CLEVELAND — Falling in love is easy, but making people feel the love that we have for them and staying in love past the initial honeymoon phase can be a challenge, according to the experts.
To give us all a fighting chance at this thing called love, on this week's 3 Things to Know with Stephanie Haney podcast, relationship communication expert and New York Times best-selling author Dr. Gary Chapman breaks down the different ways people give and receive love, and his theory that relationships fail when there's a disconnect between the two.
As the author of "The 5 Love Languages®: The Secret to Love that Lasts" and a long-time marriage counselor, Dr. Chapman shares his wealth of experience on the different ways people feel loved and appreciated: through words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, and receiving gifts.
We also discuss the science behind the two main phases of love, why it's seemingly so easy to fall out of love, and what to do when our love languages don't match in a relationship (which happens a lot).
I also break down why matchmaker and experience strategist Jacqueline Colette, who goes by JC, is such A Good Follow on Instagram, on both her personal account and her matchmaking account, Beside Every Boss (which has an incredible meaning behind its name).
Scroll down for the video version and for links to listen on your favorite podcast platform
According to a survey on attitudes towards love and relationships conducted by Statista Research Department in 2019, about 42 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, "I believe in love at first sight."
That tracks with Dr. Chapman's ideas about how easy it is to fall in love, and also maybe sheds some light on why his book has sold tens of millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages, as people try to understand how to keep that feeling alive.
At the start of our conversation, Dr. Chapman tells me about how he first became acquainted with love languages, the hard way.
"When I first got married I gave my wife words of affirmation. I didn’t know anything about love languages but I did know that when people gave me affirming words, I felt that they cared about me. So I told her how nice she looked, how much I appreciated what she did, I probably told her a dozen times a day, 'I love you. I am so glad I married you. I love you, love you, love you!' Dr. Chapman said. "And one night probably, I don’t know, a few months into our marriage, she said, 'You keep saying, "I love you." If you love me, why don’t you help me?'"
That was a rude awakening for Dr. Chapman, and would develop into his life's work of helping people better understand what it is their partners need from them in order to feel loved.
Apart from just asking the people in our lives what fills their "love tanks," as Dr. Chapman puts it, we can discover what does it for them by watching them closely.
"You can discover a child’s primary love language by the time they’re four years old. Sometimes earlier. Just observe their behavior. How do they respond to you and other people?" Dr. Chapman asked, rhetorically. "For example my son’s love language is physical touch. He’s grown now, but when he was that age, I would come home from work, he would run to the door, grab my legs and climb on me. He’s touching me because he wants to be touched!"
If after observing your lover, your still at a loss for how to meet their needs, there's a free quiz people can take, individually or as a couple, to help determine what your primary love language is at 5lovelanguages.com, which is also where people can learn more about Dr. Chapman's book on the subject.
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Check out more episodes, including tips form relationship experts on how to date during a pandemic, at the links below.