Love is tricky. And our love languages are even trickier. Not everyone shows love in the same way, and this can lead to confusion and feeling unloved. So we need to understand our partners love language to show them love in a way they appreciate. And vice versa.
So first things first, we need to know what our love languages are.
Gary Chapman, the founder of the 5 love languages, has created a 30 question quiz for you to identify which of the 5 you respond most to (www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/)
When you’ve completed this, you’ll receive a ranking on the 5 languages, and then we can start building a stronger and better relationship.
1. Words of Affirmation
This love language is where you prefer to hear the love, whether plainly as ‘I love you’, or through other phrases such as ‘thank you’, or ‘I appreciate you’.
You need to hear the affection and praise to feel loved.
2. Quality Time
Undivided attention is when you feel most loved. This means no distractions, no phones, no tablets and no TV.
Pretty simple, you just want to spend time with them and only them.
3. Receiving Gifts
You feel most loved when you receive gifts that have been thought about and tailored to you. You can feel the love in a small rose that has been given to you because they knew roses were your favourites.
The gifts don’t have to be big, but you love knowing you have been thought about in that moment, as they think this would be something you’d like.
4. Acts of Service
Sharing the responsibilities of daily life is when you feel most loved by your partner. When your SO helps out with the chores around the house, or helps you with a list of jobs you need to do because they want to ease your burden.
A lift to the airport, or a hand with the dishes speaks to you more than receiving a gift.
5. Physical Touch
This last language means you respond most to hand holding, hugs, sex. Anything that shows affection through physical touch.
Give and Receive
Out of these 5 love languages you respond better to one, as will your partner.
Previous to this you will have been trying to show affection to him through your own primary love language. Say its gift giving, you’ve been putting the effort into making these cute little gifts, and buying them their favourite chocolate when you get the chance. But when you give them to him its received with a unenthusiastic thank you, leaving you feeling deflated and under appreciated.
Now you can understand that he responds better to physical touch, so you can make more of an effort to hold his hand, stroke his arm or hair and cuddle up to him more. Even add more kisses in to the day so that he feels more loved and appreciated.
In return he’ll understand he needs to give you small, thoughtful gifts for you to feel loved.
Once you understand each others love language, a lot of miscommunication and tension goes out the window.
Save or Destroy
Knowing your partners love language, as well as your own, can save your relationship. It becomes easier now, fights will happen less often because you feel loved more often, less taken for granted. Special again.
You now know what works and what doesn’t, you spend less time giving them something that doesn’t mean much to them, and have switched it for something that makes them smile and keeps them happy.
This is the closest you’ll get to reading each others minds. When you are getting frustrated and you just want them to know what it is you need or want, they now have a guideline to go by.
If a person who’s primary love language is acts of service is getting stressed, their partner can pick up a few more of those jobs to relieve the burden. That person then can relax a bit more, and will be thankful to you for help. As well as feel loved that you would do that for them.
Can you see how knowing your love languages can help build a stronger relationship?
Not Just Sexual
Of course it doesn’t have to be a sexual relationship. Love languages work for any type of relationship, whether a family member or a friend.
A friend may get annoyed at you for never saying thank you when they’ve given you a lift somewhere, you can now understand that they need to hear those words of love from you. It’s not just implied. They want to hear you say thank you, I appreciate you etc.
A brother may keep bringing you back gifts from places he’s visited, and giving you extravagant birthday and christmas presents which you never seem to understand and don’t fully appreciate. But to him that’s his way of showing his love.
A little communication would build you a stronger sibling relationship. If you were to tell each other that you respond best to quality time, he could make more of an effort to come down and see you and grab a coffee. While you could make the effort to buy him small gifts of things he likes, that make you think of him.
Once love languages are understood, life becomes easier. Life becomes happier.
So hopefully you now have the results from your quiz to go by and you and your partner can compare. If you match on any areas, say quality time, then you can make the effort to put phones down for an hour or two a day and just spend time with each other. Use the languages to aid you in building and maintaining a happy and love-filled relationship.