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Last Updated on July 25, 2019

How to Enhance Your Relationship with the Five Love Languages

How to Enhance Your Relationship with the Five Love Languages

It isn’t universally known that there are different ways to love someone and that every person may give and receive it differently. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, each person has a primary love language that reaches deeper than all the others.

The 5 distinct languages are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts. Understanding the way you give and receive love to and from your partner can significantly strengthen your connection and romance.

First and foremost, it’s important to fully understand your own love style and the manner in which you desire to have your own love bank account filled whether emotionally, mentally or physically.

The second step is then being able to share your love language with your partner after they have identified their love language too. This is where it really gets interesting in the dynamics of relationship.

All of us exhibit varying degrees of each of the five love languages in relationship but have a primary and secondary love language that fills up our emotional bank account. We are usually very good at demonstrating our own love language.

For example, my love language is Words of Affirmation, so I’m usually good at writing love notes, sending text messages or verbally sharing how much someone means to me. My partner’s primary love language is acts of service. He is always doing things for me like getting me coffee in the morning or calling me on his way home to see if I need anything. While I love the things he does for me and he appreciates my generous words of how amazing he is, we both long for love to be expressed to us in our primary Love Language.

Love languages can be applied to all relationships including friends, family and work colleagues. With this awareness, you can pay attention to how other family members or colleagues show up and their primary love language will become apparent. This in turn provides invaluable information in how to communicate more effectively in our personal and professional relationships.

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The 5 Love Languages

Here’re the 5 love languages explained.

Words of Affirmation

For someone with this style of love, words mean more than any action could. Expressing feelings through compliments and appreciation is the key to their heart.

Words like “I am thankful that…” and “I love how you…” will go a long way. Positive and loving thoughts will help this individual feel fulfilled.

While these words might not come naturally to some, being conscious of statements and practicing small affirmations will lead you in the right direction. Written words of love and gratitude are also appreciated.

Acts of Service

Doing something for your significant other, like taking out the garbage, cooking dinner, bringing you coffee in the morning or completing a task on their to-do list will satisfy this type of lover.

Acting out of love rather than obligation will show them they are valued. Helping your significant other throughout a project, or starting and finishing it on your own without asking for acknowledgement are examples of this style. Finding unique services or taking care of things your partner does not enjoy can speak volumes.

This type of person really shows their love and appreciation through thoughtful actions.

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Quality Time

Be there, really be there. Make your partner feel cherished by spending time together with no distractions.

Undivided attention and uninterrupted quality time will deepen your connection, communication and love. This type of lover wants to feel like you’re being intentional by setting time aside just for them.

Put your phone down, listen and talk-be in the moment. This can be especially difficult if you have kids, but the time alone is crucial. Commit time before the kids wake up or after the kids fall asleep, or plan a date activity that enhances connection.

Physical Touch

To put it short and simple, this person likes the touchy-feely kind of love. Expressing love through thoughtful and purposeful touch shows these individuals that they are desired, safe and loved.

Holding hands, tender kisses, back rubs and even a simple hug communicates a closeness that no other language can. This powerful love language demonstrates an intimacy throughout everyday life, times of need, and special moments.

Receiving Gifts

This isn’t about high-dollar items, rather the thought and effort behind the gift or gesture. A little “I got this for you because it reminded me of you,” is the idea behind the way this person loves.

Frequent gestures will show care, value and love. Celebrating big moments like birthdays and anniversaries through presents is also vital. The gift is a visual representation of how you feel about this person.

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How to Get Started with the 5 Love Languages

1. Take the Test

Head over to The 5 Love Languages Website and take the test. Even if you’ve taken the test before, things can shift as you grow and change.

For example, I always scored 0 for Acts of Service but, it moved up in the ranks because my current love’s primary love language is Acts of Service. So why would this happen? He is so thoughtful and consistent with his kind gestures that I’ve come to love and appreciate them.

2. Have Your Partner Take the Test

After your partner has taken the test, you two can share the results with each other. Maybe you’ll be surprised by the results!

3. Write the Results Down

Take a piece of paper with two columns: one with your name at the top and one with your partner’s name. Number it 1-5. For number one, write both of your primary languages, number 2 the secondary language etc.

4. Make the Results Visible to Both of You

Put it on the refrigerator, your desk at work, and the bathroom mirror. Anywhere you are sure to see it every day to remind you to fill your partners love bank account.

Rituals in Relationship

Eventually, filling your partner’s love bank account by expressing love in their love language will become natural and second nature. Awareness is the key in implementing this practice. Create bonding rituals together around your Primary Love Language.

One of our bonding rituals is taking a walk together most mornings. This ritual enhances our quality time together and the walking element grounds us. Another ritual we cherish is reading the daily passage from Mark Nepo’s, The Book of Awakening at some point during the day.

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Surprisingly, this fills all of the languages for me. It was a gift that Marty purchased for me at the beginning of our relationship. When he reads it out loud to me while we are laying on the bed holding hands its activates both Acts of Service and Physical Touch for both of us. Being together in the moment is Quality Time and we usually discuss the passage and how it relates to us and our lives that ultimately encapsulate Words of Affirmation.

Final Thoughts

Practicing the 5 Love Languages is a simple way to enhance your life

Once you know each other’s Love Language, you’ll see that it’s a snap to put into action. The awareness alone will do wonders for your relationship.

If you would like to take it a step further, each of you can make a list of all the things your partner does currently to fill up your emotional bank account that fulfills your love language. It’s a great exercise that’s sure to enlighten both of you.

The follow up to this would be to think of ways you would love for your partner to show you love. Unless you’re a mind reader, you may not know all of the secret desires your partner may be keeping to themselves.

