For today’s character development exercise, we’re going to look at “The Five Love Languages,” developed by Gary Chapman. Basically, there are 5 different ways people express and receive love:
- Words of Affirmation: Pretty much what it sounds like. Compliments are huge for these people. They love hearing the words “I love you,” and why. Insults are devastating.
- Acts of Service: These people feel valued when others do things for them, and they will constantly seek out ways to help other people. Laziness and broken promises tell these people that they don’t matter.
- Receiving Gifts: Not the same thing as materialism. These people love picking out gifts for other people, and put a lot of thought into them, and they feel most loved when they can tell that somebody else did the same for them. Thoughtless gifts or missed birthdays/anniversaries are heartbreakers for these people.
- Quality Time: These people feel most loved when they are given undivided time and attention, and are likely to express love by trying to spend time with the other person. Postponing activities or being distracted during conversations is particularly hurtful.
- Another pretty obvious one. Hugs, kisses, back rubs, a casual touch on the arm as somebody passes… That’s what these people thrive on. Abuse is, obviously, intolerable and unforgivable for these people.
You might be able to identify your character’s (and your own!) primary love language just from reading my summaries, but here’s the official website, where you can get more in-depth info on each language, and… ta-dah! TAKE A QUIZ!
Here’s our plan of campaign for today:
- Download the PDF version of the Love Languages test.
- Answer all the questions for your character.
- Again, please please let me know what your character’s results were! Or your own, if you take it for yourself.
I suggest downloading the PDF if you’re going through this for your characters, since otherwise they want a name and email and such… which could make it awkward for a fictional character! But if you want to take the test for yourself (and I highly recommend it), feel free to give them your info.
Oh, and if you get really interested, there’s a whole series of books based on the Love Languages, geared towards specific groups of people such as Singles, Kids and Military. You can find all of them in the Resources tab on the main website.
Now I’ll go through it with my guinea pig, Nate…
For him, since he is a 17-year-old boy, I chose to take the test made for teens…
Ugh, this was actually really difficult, with a lot of confusion and hesitating. Hardly surprising, I guess, since Nate hasn’t had much experience with love in his life…
He came out with three different languages being really close together, which again I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by. I guess he just loves love! His top three were Words of Affirmation, coming in at 9, and Physical Touch and Quality Time both at 8. Service and Gifts were both really low for him.
Okay, honestly, my heart is breaking for him a little bit… I can’t imagine that in his lab-rat life, he was complimented very often, and physical touch was most likely limited to testing. And quality time? Not highly bloody likely either.