This spring, Heart of the City therapists are championing the idea of commitment to and focus on romantic relationships. We are encouraging folks to channel some of that springtime energy into their chosen, committed, adult relationships. We'd like to challenge the somewhat common notion that if you have to work too hard at a love relationship, it's probably just not right. Instead, we propose the possibility that it is the work that makes it right. You know the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, "Life is a journey not a destination."? That's where we're going with this. Just as individual growth is a dynamic, ever evolving process, so is the growth of a relationship. When each partner takes time to focus on where the relationship has been, how it's growing now, and where growth might lead to in the future, that is time well spent. To support our readers in their journey along the road of relationship growth, during the month of April our blog posts will be focused on specific activities that promote relationship growth. We hope you will take what speaks to you, leave what doesn't and be inspired to search for other ways to spur growth in your relationship.
To start the month off, we are introducing Love Languages. This is an activity developed by Dr. Gary Chapman. He has identified five main "love languages". These languages are five main ways that individuals experience and express love. The identified 5 love languages are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
In Chapman's book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, he asserts that we each have a primary Love Language which is fairly stable over time and begins in early childhood. In his work with couples, he began to identify thematic expressions of love and how these expressions were missed in relationships when the other person did not identify them as expressions of love. He noticed that the couples he worked with were able to rekindle the emotional love in their relationships by learning and speaking their partner's primary love language. You can learn more about how he developed this theory and take the Love Language quiz to identify your own love language on his website: 5 Love Languages.
Have fun taking the quiz with your partner and discussing the results. Some questions you might consider are: Do you agree with the primary love language identified in the quiz? Why or why not? Were you surprised to learn your partner's main love language? Can you identify times when your partner is speaking to you in their love language? Times when you are speaking each other's love languages well? What do those times look like? What do they feel like? Enjoy the conversation this quiz and these questions spark with your partner, and appreciate the focus you've given to your relationship.
Kori Hennessy, MA, LAMFT