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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.

More About Healthy Relationships

Featured photo credit: Vince Fleming via unsplash.com

More by this author

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 December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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