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For me this year of inspiration is not just going to be about new DIYs for my home or motivation to get into shape.  I also want 2013 to be about building relationships, strengthening the bonds with my husband, my family, and my friends.  That’s why I’m so excited for the study we started in our newly/nearly married group at church based on Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages.5 Love Languages

As the title suggests, Chapman breaks down the way people receive love into 5 different categories.  The idea behind discovering each other’s “love language” is that it will help you to communicate your love to each other in a way that will deepen your relationship.  Once you’re aware of the different ways in which people it will just take practice to cater to their love language.

5 Love Languages - SinglesNow, don’t think The 5 Love Languages is just for couples.  Chapman has also released an edition that’s specifically for singles, Addressing the ways you can express your love for family, friends, co-workers, etc.  The 5 Love Languages and The 5 Love Languages Singles Edition are both based on the same languages they just break them down differently to be applied to you in your particular life stage, so here’s a quick overview of each language:

  • Quality Time –  If your love language is quality time you most value the company of those you love.  You’re happy just being near someone whether your watching movies, reading, or going out.  It’s not about what you’re doing or saying to each other but that you’re spending the time together.
  • Words of Affirmation – This group needs the verbal support of their loved ones to feel cared for.  Telling someone whose love language is words of affirmation how you feel about them means the most.  Words and tone really matter to this group, it’s not just what you say but how you say it.
  • Gifts –  Just because someone’s love language is gifts doesn’t mean they need to be spoiled.  These people appreciate the thought behind a token and can be sentimental about what they’re given because it’s a physical reminder of your love.  Gifts people also enjoy giving gifts to those they love so it goes both ways.
  • Acts of Service –  Those whose love language is acts of service are moved by the small things you do for them.  From unloading the dishwasher to making them a cup of tea when they’re sick, actions really do speak louder than words if this is your love language.
  • Physical Touch –  This love language is about more than just the bedroom.  If physical touch is your love language you really do like to feel love from other people.  A kiss goodbye in the morning, holding hands in the car, and a hug after a long day all show a physical tough person that you love them.

It’s amazing how straight-forward these languages and that’s the whole point.  Once your pin-point your spouse-parent-friend’s love language it becomes easier to show them how much you care about them.  Now, obviously if someone’s love language is acts of service it doesn’t mean you can’t ever tell them how you feel.  Everyone has a dominant love language but many are shall we say “multi-lingual.”  In the books Chapman dives into just how to communicate through each language to strengthen any bond and build prosperous relationships.  I encourage anyone to read whichever applies to you and see how it transforms the love in your life. (P.S. These would make awesome Valentine’s Day gifts next month!)