Have you ever been in love? (with a human being – can be but not necessarily a boyfriend/ girlfriend/ spouse)
I can vouch for it that most of us have! At least for a brief phase . . .
Love is an emotion that needs expression. Much goes wrong in relationships because of deficient expression, lack of expression or inappropriate expression of love.
Ever heard anyone sigh, “My husband/ wife is so busy at work that he cannot be here for my birthday. He sure would pamper me with a wonderful gift. But, how I wish s/he would spend the day with me!” Or would you remember being praised tons for your excellent performance in academics, but never having been rewarded tangibly for the same?
Some people don’t feel loved not because no one around loves them, but because their love language is different from the ones loving. Here lies the mismatch!
This is so beautifully explained by Gary Chapman in his book ‘The Five Love Languages’. I read this book around 7-8 years back after I heard a speaker suggest it. And. I must tell that it is one of the best books of all times that I have read and one which I have widely gifted.
The author writes about five major love languages that people world over speak.
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Quality time
- Physical Touch
(I won’t go on to elaborate these in this article, because I want you read this book from cover to cover. It is worth!!)
Identifying each other’s love language and expressing love the way the other person understands, expects and appreciates is what makes relationships sweeter. This book is precisely written for spouses, in an attempt to revive love in loveless marriages and to save marriages from breaking off. It makes so much sense to realise that though you have been loving your spouse all these years, s/he feels unloved because you aren’t expressing love the way s/he needs it. Imagine watering and tending to a plant sincerely for months or years together only to see it wither away! Well, it probably was a plant that needed lots of sunshine and less of water to flourish!
Though this book is meant for marriages, I felt that the principles apply to all relationships that one can think of. Only if we are sensitive to apply and people around us are sensitive to understand and reciprocate, that we would see and experience love blossom in all relationships around us.
Soon after reading this book, I came across other books by the same author using the same principles for different relationships. And so, I have ‘The Five Love Languages of Children’ and ‘The Five Love Languages of Teenagers’ gracing my library and gifted to many parents and would-be-parents.
At a time when love seems to be dying in relationships and mere mechanical social bonds mushrooming everywhere, it is important to let love survive.