The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman writes that there are fi ve ways in which humans can express love. According to the book, the fi ve languages that couples in a relationship can express love towards each other may be through the following; spending quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, words of affi rmation and physical touch. So do you know how you show love and have you fi gured out how you would like for your partner to express and communicate it to you? Twenty-eight year old Lame Kgosiemang is single and says she is defi nitely looking for love. Having recently started seeing someone, Lame says that for her, a man doing simple acts of kindness such as making her breakfast and helping her with errands over the weekend is something that absolutely knocks her off her feet.
“I love it when my boyfriend does these little acts of service for me. But what I have also recently realized about my self is that I also appreciate physical affection. Sex means a lot me and this is one of the ways I feel really loved when I share the experience with my partner.” Lerato Malepa and Kaone Moalosi who have been in a relationship for nine years now since their teenage years, agree with Chapman’s theory. Lerato says that in the time they’ve been together, she still feels that Kaone does not get her. “Most of the time Kaone would ignore me the whole day, and then at night he wants to get intimate. This in a way makes me feel like that is all he really cares about.” Gary Chapman’s book writes that while we grow up knowing a single love language learnt from our family, when entering into relationships with strangers, we need to learn the right language because ‘what speaks volumes to us may be meaningless to your spouse’, even though you may mean well in the way you express love to your partner. When it comes to parenting, Chapman writes that parents should remember that children have a deep need for emotional validation.
In some cases, you fi nd that sometimes parents think that material gifts are more important to a child than what is really most important- words of affi rmation and quality time. Showing up for school plays, actively assisting with school work and being genuinely interested in their daily lives outside the home are all very important. With children in a family unit, love is not a ‘one size fi ts all’ solution, because kids have different personalities and different emotional needs. The job of a parent is to fi gure out what makes each child feel loved and special. This theory of the Five Languages of Love can extend to the workplace as well. As much as money is an important aspect for job seekers, once they enter the job market, many fi nd themselves complaining about ‘not being appreciated’ by their bosses.
Tsholofelo Moabi*, a project manager at a construction company says that a simple, “good work, Tsholo”, from her boss after completion of a project always makes her day. “As much as I have a big salary that offers me benefi ts that I require for my day-to-day living, hearing those words from my boss makes me want to excel even more. According to the book, “In our interactions with other human beings, one should therefore always keep in mind that people are different and feel loved in a way that is unique to the way you may want to receive love.”