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“I’ve taken The Love Language Profile and my scores come out almost even except for Receiving Gifts. I know that is not my primary love language. ”In the book, I discuss three approaches to discovering your love language. • First, observe how you most often express love to others. If you are regularly doing acts of service for others, this may be your love language. If you are consistently, verbally affirming people, then Words of Affirmation is likely your love language. • What do you complain about most often? When you say to your spouse, “I don’t think you would ever touch me if I did not initiate it, ” you are revealing that Physical Touch is your love language.

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” you are indicating that Receiving Gifts is your language. The statement, “We don’t ever spend time together, ” indicates the love language of Quality Time. Your complaints reveal your inner desires. (If you have difficulty remembering what you complain about most often, I suggest that you ask your spouse. Chances are they will know. )• What do you request of your spouse most often? If you are saying “Will you give me a back rub? ” you are asking for Physical Touch. “Do you think we could get a weekend away this month? ” is a request for Quality Time. “Would it be possible for you to mow the grass this afternoon? ” expresses your desire for Acts of Service. (Your answer to these three questions will likely reveal your primary love language. )One husband told me that he discovered his love language by simply following the process of elimination. He knew that Receiving Gifts was not his language so that left only four. He asked himself, “If I had to give up one of the four, which one would I give up first? ” His answer was Quality Time. “Of the three remaining, if I had to give up another, which one would I give up? ” He concluded that apart from sexual intercourse, he could give up Physical Touch. He could get along without the pats and hugs and holding hands. This left Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation.

While he appreciated the things his wife did for him, he knew that her affirming words were really what gave him life. He could go a whole day on a positive comment from her. Thus, Words of Affirmation was his primary love language and Acts of Service his secondary love language. “My husband hasn’t read the book, but we have discussed the love languages. He says that he doesn’t know what his love language is. ”My first suggestion is to give him a copy of The 5 Love Languages Men’s Edition. Since it is geared specifically to husbands, he is more likely to read it. If he reads it, he will be eager to share his love language with you. However, if he is unwilling to read the book, I would suggest you answer the three questions discussed above. Though our spouse’s complaints normally irritate us, they are actually giving us valuable information. If a spouse says, “We don’t ever spend any time together, ” you may be tempted to say, “What do you mean? We went out to dinner Thursday night. ” Such a defensive statement will end the conversation. However, if you respond, “What would you like for us to do? ” you will likely get an answer. The complaints of your spouse are the most powerful indicators of the primary love language. Another approach is to do a five-week experiment. The first week, you focus on one of the five love languages and seek to speak it every day and observe the response of your spouse. On Saturday and Sunday, you relax. The second week—Monday through Friday—you focus on another of the love languages and continue with a different language each of the five weeks. On the week you are speaking your spouse’s primary love language, you are likely to see a difference in their countenance and the way they respond to you.

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It will be obvious that this is their primary love language. I think that our primary love language tends to stay with us for a lifetime. It is like many other personality traits that develop early and remain consistent. For example, a highly organized person was likely organized as a child. A person who is more laid-back and relaxed likely had that trait as a child. This is true of numerous personality traits. However, there are certain situations in life that make the other love languages extremely attractive. For example, your primary love language may be Words of Affirmation, but if you are the mother of three preschool children, then Acts of Service by your husband may become extremely attractive to you. If he gives you only Words of Affirmation and does not offer to help you with household responsibilities, you may begin to feel “I’m tired of hearing you say, ‘I love you’ when you never lift a hand to help me. ” For those years, it may appear that Acts of Service has become your primary love language. However, if Words of Affirmation cease, you will quickly know that this continues to be your primary love language. If you experience the death of a parent or a close friend, even if Physical Touch is not your primary love language, an extended hug by your spouse may be the most meaningful thing for you at the moment. There is something about being held in the midst of our grief that communicates that we are loved. While Physical Touch is not your primary love language, it is extremely meaningful on such occasions. Most definitely. I like to visualize that inside every child there is an emotional love tank. If the child feels loved by the parents, the child grows up normally. But if the love tank is empty and the child does not feel loved, he/she will grow up with many internal struggles and during the teenage years will go looking for love, often in the wrong places. It is extremely important that parents learn how to love children effectively. Some time ago, I teamed up with psychiatrist Ross Campbell and wrote the book The 5 Love Languages of Children. It is written for parents and is designed to help them discover the child’s primary love language.

One of the points we make in the book is that children need to learn how to receive and give love in all five languages. This produces an emotionally healthy adult. Thus, parents are encouraged to give heavy doses of the child’s primary love language, then sprinkle in the other four regularly. When the child receives love in all five languages, he/she will eventually learn how to give love in all five languages. 5. Do children’s love languages change when they get to be teenagers? A parent said, “I’ve read your and Dr. Campbell’s book The 5 Love Languages of Children. It really helped us in raising our children. However, now our son has become a teenager. We’re doing the same things we’ve always done but it doesn’t seem to be working. I’m wondering if his love language has changed. ”I do not believe that a child’s love language changes at age thirteen. However, you must learn new ways to speak the child’s primary love language. Whatever you have been doing in the past, the teenager considers to be childish and will want nothing to do with it. If the teen’s love language is Physical Touch and you have been hugging and kissing on the cheek, the teenager may well push you away and say, “Leave me alone. ” It does not mean that he does not need physical touch it means that he considers those particular touches to be childish. You must now speak Physical Touch in more adult dialects such as an elbow to the side, a fist to the shoulder, a pat on the back, or wrestle the teen to the floor. These touches will communicate your love to a teenager. The worst thing you can do to a teenager whose love language is Physical Touch is to withdraw when the teen says, “Don’t touch me. ”In my book The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers, which is written for parents, I also discuss the teen’s desire for freedom and the necessity of linking advanced freedom with advanced responsibility.

As teens get older, they become more capable. Thus they need to have more responsibilities. When these responsibilities are tied with increased freedom, the teenager is motivated to become a responsible young person. For example, if you are going to allow the teen to drive a car, this freedom should be accompanied by a responsibility such as washing the car every Saturday by noon. If they fail to meet this responsibility, there should be specific consequences already in place, such as losing the privilege of driving for two days. If the parent consistently applies the consequences, the teenager will have an extremely clean car and will learn that freedom and responsibility are opposite sides of the same coin. 6. What if the primary love language of your spouse is difficult for you? “I did not grow up in a touching family and now I have discovered that my spouse’s love language is Physical Touch. It is extremely difficult for me to initiate physical touch. ”The good news is that all of the five love languages can be learned. It is true that most of us grew up speaking only one or two of these love languages. These will come natural for us and will be relatively easy. The others must be learned. As in all learning situations, small steps make for big gains. If Physical Touch is your spouse’s language and you are not by nature a “toucher, ” begin with such small things as putting your hand on the shoulder of your spouse as you pour the cup of coffee or give a “love pat” on the shoulder as you walk by. These small touches will begin to break down the barrier. Each time you touch, the next touch will be easier. You can become proficient in speaking the language of Physical Touch. The same is true with the other languages. If you are not a Words of Affirmation person and you discover that your spouse’s language is Words of Affirmation, as I indicated in the book, you can make a list of statements that you hear from other persons or read in magazines or books.

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