Know Your Love Language

With the summer coming to an end and the stress of the holidays in the horizon, romance may seem like the last thing on your mind when it comes to your relationship with you and your partner. However – it very much should be at the top. Have you ever heard the term “Happy wife, happy life?” There is some truth to that, but it stands for anyone in a relationship. They are your partner for a reason, to love and support and care for you in whichever way they can (and you should be doing the same). Although we highlight communication being a key in all relationships, there is more to that than just being able to string together sentences. Communication means that you know yourself and what you want and your partner is able to understand and appreciate what is being communicated even if it is without words. You may have heard of the 5 love languages before in passing or on an Instagram meme, but there is true value in knowing what they are and how they apply to you and your partner.

The Different Love Languages

There are 5 different love languages identified by author and counselor, Gary Chapman. In his book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, Gary also acknowledged that you can have a primary and secondary love language, but how does one figure out which one is yours?

  • Words of Affirmation: These are things like verbal compliments, kind words that show appreciation or encouragement. These are best expressed as straightforward or humbling statements and are far more powerful motivators than nagging or words used to complain.
  • Quality Time: This is giving your partner your undivided attention – no devices or other distracting things (including animals and children), absolute attention with eye contact and mindful conversation. In today’s world, having time to one’s self is already hard enough let alone trying to sync up with a partners, so it may require you to schedule that quality time and that is perfectly fine – but keep to it as best as possible! Learn how to talk about your feelings or take the extra time out to understand your partners – this is a way to reveal yourself in a vulnerable but safe way. If you and/or your partner is more active, take the time out to engage in quality activities that can increase intimacy.
  • Receiving Gifts: Visual symbols of love can me more important to some than others, but gift giving goes waaaay back in time. This love language does not have to be any type of extravagant purchase, rather something small, simple, hand made. This is where “it’s the thought that counts” is genuine and it shows that we are investing in our significant other. It can also be the gift of self, which can mean on occasion sacrificing time doing something else you love to be present for your partner. This is not to say that you should not be doing things for yourself as a means of self-care, but if you take care of yourself well enough, you can find a way to take care of your partner.
  • Acts of Service: This means doing things your significant other would like you to do for them. It can range from doing daily tasks like the dishes or trash or even dealing with unruly neighbors or speaking sternly to a toxic family member. No one likes to be forced to do anything, so when stepping up and doing certain things without even being asked can make your partner feel as though you are both on the same page about what needs to be done to create or keep a happy home/environment. This, however, does not mean you become a doormat nor should we expect partners to be mind readers.
  • Physical Touch: It’s well known that physical touch is a way to communicate love as soon as we are born and without physical tough can make someone feel unloved. Physical touch is not limited to one area of the body and can be fun and exciting to discover the places your partner enjoys feeling your touch. Physical touch can be as simple as holding your partner’s hand in the grocery but powerful enough to comfort during a crisis.

Things to Consider

Although it is not explicitly stated, verbal communication is going to be important – as previously mentioned, people are not mind readers! Before approaching your partner, figure out what your love language(s) are and remember: your love language is what should be expressed to you and their love language should be expressed to them. For example, if your partner’s love language is quality time and yours is acts of service, you would wouldn’t take the garbage out and expect them to feel loved. Sometimes partners have the same exact love language, but prefer it being done in different ways (i.e. smaller various daily tasks vs. doing huge monthly favors). It is important to remember that we are humans and we can mess up, these things can be genuine but are also habits we have to build up on. Give you or your partner time to make adjustments so you can truly show each other how much you love each other the romance will closely follow. You can discover your love languages and find more resources on how to express them by visiting Gary Chapman’s website.

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