Everyone has different ways of communicating their feelings to their partner, but in many situations, the way that you are expressing yourself may not be the way your partner hopes to receive it. While healthy relationships require open and honest communication, it is also equally important to understand one another’s love languages so that communication doesn’t get lost in translation.
The concept of love languages was developed by Gary Chapman, Ph.D., in his book The 5 Love Languages:
The Secret to Love That Lasts. The book outlined five unique styles of communicating love which most people can resonate with. Chapman explained that discovering your partner’s love language can help create a better understanding of one another’s needs and ultimately be able to grow as a couple. He explained the five love languages as: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and physical touch. Through discovering which love language that you and your partner respond best to, you should be able to improve communication, enhance connections and prevent problems.
What are the five love languages?
Words of affirmation
People who consider words of affirmation their love language value verbal acknowledgment. They look to be told “I love you”, along with other compliments, words of appreciation, encouragement, not just in person, but over the phone, texting, and on social media.
Those whose love language is quality time will long to spend time with their partner and feel loved when their partner wants to do something with them. However, this love language is not just about being with someone, it is also about active listening, maintaining eye contact, and having someone’s undivided attention and presence.
Acts of service
If you are someone who values acts of service, your love language is about having actions speak louder than words. Whether your partner is making you a coffee in the morning, picking up the kids from school, or running some of your errands, it’s the small acts that make your life easier and make you appreciate and love your partner even more. These people like to know that they are cared for.
People who feel loved when given a gift is a love language that is both physical and emotional. With gifts, it’s not about the monetary value, but rather the thought behind it. From the thought process of what someone would appreciate, to the effort of going out and seeking the gift and finally the emotional response of receiving it. Rather than gifting your partner with something that you would enjoy, it is better to purchase something that reflects their desires and values.
Those who believe that physical touch is their love language feel the most loved when they are held, kissed, touched and having sex. When physical touch is lacking in a relationship, these individuals may feel isolated and unappreciated. Physical touch is a very powerful emotional connector and results in bonding hormones including serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin to be secreted by the body.
Improve your relationship with the use of love languages
Many people may not realize it, but identifying your love language in a relationship is one of the single most important parts of connection. The love language list is there to help you figure out which concept you and your partner resonate with the most. In understanding this, you will be able to clearly see clear cues of when your partner is expressing their love for you, by way of their love language. Therefore, it is crucial to acquaint yourself with your partner's love language and understand what they need from you to feel loved and cherished in the relationship.
Instead of focusing on the conflict in the relationship and the root of your arguments, it would be much more beneficial for your relationship to pay attention to what your partner needs. When you can understand them fully, you will be able to act in accordance with their love language and find out how you can achieve a fulfilling relationship. In his book, Chapman also suggested that it is human nature to think about our own needs, but this attitude will not lead you to a successful relationship. When you are truly in love with another person, communicating love in a way that they understand and appreciate is something that you would consider a key element in the relationship. When you are an empathetic partner, despite having a different love language, your emotional intimacy will go from strength to strength.
Understanding the love language chart and the needs of your partner not only furthers a connection between you and your partner, but it can also result in you falling in love all over again. When you meet your soulmate, you have that overwhelming euphoric feeling, but over time, that stage can fade. Through taking time to put your partner’s love language into practice, no matter how big or small the gesture, it can relight the flame that initially brought you together.
Relationships and marriages can have their fair share of ups and downs with partners often losing sight of what’s important and how to please their partner. When speaking your partner's love language it can help put your relationship back on track and understand that your partner is trying to express their love for you. When you start putting in the effort for one another you relationship will become stronger and your bond will be greater.
Learning about the love languages and finding which one applies to both you and your partner has infinite benefits. It can take work and sometimes therapy sessions to better understand your partner, but with the love languages, couples can efficiently use them as a starting point for communication, expression, and connection. While there are many more avenues that couples need to go down to achieve happiness and fulfillment in their relationship, pinpointing your partner's love language can be the first step to a better future together.