In my work with parents and couples, I have found a kind of magic lantern for helping them have better relationships. This is Dr. Gary Chapman's idea that there are various ways in which people feel truly loved--what he calls a person's primary love language. The languages Chapman identifies are: physical affection, compliments or words of affirmation, quality time together, acts of service, and receiving gifts. All of us need all five of these in order to feel loved, but each of us needs one of them most of all. Surprisingly, we don't always choose a partner who has the same love language as ourselves, and this can result in problems. We think we are expressing love, but we are expressing love in our own love language which may not be the same as the other person's love language.
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