Category: The 5 Love Languages®

Q&A: Bringing the Spark Back to Your Marriage

Q: How can I bring back the spark into our relationship? It feels like we are just brother and sister.

Gary Chapman: I believe that the spark can come back if you learn to speak the love language of the other person and start doing it consistently. By speaking the other person’s love language you touch their heart and cause them to think, “What’s going on here? You’re responding differently to me.” Then they begin to respond differently to you. I don’t know anything that has the potential of stimulating the spark in marriage faster than learning the love language of your spouse and speaking it on a regular basis. Almost every week people to say to me, “When we read your book on the love languages, and we spoke the right language, it literally brought new life to our marriage.” I hope you can do the same and have the spark return to your marriage as well.

Q&A: Getting Someone to Speak your Love Language

Q: How can I encourage my boyfriend to speak my love language, which is words of affirmation?

Gary Chapman: You can’t make someone speak your love language, but you can influence them. The most powerful way to do so is to speak their love language. If you speak his love language on a regular basis, then you can say to him, “You know what would really make me happy?” and tell him something in step with your love language. Because he’s feeling your love, there’s a good chance he will speak your love language. There’s something deep inside of him that wants to be nice to you. Then when you make a request or share an idea that would make you happy he’s very likely to do it. We can’t control people and we can’t make them speak our language, but we can influence them and the greatest influence is loving them in the right love language.

Q&A: When the ‘In Love’ Tingles Go Away

Q: I’ve been dating for two and a half years and no longer feel the tingles of being ‘in love’, though I am committed. Is this normal?

Gary Chapman: We have discovered that the average life span of the ‘in love’ euphoria is two years, so if you’ve been dating for two and half years it’s not abnormal that you have come down off that high. The important thing is that you learn to speak each other’s love language so that you keep emotional warmth in the marriage. If you had not come down off the high while you were still dating, you would come down off the high after you get married; everyone does. So really you have an asset here. You have a chance to learn how to love each other, keep emotional warmth in the marriage, and process life in a rational way, seeking God’s guidance. I think you’re at a good place in your relationship.

Q&A: Discovering Someone’s Love Language

Q: How can I help my fiancé discover his Love Language?

Gary Chapman: Well, I think you can probably discover his language if you do three things. First, observe his behavior: How does he typically respond to other people? If he’s giving them verbal Words of Affirmation, that’s probably his language because we speak our own language. Secondly, what does he complain about? Because the complaint reveals his love language. If he says to you, “We’re not spending enough time together,” he’s telling you that Quality Time is his language. And then thirdly, what does he request most often? If he often says to you, “Could you give me a back rub?” he’s telling you that Physical Touch is his language. So you can discover his language and then communicate it to him.

The World our Teens Are Growing Up in

In my book, The Five Love Languages of Teenagers, I try to help parents understand contemporary teens.  Their world is vastly different from the world in which we grew up.  Think of these five areas:

Technology – They are bombarded with sights and sounds.

Knowledge and exposure to violence – It is daily and they are keenly aware of it.

The fragmented family – One teen said, “I’m the only student in my class living with my real mother and father.”

Knowledge of an exposure to sexuality – Overtly sexual messages bombard our teenagers daily.

Neutral moral and religious values – They are told that there are no moral absolutes.

Do you understand why I am so concerned that parents learn to love teens effectively?

Q&A: Topics that Apply to Couples of all Ages

Q: Your books on marriage seem to be geared toward younger people. Do your principles apply to older people as well?

Gary Chapman: Well, I agree that some of my books are geared more toward younger couples, but many of my books are geared to couples of any age. For example, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been married 2 years or 30 years, learning how to speak each other’s love language is extremely important if you want to have an ongoing healthy relationship. In my books I also address topics like learning how to apologize and how to forgive each other. So I really think that the basic concepts that I seek to share in all of my books can apply to all ages. Now there is one book of mine, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married, that is written specifically to singles or engaged couples. In it I try to help them have a healthy marriage from the start. However, even couples that have been married for many years have shared with me how they have benefited from that book. No matter when you start applying the concepts I teach in my books, I believe they will help you work towards a healthy marriage and/or relationship with others.

Q&A: When Love Languages are not Being Reciprocated

Q: What if I’m speaking all of my wife’s love languages but she’s not speaking mine in return?

Gary Chapman: Well, if you truly are speaking her love language and if she genuinely feels your love. then you can make requests of her. You can say, “Honey, you know something that I’d like for you to do…” and tell her something that’s in keeping with your love language. And because she is feeling your love, she’s more likely to do it. Don’t sit there hoping that sooner or later she’s just going to reach out and speak your language. It’s alright to make requests of her. Essentially, you’re teaching her how to speak your love language by making specific requests. Chances are, she’s going to respond.

Loving “Argumentative” Teens

Adolescence is the age of reason. Teenagers are beginning to think logically. We say, they are argumentative. Many parents have said through the years, “I think my teenager is going to be an attorney, he is so good at arguments.” In reality, the teen is developing his mental skills. If parents don’t realize this, they can create an adversarial relationship where the teen does not feel free to flex his intellectual muscles. How do we create a positive atmosphere where we can have meaningful dialogue with our budding philosopher? In one word – love. When the teen feels loved, he still may not agree with parents, but he will respect them; and be influenced by their opinions.

Differences with Your Teenager

Do you ever get frustrated with your teenager? The teenager has a strong pull toward independence and is going through radical physical and emotional changes. They are greatly influenced by their peers. In fact, we often speak of ‘teenage culture’. That culture focuses on music, dress, language, and behavior. This has often created a great divide between teens and parents. So, at a time when the teen most needs moral and spiritual guidance, parents are often rejected. Don’t allow your differences to keep you from loving your teen. Love keeps the door open for your positive influence. Learn your teens’ love language and speak it daily. They never outgrow their need for love.

Q&A: When a Spouse Doesn’t Seem to be Responding to Their Love Language

Q: I think my wife’s love language is Acts of Service. But she always complains that I don’t do a good enough job at the things I do for her. Why is this?

Gary Chapman: Here’s a clue: In whatever project she would like for you to do, whether it be vacuuming floors, washing dishes, or cleaning the car, say to her, “I would love to help you with this. Tell me what’s important to you when I do this.” This way, you’re really trying to not only do it, but you’re also trying to do it her way. That will speak volumes to her. I know you feel discouraged when you spend an hour doing a chore and don’t get positive feedback, but if you ask her beforehand what she would like you to do and how she would like you to do it, you’re far more likely to find the affirmation that you’re looking for.