Have you ever felt frustrated when your partner doesn’t understand you? Does it ever feel like the two of you speak a different language? The truth is, you probably do. Every single person in the world understands love and expresses it in a different way. You might have trouble understanding each other because you express love differently. This doesn’t mean that one of you loves the other any more or less.
So how are we supposed to understand our partners if we speak different languages? Gary Chapman, relationship counselor and author, wrote a book about it – “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.” By learning which language you speak and which language your partner speaks, you can make your relationship better.
What are the 5 Love Languages?
1. Words of Affirmation
If you speak this language, it means that you express love through words. Maybe you constantly affirm your love, give praise, or verbalize appreciation of your partner. Tell your partner that this is how you express your love. It also works the other way around. If you understand love through words of affirmation, make sure your significant other understands that. It’s amazing how much a comment like “thank you so much for sharing your life with me,” can make you feel.
2. Acts of Service
The ‘acts of service’ love language means that, for you, actions speak louder than words. This is usually the love language of somebody who is practical and isn’t impressed by frills. Tell your partner how much it means to you when they prepare your morning coffee, wash the dishes, or pick up around the house. And if this is your significant other’s love language, make sure to do little things for them, too! Help them get ready in the morning, pack their lunch, or get their car washed. These acts let them know you’re thinking of them.
3. Receiving Gifts
A lot of people think that somebody who likes receiving gifts is shallow. But, this simply isn’t true. Receiving gifts from the person you love lets you know that they took time out of their day and thought about you and how to make you happy. If this is your love language, these gifts are little tokens of love and affection. It doesn’t have to be big. Something as simple as your favorite candy bar or a single flower is enough to show that you care.
4. Quality Time
For people with this love language, time says it all. You feel on top of the world when your partner chooses to spend their day with you. And why not? In today’s world, time is a precious resource. Let the love of your life know that your love language is quality time. You need picnics at the park, walks on the beach, and weekend road trips. If this is your partner’s language, make sure to give them all the time they need to feel loved and appreciated.
5. Physical Touch
Who doesn’t love hugs and kisses? We all do, of course. But, some people need them more than others in order to feel loved. If this is you, let your partner know how safe you feel when you’re cuddled up in bed together. Just for a moment, you can forget about the rest of the world. If this is your significant other’s love language, make sure to grab their hand next time you’re at the supermarket or sit extra close at the movies. Displaying this love language can help them feel appreciated and bring the two of you closer together.
Remember, there is no one right way to love. When you learn what your partner identifies as an expression of love, it can change your relationship. And when you start “hearing” your love language, you’ll stop feeling misunderstood. We all want and need to feel loved, that feeling just happens in a different way for different people.