Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Five Love Languages

The Five Love Languages

By Margaret Daley

I read an interesting book about the language of love we use. In the book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman was insightful and interesting. But most of all I saw such potential for a writer to use the information to flush out her characters, especially in regards to the love relationship between the hero and heroine. I highly recommend reading the book.

When two people are in a relationship, it is important for each one of them to demonstrate in some way the importance of the other in his/her life. The problem often arises in a relationship when these two people don’t speak the same love language. They don’t speak to the other’s deepest emotional need (a need that has been shaped by their childhood). We want to be loved by the other and valued as worth loving by that person. So how you express your love is important in a relationship. You may be saying, “I love you,” to your significant other, but he isn’t hearing it because he doesn’t speak the same love language.

The Five Love Languages
By Gary Chapman

These are the five love languages:
1) Words of Affirmation-Some people need to hear the words from their loved one to believe they are loved. They need verbal compliments and praises.

2) Receiving Gifts-To others the receiving of a gift from their loved one tells them they are loved by that person. The gifts don’t necessary have to be expensive. The thought behind the gift is what is most important. It tells the person he was thinking about her. In a time of turmoil the gift of your presence can be what is valued the most.

3) Acts of Service-There are some who need love expressed through doing something for them. It could be something like doing the dishes or taking out the trash. It is important that the act of service is given freely, not demanded.

4) Quality Time-Another love language is spending quality time with your loved one. I don’t just mean being with him. I mean really talking and listening to him. You must be totally focused on him to the exclusion of everything else. Within this are also quality activities. When doing things together, one should want to do the activity and the other has agreed. You are showing your love by doing the activity together.

5) Physical Touch-A touch on his arm as you walk by, holding hands on a couch, or a back rub when he is tense can be to some an expression of love. There are many levels of physical touch and not all have to be intimate to show you love someone.

With your characters determine which love language he/she speaks and use that in your story to show love as well as to keep a distance between two people. An example: A woman who needs words of affirmation from the man she is dating and he is the strong, silent hero—doesn’t express his feelings well. There are so many possibilities to use the five love languages. I hope you can use them and have fun with them.
Margaret Daley recently posted on her blog: 'I have been writing for Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired line since 2000 and have enjoyed creating over nineteen Love Inspired and eleven Love Inspired Suspense books, some still to come out in 2009 and 2010. Writing for a category inspirational romance publisher has challenged me and helped me to grow as a writer.' For more info on Margaret check her blog and website:
Margaret, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to come and be here with us today.


Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Margaret, welcome to our Prairies. Don't you just wish you could experience the cold we've had up here this winter? lol

Happy Valentine's Day. You post is perfect for today. The 5 love languages sound like a good tool for characterization. While reading your post, I realized that I'm the type who needs 'Acts of Service'. My guy has never had a problem saying he loves me. I need to see it, too.

Janet C. said...

Thanks for joining us today, Margaret. Your post is very timely! And the book title is going on my "To Buy" list for resources.

As I was reading, I was thinking about my current WIP - the one where the hero and heroine are just existing. There's chemistry, but they haven't told me what's keeping them apart (I could wrap up the story right now as a HEA). The five languages of love give me some ideas that would create sparks (the "Oh, I hate him!" kind - not the "Be still my beating heart." kind). So thank you for that.

Now, off to the big city to visit my mom for Valentine's Day -oh, and shopping.

Happy Valentine's Day to you, and to everyone visiting the Chicks today.


Margaret Daley said...

Thanks, Anita Mae and Janet, for the welcome. I really enjoyed reading this book on several levels--in dealing with my own relationships as well as my characters'.
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.

Jana Richards said...

Hi Margaret,
Great to have you here today. What an interesting concept. I, like Anita, am into 'Acts of Service'. I'm much more moved by my husband cooking or cleaning then by flowers or candy (although those are okay too!) These acts of service show me that he loves me enough to give me time to write, and is honouring my aspirations.

I can see this idea being applied to my writing. In addition to your idea of the strong, silent type who can't express words of love, there is also the person who doesn't necessary believe words of love. They must be shown love through acts of service before they can believe in it.

Jana Richards

Suse said...

Welcome, Margaret. As Janet mentioned, your post is timely.

Not only does it make me examine how my characters communicate with each other, I'm also thinking about how my husband and I communicate with each other. I believe that words are important, but I also believe that acts of service and touching are also as important, as is spending quality time with each other.

Yesterday when I stopped to get groceries after work, I saw a long line of men at the flower counter. It made me wonder what the women were doing for their men for Valentine's day.

Karen said...

Warm welcomes, Margaret.
Happy Valentine's Day wishes to you.

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm attracted to being on the receiving end of all five of the love languages. I don't think I'm so good at initiating those same love 'conversations'.

I can certainly see the value of deciding which language your characters are comfortable at giving and receiving and how that changes during the course of a story.


Margaret Daley said...

Jana, thanks for another good example of how to use it.
Suse, you can have a main love language and a secondary one. A lot of people do.
Karen, I love that rose in your picture. You don't have to just use the love languages for a hero and a heroine in a romance, but for other characters, too. Gary Chapman has several other books along the same line--using the languages with children, etc.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Okay, I'm back from the city. Speaking of children, Margaret, the kids had to wear pink to school yesterday in honor of anti-bullying Day. Jessie put on this hot pink top and pink scarf and she popped up and said, 'How do I look?' and what do you think she looked like? Let's just say you have lots of them! :)

btw - you work with special kids, and you have such an affinity for the underdog, how in the world do you come up with books like your newest one, Poisoned Secrets are you an avid watcher of the CSI and NCIS crime shows?

Margaret Daley said...

Anita Mae, my preferred reading is a mystery, suspense or adventure. Yes, I watch those types of shows, too. I also belong to a crime scene writer's loop where there is a lot of information given.

I'm so glad to hear about the anti-bully day at school. It is so needed at all schools.

Thank you for inviting me to blog with you all.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Margaret, thank you for taking time out to visit with us. We'll have to see if we can get you back later on this year when you have another new release out and when we have more viewers.

And btw - the reference to Jessie in pink was because she looked like a pink flamingo. :)

Margaret Daley said...

You do know how I love pink flamingoes, Anita Mae. No wonder I think your daughter is neat!!