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Why You and Your Partner Don't Need to Speak the Same Love Language to Stay Together
How do you express love? How do you want to be loved in a relationship? If you’re like most of us, you fall into 1 of the 5 love language categories (with a couple strong influencers):1
- Words of Affirmation – Saying: “I love you”, “You’re amazing”, and “I’m so lucky”.
- Acts of Service – Actions speak louder than words.
- Receiving Gifts – Little tokens of love and affection make you smile all day.
- Quality Time – Time is valuable and you want to spend it with your significant other.
- Physical Touch – Hugging, cuddling, and holding hands is how you let the world know you’re in love.
Now that you’ve identified your personal love language, what about your partner’s? Is it the same or different? Do you know?
It may feel like you don’t understand each other, but having different love languages is not the end of the world.
You’ve just spent your entire evening with your partner instead of reading that book you really wanted to get to. Despite that, they’re upset you haven’t kissed them in the last 4 hours. You just can’t understand what more they want from you. Sounds familiar? Or you ask them why they never say, “I love you.” They respond, “Don’t you like it when I bring you chocolates?” And you can’t see the connection.
The biggest problem with this is that your messages of love might not be understood by each other.2 Don’t worry! It’s pretty normal to be with somebody who communicates love differently. Not everyone speaks the same love language.3 While it might be nice to have a partner that understands exactly what you need to feel loved, it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t. After all, we can’t all be exactly the same, how can we?
You can speak different love languages and still have a healthy relationship.
For couples worried about their future together, here’s some soothing relationship advice: You can have different love languages and still maintain a healthy relationship. The two of you just need to put in a little effort to understand your different needs. Understanding what your partner needs means you can make sure to give it to them.4 It’s all about communication.
1. Get to know your partner’s love language the easy way.
Start paying attention to the little things your partner says and does. What seems to make them happy? When do they start to feel unhappy or complain about the way things are going? Talking to each other about your romantic needs and wants is a huge and important step. It also takes time.
Or, just get together for a date night at home, make a few drinks, prepare a few snacks, and take this online quiz.
Be truthful and respond to the questions from your heart to get the most accurate answer. Taking the 5 love languages quiz will help both of you identify exactly what your love languages are in a matter of minutes. It also helps prevent any miscommunication or misunderstandings you might have while trying to figure it out on your own.
2. Learn to speak your partner’s love language.
Once you identify your love languages, keep following the relationship advice of so many: learn to speak your partner’s love language! Start showing love according to what they understand as love.5 Sound easy? It’s not the most difficult thi ng in the world, but it certainly isn’t the easiest either.
You are literally learning to speak a new language. This means learning all the right things to say, how and when to say them, and learning what not to say. Here are some great pieces of relationship advice for what to do if you and your partner speak different love languages.6
- Acts of Service: Try doing little things to show them how much you care. Get their car washed, pack their lunch, and remember to return their book to the library.
- Quality Time: Put away the cell phone and give them your undivided attention. Take a weekend getaway or play a board game between just the two of you.
- Words of Affirmation: Remember to verbalize what you think. Show them your appreciation, send random texts throughout the day, or send a handwritten note in their briefcase or backpack.
- Receiving Gifts: Bring them small things occasionally. Things like their favorite chapstick, a coffee from the local coffee shop, and good book are always welcome. Try to never forget special dates like birthdays and anniversaries!
- Physical Touch: Make an effort to reach out and hold their hand. Hug your significant other after you haven’t seen each other all day and never forget good morning kisses.
3. Learn to communicate with your lover and compromise.
Relationship advice concerning how to learn your partner’s love language is full of one word: compromise. Learning to compromise isn’t easy, it’s full of doubts and struggles. Why? Because compromising is about giving something up and who wants to do that? Anyone who wants their relationship to work, that’s who.
Relationships are all about give and take. So, what do you do if your partner’s love language is Physical Touch and you can’t stand to hold hands for longer than 2 minutes? Well, you learn to hold hands, hug, and cuddle. You do this even though it makes you slightly uncomfortable because you care about expressing your love in a way your significant other will understand. It’s not just about you giving in, though. For this compromising to work out, your partner is going to have to do the same. Is Quality Time your love language? Guess what? They’re going to have to miss their favorite TV show or that all important championship game every once in a while to go out for a walk or have a conversation over a cup of coffee with you.
Remember this relationship advice: it’s not impossible to be with somebody who has a different love language. It just means being more in tune with the special needs of your relationship and caring so much for the other person that you’re willing to put in the extra effort.
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