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Why You and Your Partner Don’t Need to Speak the Same Love Language to Stay Together

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

What Makes a Relationship Boring and How to Avoid It How to Know If You’re Really in Love or Not (Yes It Can Be Confusing) Why You and Your Partner Don’t Need to Speak the Same Love Language to Stay Together Why Worrying About Losing a Friend Is Unnecessary No.1 Relationship Killer: Your Good Intention to Advise Your Partner When They’re Upset

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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