The 5 LOVE LANGUAGES
Have you ever tried communicating with someone that doesn’t speak your language?
Challenging, to say the least, wouldn’t you say?
No matter how good your intentions are, the language barrier puts a burden on you when your message is not understood. You try desperately to explain something, and the other person is sincerely trying to understand you, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t connect.
In our practice, we hear comments like these often:
- My wife doesn’t get me
- He doesn’t understand me
- I feel unloved
- I don’t get any appreciation
- We never spend time together
- He never says “I love you” to me
- He/ She never does anything to help me
Can you relate?
This is precisely what is going on when you and your partner don’t understand each other. You feel disconnected, unloved, frustrated, and eventually give up communicating with each other.
This is because you don’t know your partner’s Love Language.
According to Gary Chapman, there are 5 Love Languages; learning and speaking your partner’s love language is the crucial part of any healthy relationship. It gives you a more in-depth insight on what your partner is feeling, needing, and wanting. Each one us has a primary and a secondary Love Language; these two are the one you need to pay most attention to!
What are the five Love Languages?
Words of Affirmation– Sometimes, actions don’t speak louder than words! A simple “I Love You” can go a long way. If your partner’s primary love language is words of affirmation, make sure to compliment and praise them. Your partner thrives on positive and encouraging statements and insults or degrading language can leave them shattered and devastated. Use words that are kind, encouraging, and fills your partner’s emotional love tank.
Quality Time- Even though life gets busy, and we need to tend to a million things at the same time, finding quality time for a partner with this primary Love Language is crucial. This act shows them you care; they feel loved and acknowledged. Having quality time together means no distractions; it means putting your phone away! (Yup, that might be a stretch for some.) It means no TV, no chores, and no other activities! Quality time is to be fully present and giving your undivided attention to your partner.
Acts of Service– Can doing the laundry be an expression of love? Absolutely! Especially if your partner’s primary love language is act of service. Anything you can do to ease the burden of responsibility from your partner means the world to them. There is one caveat! If they have to ask for help, that does not count! When the act of service is done from love and not from obligation, then your partner feels valued, appreciated, and loved. The words they most like to hear is, “Let me do that for you.”
Receiving Gifts- This is not about material things and expensive gifts. For this type of love language partner, the thoughtfulness is what matters. Now, this does not mean that you can get away with a careless gift just to satisfy your partners need. They need to feel you know them. So if you are planning to buy flowers, make sure you know what their favorite flower is, what their favorite color is? People with this primary love language thrives on the love and the effort you put into showing you really get them.
Physical Touch- For people with this primary love language, a single hug, a pat on the shoulder or holding of hands speak volumes. Appropriate and timely touching represents safety, compassion, and love to them. Avoidance of physical touch can translate to neglect, abandonment to these group of people. So be generous with being touchy if this is your partner’s primary love language.
Discovering and speaking your partner’s love language can drastically improve your relationship; it certainly made a significant impact on my marriage. For years I was showing my love in my preferred love language, and used to get frustrated when my husband wasn’t showing any appreciation! While he was showing his love in his language to me. We were both trying hard to show one another our love, but instead were getting frustrated and annoyed.
One word of advice! Don’t leave it up to your partner to guess your love language, tell him or her how you like to be treated.