Have you ever felt less love from your partner because they show it to you in a way that is less of how you wanted it to be?
If you’re like many people, often you may not realise that the way you most prefer to be ‘shown’ you’re loved can be different to how your partner shows their love. It all comes down to your ‘love language’.
If you have ever felt your partner doesn’t love you, then it may be because they don’t have the same love languages as you do.
According to Gary Chapman, there are five love languages or ways that people express their love.
For most couples, these are different from each other.
When we are in a love relationship, we tend to speak our own primary love language, and we become confused when our spouse does not understand what we are communicating or doesn’t feel our love. More so, we get frustrated when we receive a different language that we are not used to or expecting.
When we can identify and also learn to speak our partners’ love language, we have the key to a truly loving relationship.
Often people can determine their own unique love language by reviewing the 5 below and recognising the one or two that are usually most important or meaningful for them. Have a look below and see what stands out for you, and have your partner do the same.
Here are the 5 Love Languages:
1. Words of affirmation
Actions won’t always speak the words we wish to hear. Unsolicited compliments may mean the world to you. According to Dr. Chapman, this language uses words to affirm other people (how meaningful they are to us, how much we love them, how much we appreciate them, etc). For those who prefer the words of affirmation language, hearing “I love you” and other compliments are what they value the most. Words hold real value within this language. Furthermore, negative or insulting comments cut deep — and won’t be easily forgiven.
2. Quality time
This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention. It also includes empathic conversations, sharing thoughts, feelings and desires in an open uninterrupted environment. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially harmful to these individuals. Being there for them is crucial. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.
3. Receiving gifts
Giving gifts are a symbol of thinking about your partner, and often are visual gifts of love. Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.
4. Acts of service
Can cleaning up the kitchen really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. These could include cooking a meal, washing dishes, changing the baby’s nappies, vacuuming the floor, cleaning the car. People who thrive on this language do not deal well with broken promises — or perceived laziness — and have very little tolerance for people who make more work for them.
5. Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. Physical touch is a powerful vehicle to express your love. These include, holding hands, kissing, hugging, cuddling, touching and making love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
In the next couple of weeks, we will look at each love language.