards our partner and therefore make clear requests in our relationship.
And by understanding the language of our “better” half, we can then properly express our love by doing and saying things that will actually keep her/his love tank filled.
Love is a choice.
Real love is a choice you must make every day. It’s about self-awareness and communication. It’s about making requests instead of demands.
You have the freedom to choose loving somebody or not, regardless if they love you back.
In other words, you need be vulnerable and say:
“This is how I like to be love, if you choose to love me, by doing those things whether you like them or not, I will know that you love me because I know you do them to show me your love for me.”
The thing is that been vulnerable is extremely challenging but, you need to be able to tell her/him how you like to be love. Which means you need to be fully aware of how you like to be love.
Quick question: how can the other person know that you expect them to do something for you as a sign of love if you have never told them?
Communication! We are all very different from one another. We are raised in different environments with contrasting expressions and concepts of love.
That is why the 5 Love Languages are so important. They allow us to communicate our love in the proper way to the people we love.
The 5 Love Languages.
- Words of Affirmation: expressing words that affirm his/her confidence, such as “You look very sexy in that color.”
- Acts of Service: Going the extra mile to taking care of those things that he/she considers to be a pain to do. For example, doing the laundry or cleaning the house.
- Receiving Gifts: giving or receiving little tokens of appreciation that say “I was thinking about you.”
- Quality Time: This means giving your undivided attention. In today’s world, this language is becoming more and more relevant. This would be spending a weekend traveling together or a simple evening dinner alone without interruptions (just like when you started going out).
- Physical Touch: touching him/her in the appropriate way according to the situation. This could mean giving a hug when in grief, holding hands while walking or sex when… (fill in the blank)
Now that you know the 5 Love Languages, the next step is to discover which one is yours. Dr. Chapman explains that you can do so by reflecting on the following questions (make a list with your answers):
- Imagine the perfect relationship, what is the other person doing that makes you feel loved by him or her?
- What are the things that made you fall in love with your couple?
- What are the things that you tend to complain about your relationship with your couple?
- How do you most often show your love for your couple?
It’s important to mention that men tend to make the mistake of believing their main language is physical touch, while it actually may be one of the other four.
With your love language figured out, proceed to discover that of your partner.
Before you go.
If you are having problems finding out your love language, I encourage you to take the online free assessment by doing click here. Make sure to come back and share your comments below.
If you think somebody you know may benefit from reading this post, do them and me a favor and share it with them.
I dearly recommend you to read the book, there are still plenty of small details that you will find very useful, that I was not able to cover in this post.
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About the Author.
With over 35 years of experience pastoring and counseling, along with his own personal experience of over 45 years of marriage and counting, Dr. Gary Chapman wrote his book based on the countless sessions, seminars and workshops through which he got to develop his theory.
You can find more about him here.
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