There are five ways of expressing your love, that Gary Chapman has talked about in his book, “the five love languages”. Here is a brief summary of the five;
- Words of affirmation: This language uses words to affirm the other person. “I really appreciate you washing the car, it looks great”. “Thanks for taking out the garbage, You are the greatest”. “You look nice in that outfit”. “I love the fact that you are so optimistic”. “I admire the way you helped your father”. “Your smile is contagious”. “Did you see the way everyone brightened up when you came in that room”. All of these are words of affirmation. Your words may focus on the other person personality or they way they look or something they have done for you or others. To speak this language you look for things you admire or appreciate about the person and you verbally express it to him/her. If a person`s primary love language is words of affirmation, your words will be like rain falling on dry soil. Nothing will speak more deeply of your love than words of affirmation.
- Acts of service: For these people actions speak louder than words. If you speak words of affirmation to this person like, ” I admire you, I appreciate you, I love you”, they will likely think and perhaps say; ” if you love me that much why don`t you do more to help me around the house?”. If acts of service is their primary language, then washing the car, moving grass, helping around the house, and changing the baby`s diaper is precisely what makes them feel loved. The key to loving this person is to find out what things they would like for you to do. Then do them consistently.
- Receiving gifts: For some people what makes them feel loved is to receive a gift. The gift communicates, “he was thinking of me, look what he got for me”. The best gifts are those you know will be appreciated. To give her a fishing rod when she does not enjoy fishing will probably not communicate your love very well. How do you find out what the other person like to receive? You observe the comments they make when they receive a gift from other family members. Listen carefully and you will discover the gifts they like to receive. Listen to them when they are watching a shopping catalog. You could ask ” if you wanted me to give you a gift, give me a list over things you would like to have”. It is better to give them a gift they desire than to surprise them with something they don`t wan`t. Not all gifts need to be expensive. A rose, a candy bar, a card, a book – any of these communicate love deeply to the person whose love language is receiving gifts.
- Quality time: Quality time is giving the other person your undivided attention. It is not sitting in the same room watching tv. Someone else has your attention. It is being in the same room with tv off, the magazine on the table, looking at each other, talking and listening. It may also be to take a walk together talking. Couples who go to a restaurant and never talk together has not spoken the language of quality time. They have simply met their need for food. Quality time says, ” I am doing this because I want to be with you”. The ultimate purpose is to spend time together.
- Physical touch: We have long known the power of physical touch. Research indicates that babies who are touched and cuddled fare better emotionally than babies who spend long periods of time without physical touch. Every culture has appropriate and inappropriate touching between the members of the opposite sex. Appropriate touching is loving. Inappropriate touching is demeaning. To the person whose primary love language is physical touch, nothing speaks louder more deeply than appropriate touch.
- Follow Islam: (Not written in the book but my comment): being a good muslim. If your husband / wife and you are in different stages in your emaan you could have difficulties in your marriage. Islam is not only to follow it`s commandments but also improve oneselfs seerah / conduct / character. The Quran was not revealed in one day, but in different stages, years. To first make everyone firm in the believe in One Allah and then improving their conduct/ character over years. Once the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) asked his companions who is the most ghareeb person on the day of judgement? The Prophet said: The one who has prayed and fasted and done a lot of good deeds, but because of his bad character he lied, he was mean to others, he stole from others property etc. So all of the people he hurt in the dunya will recieve all his good deeds, when they get empty, than he will recieve their bad deeds, and he will be ruined. (Tilnærmet betydning). Make sure that you have your priorities right when it comes to religion. The best is when both the spouses are equally passionate about Islam and how to live according to it and learn more of it. Even if this is not the case, different levels of emaan can be a way of doing dawah at home, to your spouse. Your goal, after marriage, is that both of you go to Paradise together. Helping each other practice the deen and make it easy for each other, inspire each other, is a way to accomplish that.
First observe you own behaviour, second what do you complain about, third what do you request very often. Sort it out and find your love language.
Excerpt taken out from the book ” the five love languages ” by Gary Chapman.