Whilst preparing for marriage, we tend to seek advice from parents, married friends or searching for endless blogs and articles on how to make a marriage last. Of course, there can never be a perfect relationship or marriage, but one thing that can happen is falling out of love or growing apart.
Gary Chapman an author, speaker, and counselor who has a passion for people and helping them form lasting relationships looks into love deeper in his #1 New York Times Bestseller, The 5 Love Languages – The Secret to Love that Lasts with over 10 million copies sold, I’m glad I was one of the lucky people to read it. It’s honestly the best book I’ve read about love, not only from a biblical perspective but from a point of view anyone can relate to – regardless of their beliefs.
I was given this book for Christmas (thanks Mum) I started reading it as soon as I got it and I honestly couldn’t put it down. At first, I had never heard of the 5 love languages, a love tank, or done a quiz to find out my love language, or my fiance’s love language. But Chapman’s book is full of practical advice:
When it comes to relationships it can be easy to get caught up in busy schedules and long days, expressing love can fall by the wayside. We forget to compliment, to give gifts “just because”, to linger in our embrace. The things that say “I love you” seem to either not get said or not get said enough. No gimmicks, no psychoanalyzing, just learning to express your love in your spouse’s language.
Chapman dives into each love language with real-life stories from couples and includes powerful insights which will inspire anyone who reads it. Chapman heard from many married couples who felt they had lost love after decades of marriage, tried to found love or comfort with someone else, or couldn’t quite pinpoint what they were missing in their marriage. After hearing these similar stories for years, Chapman explains both children and adults have something called “love tanks.”
Could it be that deep inside hurting couples exists an invisible “emotional love tank” with its gauge on empty? Could the miserable behaviour, withdrawal, harsh words, and critical spirit occur because of that empty tank? If we could find a way to fill it, could the marriage be reborn?
As Chapman says in his book even with all the help available from experts, why have so few couples found the secret to keeping love alive? Because everyone speaks a different love language! These 5 Love Languages below can help to keep your partner’s emotional love tank full so he/she can feel secure and reach their full potential.
As I read more about the love languages I had a lot of “Aha!” moments, or wow that makes so much sense how did I never think of that? For example, when Chapman mentions nagging, which I’m sure many females can admit to (whoops), he points out verbal compliments are far bigger motivators than nagging words under the love language, Words of Affirmation:
I am not suggesting verbal flattery in order to get your spouse to do something you want. The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love. It is a fact, however, that when we receive affirming words we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate and do something our spouse desires.
Following and applying the steps in this book will change your relationship or marriage forever. I know firsthand it’s helping my relationship so much which is exciting, especially preparing for marriage. It’s a book I can go back to again and again. If you or your fiance/husband/wife hasn’t read this book I highly recommend it.
How to Find Out Your Love Language
While each language is important a person will usually speak one love language, or find they mostly relate to two key languages. You can find out your love language by taking the Love Language profile quiz at the end of the book, on the website, or on the LoveNudge App below. When I took the quiz I already knew what my love language would be (I love cleaning!) I had a guess for my partner’s one before he did the quiz. By knowing each other’s love language our relationship has improved so much because it’s helped us understand and learn more about each other on an everyday basis but also for the long-term.
The LoveNudge App is like a fitness app but for couples! The app is a way to put the 5 Love Languages into action in daily life, it’s available on Apple Store and Google Play and it’s free. You can also take the love language quiz through the app and connect with your partner. Plus, you get to set goals that align with your partner’s Love Language where you can set daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly reminders for a goal. Last but not least you can send a nudge to your partner of an activity you want to do or find out how full their love tank is.
My fiancé and I are really enjoying this app because males and females can often communicate differently about what they need or not at all. Or they drop hints thinking the other person will somehow figure it out. Then that’s where disagreements begin, “Why don’t you take me out for dinner more?” Or the classic, “Why don’t you help out with chores?” With the app, couples can give examples of goals they like under each Love Language or make their own custom goals. It’s a great app to help fulfill your partner’s needs and build healthy habits like giving a compliment, praise, encouraging texts, thanking your partner for everyday things. These things are so simple and seem easy but they can get lost, as Chapman says, with a busy schedule.
Not everyone may think they need an app to give attention to their fiance or spouse and it comes down to preferences. I just see it as another fun way to spend time with my partner and we’re also trying it out for our pre-marriage course we’re currently doing through our Church, for marriage, and beyond!