What could be more difficult than finding someone with whom we can live in harmony and fulfillment for the next fifty years?  The variables are great.  The old idea is that opposites attract.  There is truth to that, but opposites also may repel.  That is why couples can be so attracted before marriage and so disillusioned afterwards.  The reality is that the more similar we are, the less conflicts we will have.  Similarity is especially important when it comes to the bigger issues of life, such as values, spirituality, morals, whether or not to have children and how many, and vocational goals.  Dating provides the context for exploring answers to these questions and determining our suitability for marriage.

What About Love Languages

You have perhaps noticed that to this point we have not discussed love as an element in the dating process.  The reason for that should be obvious.  Genuine love interfaces with all of the ideas that we have discussed about dating.  It is an attitude of love that should motivate one to want to relate to others as persons rather than objects, to develop your own personality so you can reach your potential for good in the world, and to serve your dating partner and seek to encourage that person to reach his/her potential.  In seeking a mate, love is the foundational motivation, which not only leads to marriage but to a successful marriage.

If this is true, then learning to express love in a language my dating partner will feel becomes extremely important.  When the dating partner feels loved, he or she is much more likely to open to an authentic relationship in which we can each help the other.  Therefore, your dating relationships will be enhanced if you learn to speak the primary love language of the person your are dating.

From "The Five Love Languages for Singles."  © 2004 by Gary Chapman.  Used by permission Moody Press.  All rights reserved.

Gary Chapman is the author of the best-selling "Five Love Languages" series and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc.  Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio program airs on more than 100 stations.  For a free small group study guide, visit www.fivelovelanguages.com.