“We have long known that physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love. Numerous research projects in the area of child development have made that conclusion: babies who are held, hugged, and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact.” (p.103)
Marital Love Languages
“Physical touch is also a powerful vehicle for communicating marital love. Holding hands, kissing, embracing, and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating emotional love to one’s spouse. For some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. Without it, they feel unloved. With it, their emotional tank is filled, and they feel secure in the love of their spouse.” (p.104)
Of the 5 senses, touching, unlike the other four, is not limited to one localized area of the body. Some touching is very explicit and demands full attention such as a back rub or sexual foreplay, culminating in intercourse. Sexual intercourse, however, is only one dialect in the love language of physical touch. Others are more implicit and require only a moment such as putting your hand on his or her shoulder as you pour a cup of coffee or touching your spouse as you walk through the room where he or she is sitting.
Chapman highlights the importance of physical touch In a time of crisis. We tend to instinctively hug one another. Why? Because physical touch is a powerful communicator of love. “In a time of crisis, more than anything, we need to feel love. We cannot always change events, but we can survive if we feel love.” (p.109)
The last part of the chapter delineates the story of a couple who did figure out each other’s love language 20 years earlier. When they went to Chapman’s seminar however the man made this comment: “What amazed me at the seminar today, was the way your lecture on love languages carried me back all these years to that experience (learning the love language of his spouse). You said in twenty minutes what it took us six months to learn.” (p.115)
So there you have it folks. The Five Love Languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. Knowing your own and your partner’s primary love language just makes it easier to communicate your love. Not knowing doesn’t make it impossible, just like speaking a different language doesn’t make it impossible to understand each other; it is just a lot more difficult. Hopefully, this has been helpful. All the best as you move forward speaking each other’s primary love language.