By Lori Huertas
Everyone has an emotional love tank. These tanks are invisible to the human eye, but felt by the human heart, according to Gary Chapman, the author of the best-selling book, “The Five Love Languages.” Every person has a unique love language, that is, a method of giving and receiving love, which is the gas to fuel their emotional tanks.
According to Chapman, the five love languages are quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, and receiving gifts.
It is important to understand how love languages can help develop long-lasting romantic relationships. Barry University professor of psychology and sociology, Dr. Sandra Straub, explains that her 36 years of marriage made her appreciate the value of the five love languages.
However, she believes this theory of love languages depends on how people use it.
Over the course of marriage, Straub notes, people become more aware of what their partner does and does not care about. This realization helps increase empathy in relationships, as well as improve awareness during arguments. “The people in the relationship will understand the cause of the arguments and will be in a better position to figure out a solution,” said Straub.
Vanessa Galdeano, a graduate student in Barry’s Educational Leadership (EdD) doctoral program, agrees. She recently took an online test to discover her love language, which is Words of Affirmation. She finds these results to be accurate and helpful in developing her relationship with her boyfriend.
“I shared my love language with my boyfriend of two years, and it strengthened our relationship,” said Galdeano.
She explained that understanding her love language improved their communication and created a new appreciation for each other. Now, Galdeano’s boyfriend uses words of affirmation to compliment her and show gratitude via text messages and in person.
This makes her feel loved and valued. Galdeano believes their relationship is stronger now because they respect one another and strive to bring each other peace.
Galdeano added that learning her love language helped her in the workplace, where encouraging words motivate her to do better. For example, when her boss says, “You did a great job on that report,” she feels encouraged to continue to do her best.
According to Straub, love languages can also help maintain the quality of relationships. Her and her husband do this by scheduling a date night once a week. This quality time has been key to keeping her relationship strong over many years.
“When you've been together for a long time, it's easy to get complacent and let things get stale or just too familiar,” said Straub.
“When you are aware of your spouse's love language, it is incredibly easy to get back into the groove.”
Here are the basic qualities of each love language:
A person with this love language enjoys spending time with others and making memories.
Acts of service
A person with this love language feels happy when people support them with actions, and they enjoy helping others.
Words of affirmation
A person with this love language appreciates receiving positive messages via text, email, phone calls, or in writing.
A person with this love language has a need for physical contact with their partner, whether by hugging or holding hands.
A person with this love language will experience joy when they are giving or receiving unexpected tokens of appreciation.