A fulfilling relationship may require adjusting the way you love your partner to fit their needs and desires. Healthy relationships don’t just appear, they require attention and effort, but the reward is what makes it worth the time and energy. The good news is that the 5 Love Languages make it easy to enhance your relationship and your life.

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Featured photo credit: Vince Fleming via unsplash.com

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Dana Lam

Dana is a busy mom of two boys, author and co-founder of the Surprise Date Challenge.

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Last Updated on October 22, 2019

How to Get “I Can’t Do It” Out of Your Vocabulary

How to Get “I Can’t Do It” Out of Your Vocabulary

When someone says, “I can’t do it” . . . I say to myself, “What do you mean you can’t do it?” Maybe you don’t want to do it, but saying you “can’t” do it is a completely different story.

With the right mindset, positive attitude, and a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, the only thing that is holding you back is yourself.

Can’t is a terrible word and it has to be taken out of your vocabulary.

By saying you can’t do something, you’re already doubting yourself, submitting to defeat, and you’re making that barrier around your life tighter.

So today, right now, we are going to remove this word for good.

From now on there is nothing we can’t do.

“Attitude is Tattoo”

Your attitude is everything; it’s your reason, your why and how, your facial expression, emotions, body language, and potentially the end result. How you approach an opportunity, and the result of it, is solely based on you — not your boss or your co-worker or friend.

If you enter a business meeting with a sour attitude, that negative energy can spread like wildfire. People can also feel it — maybe even taste it. This is not an impression you want to leave.

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Now imagine you enter a business meeting with a positive attitude, that whatever happens in here is going to be your result, in your control, not someone else’s. Of course, we can’t always win, but even if the outcome is negative, your attitude and perception can turn it into a positive. The question is: can you do it?

Of course you can, because there is nothing in this world you can’t do.

It’s much better to be known for your positive attitude — your poise, your energy, the reason why things go so well because you are able to maintain such character. A negative attitude is easy. It’s easy to complain, it’s easy to be mad, and it’s even easier to do nothing to change it.

When I say your “attitude is tattoo”, it sounds permanent. Tattoos can be removed, but that’s not the point. Your attitude is like a tattoo because you wear it. People can see it and sometimes, they will judge you on it. If you maintain a negative attitude, then it is permanent until you change it.

Change your attitude and I guarantee the results change as well.

Believe You Can Do It

Do you know why most people say “can’t” and doubt themselves before trying anything?

It’s our lack of self-confidence and fear on many different levels. The one thing we have to purge from ourselves is fear — fear of bad results, fear of change, fear of denial, fear of loss, the fear that makes us worry and lose sleep. Worrying is the same as going outside with an umbrella, waiting for rain to hit it. Stop worrying and move on.

Confidence is fragile: It builds up slowly, but can shatter like glass. Project your confidence and energy into believing in yourself. This is a very important and groundbreaking step — one that is usually the hardest to take. Start telling yourself you can do something, anything, and you will do it the best to your ability. Remove doubt, remove fear, and stick with positive energy.

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Embrace Failure

Do not fear failure. Do not run away from it. Face it, learn from it, grow, and take action. Just remember: You will never know success if you have never failed.

Your confidence will bolster after embracing these facts. You will be immune to demoralizing results, and instead you will find ways to fix it, improve upon it, and make it better than before. You will learn to never say “can’t,” and will realize how many more opportunities you can create by removing that one word.

Don’t let one simple and ugly word plague your confidence. You’re better and stronger than that.

Start Making the Change

But to actually start the process of change is very challenging.

Why is that?

Fear? Time? Don’t know how — or where — to start?

It’s hard because what we’re doing is unlearning what we know. We are used to doing things a certain way, and chances are we’ve been doing them for years.

So here are some ways that I avoid using the word “can’t”, and actually take the steps to put forth the change that I wish to see. I hope you can incorporate these methods into your life.

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Write down What You Want to Change

Write it on post-its, notecards, whatever makes you comfortable — something you will always see. I usually write mine on post-its and put them all over the wall behind my monitor so I always see them.

Tell a Friend and Talk About It

Discussing your goals, what you want to change, is very effective when you say it out loud and tell another person other than yourself. It’s almost like saying, hey, I bet I can do it — watch me.

When you fulfill that goal and tell your friend, it feels rewarding and will motivate you to do it again in a different aspect. Who knows? Maybe your friend adopts the same mindset as you.

Stop Yourself from Saying the Forbidden Word

Sometimes,I can’t control myself in public when I’m with friends, so I have to be careful with the words I use so I don’t embarrass or insult anyone.

Treat the word “can’t” as the worst word you can possibly use. Stop yourself from saying it, mid-sentence if you must, and turn your whole perspective around — you can do it, you will do it, and nothing is impossible!

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

You think this change will be overnight? No way. This is a practice. Something you’re going to be doing for the rest of your life from now until forever.

As I said earlier, you are unlearning what you know. You know how easy it is to say you can’t do something, so by unlearning this easy practice, you’re self-disciplining yourself to live without boundaries.

Practice this everyday, a little at a time, and before you know it, the word can’t will not be part of your language.

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Do Anything That Can Relieve Your Uncertainty

When I catch myself saying I can’t do something or I don’t know something, looking up information on that action or subject, doing research, educating yourself, relieves that uncertainty.

Sometimes, we think we can’t do something because the whole idea of it seems too large. We skip the small steps in our head and only focus on the end.

Before you say you can’t do something, rewind and slow down a little bit. Focus on what the first step is, then the next. Take it a step at a time, and before you know it you will have done something you previously thought you couldn’t do.

Final Thoughts

You know what you must do. The first step is right now. Once you begin this habit, and really start noticing some change, you’ll realize the door to opportunity is everywhere.

The funny thing is: Those doors have always been there. The evil word that we no longer use put a veil over our eyes because that’s how powerful that word is.

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Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

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