Do you know how to speak your people's love languages?
This blog post is going to feature Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages and his body of work.
There are 5 main love languages Gary explains. Here they are...
1) Physical touch
2) Words of affirmation
4) Acts of service
5) Quality time
We typically speak in a main love language in how we give love, and prefer to be spoken to in a specific main love language when we receive love to feel super connected to each other. They aren't always the same.
For example, you could easily express love in words of affirmation but prefer to receive love through acts of service to feel really cared for.
It's also normal to have more than one love language. When you take the 5 love languages test, you'll be able to see which love languages are most important to you in order with a score. Typically, we have one or two huge ones that we need to feel connected to our partners and our friends, and we use the other ones as needed to further establish the relationship.
You can take the test here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/
I recommend taking the test as a single person and as a couple to see if there are any differences between your love languages with friends and your partner.
So where can we run into problems? Say gifts are your preferred receiving love language, but your partner never buys you gifts. You may become resentful and feel like he/she doesn't truly know you, or love you for that matter. You may feel like he or she never thinks about you when you're apart.
If words of affirmation is your most important love language, and your partner doesn't know to take the time to articulate exactly how they feel, and what they think about you or what they think about situations that affect both of you, you may feel like they don't care about you.
And here's the catch: it doesn't mean that a person doesn't love you, doesn't know you, or doesn't care for you if they aren't buying the gifts or saying the words. They may just not know how to attune to your love languages because they are unaware of them.
Let's say my partner's love language is quality time, but each time we are in the car together, I am looking at my phone and texting people miles away instead of having uninterrupted conversations with him/her.
It's not that I don't love him/her in those cases, it's simply that I'm not attuned to him and how he best receives love and feels connected with me. However, he may take it like I don't care enough about him to be off my phone which will lead to feelings of feeling unloved by me.
I like to receive acts of service. I feel really loved when someone does a task for me that I could otherwise do myself, but it would help me out if they did it. Things like cleaning, cooking, bringing me a glass a water before bed, showing up to help move, etc.
If someone doesn't do that for me, I genuinely feel unloved and wonder if they even care about me. This is because I am most receptive to acts of service when it comes to my love languages. Whereas, I won't feel so abandoned and uncared for if someone is distracted while we're hanging out (and I would if my top love language was quality time).
How this affects your partnership or friendships
When you don't know your partner's or a friend’s love languages and they don't know yours, you run into unspoken unmet needs. This leads to misunderstandings, conflict and even unnecessary breakups because you don't get what the other person needs easily.
And in the opposite instance, when you do know your partner's & friend’s love languages, you can anticipate their needs and form a stronger bond that will have you collaborating as teammates.
Ideas on how to love your partner through each love language
(You can also adjust this to your BFF or any other important person in your life in appropriate ways.)
If your partner’s love language is physical touch - make sure you crave out daily time to hug, kiss and just hold each other in ways that feel comforting before or after you're done your daily tasks. Cuddle and watch a show together for example. When your riding in the car together or out in public, hold hands or place a hand on a soothing area on your partner's body. This will create a sense of belonging and connection that will be very well received.
When your partner's love language is words of affirmations - put an effort into telling them how much you appreciate them in detail. They're not looking for a general statement saying, 'hey I appreciate you'. They are looking for specifics about why you appreciate them to feel truly loved and like they matter to your world. So, tell them you really appreciate that they take care of so and so in your relationship and what positive impacts they've had on your life. Write this in a long text message, a letter or an email every now and again. Better yet, at the end of every day, round up your honey and tell them what you appreciated about them today. You'll have new material all the time. When someone's main love language is words, make sure to let them in on your thoughts, especially when it impacts a joint venture, instead of keeping them to yourself, so they feel like they are apart of a unit with you.
When your partner's love language is gifts - pay attention to their regular purchases - like their favorite essential oils or face wash, and buy the exact ones they enjoy ahead of time before they run out. Take them out on a date night where there is keepsake to be had, like a photo booth print out you purchase from the visit at the pier that they can hang on their office cork board. It's not the amount you spend here that matters. Your lover isn't materialistic, which is misunderstood when the love language is gifts. They are sensory in how they feel connected. Thus, when you buy something they use or can enjoy, each time they interact with the thing, they feel connected to you and feel loved and known by you.
If your partner's love language is acts of service - it's all about taking off items on their to do list. Before you go to work, make them a lemon honey water for example. Do the dishes when you see they've had a long day, or bring home some delicious take out so no one has to cook point blank. ;) The goal here is to look at what your partner dislikes doing the most in terms of taking care of themselves and their environment, then taking it off their plate. For example, if you know your lover needs help around the house for a reno project that will mean a lot to them once it's completed, but they don't enjoy painting, offer to take most of the charge on it. I guarantee this is a panty dropper because they will feel so taken care of.
If your partner's love language is quality time - what you need to do to make them feel the most loved is plan outings where they have your undivided attention. This means no phones, no other people, just you and laser focus on what you both are sharing in terms of time. Someone who's main love language is quality time is looking to feel connection through feeling like they are important enough to be given priority, so make sure to schedule a weekly date where this is a constant that you don't skip out on no matter what. Bonus is if you focus on activities they genuinely enjoy, like if your love enjoys concerts, buy him/her tickets to their favorite artist or plan a picnic by the lakeshore if they are outdoorsy.
Go the extra mile WITH YOUR HUNNY
Now that you have some resources on how to figure out your love language and the love language of your partner, and some ideas on how to get loving in the most effective way in your partnership, you can also learn your apology language, which will help bring you both closer should there be a clash in your relationship.