- Gender and Relationships
A Relationship Saver: Learning About Love Languages
What are the "love languages" anyways?
The love languages, originally developed by Gary Chapman, are the ways in which we give and receive love. Think about this: If you really wanted to do something nice for your partner to show them you love them, what would you do? Buy them a gift? Write them a love note? Bring them lunch to work? Spend a romantic evening together? We all utilize all of the love languages at certain times, but typically we have one outstanding love language that means the most to us. The 5 main love languages are:
- words of affirmation;
- quality time;
- acts of service, and
- physical touch
To answer your question, no, physical touch does not mean sex. It can include sex, but it can also include such things as hugging, hold hands, give back rubs, kissing, and so on. Acts of service is doing things for your partner, such as making dinner or washing their car for them, while gifts are more along the lines of sending flowers or possible taking them out to dinner. Quality time is clearly just spending time together, and words of affirmation is just as it sounds; saying words like "I love you" or "you look beautiful."
To find out which is your primary love language, follow the link at the bottom of the page to take the quiz.
Why Understanding the Love Languages is Important
I am about to present you with a relationship-changing idea:
The way that you show love to your partner might not be how they actually receive love.
Let me explain with an example.
A couple, let's call them Monica and Chandler, have been fighting a lot lately. Chandler's love language is quality time, so he keeps attempting to plan romantic dates with Monica to get them back on the same page. Monica's love language, however, is gifts. So every time Chandler tells her he's planned another evening together, Monica thinks it's nice and all but really doesn't feel loved as a result of it. If Chandler were to send her flowers during the day or bring home a beautiful piece of jewelry to her, she would really know that Chandler loves her.
This can go the other way, too. Monica keeps trying to buy nice things for Chandler, like his favorite beer or some new clothes, but Chandler doesn't really care. What would make him feel more loved is if Monica were to clear her schedule and set aside some time for them to hang out together.
Learning your own love language and the love language that means the most to your partner is vital for the health of your relationship. It's possible that you've been trying to show them love in a way that means something to you, but that isn't communicating love to them at all.
I highly recommend that you and your partner both take the love languages quiz to figure out how you should best be loving each other.
To take it a step further, you could even purchase the book and read it together. The book comes with a lot of great ideas on how to feed a love language that isn't your own. This can be a difficult task; we naturally love in the way that we feel most loved by. It can be challenging to do something you might not be as comfortable with. My love language is gifts, whereas hubs is words of affirmation. It's not a natural thing for me to stop and say, "Hey, I just want you to know I really respect you." I have to consciously be aware of this and take the time to do it, just like he has to stop throughout the day and think, "What's something I could give Langley that would make her feel loved?"
Being aware of one another's love languages is a game-changer. You just might find out that you have been showing each other love in the wrong way all along!
I challenge you to take the quiz and try it out, try loving each other in a new way. And don't forget to let me know how it goes!