One of the most common relationship problems is struggling to express love to someone else. Lots of people love someone, but they struggle to express their love or meet their partner’s expectations of them. This can be extremely difficult for both people in the relationship, and both partners can end up feeling upset and unloved.
Although this commonly happens in romantic relationships, it isn’t limited to them; people often struggle to express love to their friends, family and co-workers too!
If you can have experienced this common relationship problem, don’t worry. Dr. Gary Chapman created the 5 languages of love to help people understand more about how they express love and emotion. Anyone can take the love language test to find out how they express their love, so they can start to have more loving relationships with other people.
Do you want to find out how you communicate your emotions? Read on to find out how to have a healthy relationship using the 5 love languages.
1. Acts of Service
For some people, the most loving gesture you can make is doing something for them. You could help them out by offering to babysit for them, or you could offer to cook dinner for the family. It can even be a small thing, like doing the washing up or making them a cup of coffee.
If this is your partner’s primary love language, these small acts will mean the world to them. You may prefer to offer them kind words, but they won’t be impressed by this. To them, actions speak much louder than words. They would much rather hear you say “let me do that for you”, or “let me help you with that”.
2. The Physical Touch
Other people have physical touch as their primary love language. Although this does include sex, it is not limited to it. This also includes holding hands, hugging, kissing and massaging. This person would much rather you touch them than offer to help them with an act of service. For instance, if they receive bad news, they would prefer a comforting hug to practical help or advice.
If you want to be better at physical touch, start small. Give your friend a hug whenever you see them, and kiss your partner whenever they leave. Make the effort to hold their hand when you are out together. It may not mean much to you, but to your partner, it means the world. To them, physical contact reaffirms your love and affection.
3. Quality Time
If your primary love language is quality time, that means you value getting and giving full, undivided attention. This doesn’t mean watching TV together or sitting on your phones together. It means putting everything else on standby so that you can sit down and verbally connect with each other.
During this time you might discuss your careers, or your hopes and dreams; so long as it is something meaningful that makes you feel valued and loved. The main purpose of these conversations is togetherness, and if you don’t get to spend quality time together you will start to feel unloved and unappreciated.
4. Words of Affirmation
For some people, the most important love language is words of affirmation. For this person, actions don’t speak louder than words; words are very meaningful, and without positive comments, they might start to feel unhappy.
This person appreciates warm comments, such as “I love you” and “You can do this”. A kind word can make their whole day, and they feel low if their partner doesn’t make an effort to verbally express their love. They also hate being insulted. One offhand insult can ruin their week, so be careful with your words.
5. Receiving Gifts
Receiving gifts is the final love language, but it shouldn’t be taken for materialism. This person cares more about the thought and effort put into the gift. For instance, they would prefer to receive a handmade card than a gift card from a shop.
Whenever this person receives a gift, they feel cared for and loved. If you miss their birthday or get a thoughtless gift, they are likely to be extremely insulted. To them, gift giving is the best way to express love, so to be forgotten about is very hurtful. Remember that this person isn’t impressed by money; they are impressed by people who are thoughtful and generous.