One of my closest girlfriends and I were chatting today about relationships and how they either work or don’t work. She began talking about the The 5 Love Langauges and how people give and receive love in different ways, and thus the success of a relationship is based upon how we communicate our specific love language with our partner.
She reminisced on her parent’s marriage and how it crumbled, mainly due to the fact that they hadn’t communicated effectively how each liked to receive love.
So often we give love the way we like to receive it. However, we forget that just because we like love in a certain way, doesn’t mean our partner likes it in the same way as us.
Marriage and Life Expert and New York Times Bestseller author Dr Gary Chapman, talks about The 5 Love Languages and how knowledge and use of them can save a marriage. We usually speak our primary love language and get frustrated when our partner doesn’t react or respond how we expect them to. This is because seldom do both partners have the same love language, hence if you continue expressing love in a certain way and you’re not getting the response you expect – you’re probably bashing your head against a wall because you haven’t communicated with your partner and asked them how they like to receive love! (It might seem silly at first, but trust me and read on…)
Below are the following five Love Languages:
1. Words of Affirmations
This language uses words to affirm other people. For this person, words speak louder than actions. I.e.say ‘I love you’, ‘you’re special to me’, ‘and you’re beautiful’ face-to-face, in a letter, a phone call, a texts or an email. Aim to give your partner at least one compliment a day.
2. Acts of Service
For these people, actions speak louder than words. I.e. Picking up your loved one from the airport without them asking, organising a holiday, cooking a meal, washing the dishes, walking the dog – things that take time and energy. If she/he has nagged you to take out the rubbish, set an alarm and remember to do it without her/him asking.
For some people, what makes them feel most loved are to receive a gift. I.e. spontaneous flowers, a well-thought-out birthday present, either materialistic or something they can enjoy like hot air balloon ride or a massage. Whenever they hint something they would really like, keep a record in a ‘gift ideas’ journal, so you don’t forget!
4. Quality Time
This language is all about giving the other person our undivided attention. I.e. a dinner date, a weekend away, or just simply lying in bed together and spending quality time together, listening to one another. Make a list of some activities you would enjoy doing together and plan to do them.
5. Physical Touch
For this person, nothing speaks deeply than appropriate touch. I.e. holding hands walking down the street, kisses, hugs, cuddling – in public and private. If you usually sit about 5 meters apart on the couch while you watch the TV, sit closer, put your hand on their knee, always kiss each other before and after work – actions speaks volumes fort this person.
The key is to prioritise these 5 love languages in order of which you resonate with most, or pick your number one love language. For example many years ago my girlfriend and I communicated to each other that both our number one love language was Quality Time. After we discovered this, without even realising we both gave each other experiences rather than gifts for birthdays presents. I would get her something like a high tea voucher to share together, and she would give me pole dancing/burlesque/lap tease lessons to do together! We had such a good time, yet if I didn’t know what she valued most and I bought her a book or something materialistic for her birthday, she probably would have gotten upset or not reacted the way I would have hoped.
The same goes for relationships. For example, if you value acts of service and you keep giving your girlfriend generous acts of service but little or no gifts, yet your girlfriend values gifts (aka expensive perfumes or designer things) then chances are she will think you don’t love her as much, because she links gifts with love, whereas he values service as love. For me, I value physical touch and affection very highly, so if I’m with a partner who doesn’t like to hold hands or cuddle in bed, then I am not going to feel as loved as if they did give me affection.
To determine your own love lagnuage, ask yourself some questions like these:
♥ How do I express love to others?
♥ What do I request most often?
♥ What do I complain about the most?
Communicate with your partner what you value most. Ask your partner some of the following questions:
♥ How do you like to be loved?
♥ What makes you feel loved?
♥ What annoys you the most?
♥ How do you want me to love you?
Find out what communicates love the most loudly for your partner. Although it won’t feel 100% natural expressing your spouse’s love language, it will reconnect and reignite your partnership!