Recently, while procrastinating, I happened upon a comment on the Internet where someone had said they didn’t like that some romance stories no longer have the hero and heroine saying “I love you”. This resonated with me, since I too have been finding this same change in some romance books rather sad. It’s almost as if saying “I love you” is out of fashion when reading about falling in love is why most readers pick up romance novels.
That said, as romance authors, we are continually looking for ways to convey our characters' journey to falling in love. It is such a quest that brought me upon a book entitled The 5 Love Languages® by Dr. Gary Chapman, a practical guide on powerful ways for couples to express love. This book has inspired me to use these “languages” to communicate my hero and heroine’s ever-after, eternal love. Here is a brief description of the five key categories or five love languages to help you build your Hero/heroine’s romantic relationships. And boy am I juiced that saying “I love you” is #1!:
#1. Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
#2 Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
#3 Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
#4 Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
#5 Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
According to Dr. Chapman, everyone has a primary way of expressing and interpreting love—their own “love language”. He says, too, that people are often drawn to others who speak a different love language to them.
I’m curious to find out which love language I am, how about you? I thought you might be!
Okay, go ahead, learn your love language. Take the fun quiz below.
With thanks to http://www.5lovelanguages.com/