Love Languages: What are they and how we can use them in our relationships
As individuals, we often seek out relationships to feel love and support and to create lasting bonds. And yet sometimes, while our partners are wonderful, we just don’t seem to be speaking the same language when it comes to our emotional needs and how we express them. At times it feels that no matter how much we try to show our partners that we care, the message doesn’t seem to go through.
So what’s the problem?
One thing to keep in mind is that in relationships, individuals with independent thoughts and feelings come together to form a loving and supportive connection. Meaning, that each person brings their own version of how to express themselves and their own definition of what it means to feel and be loved. What this entails is that, on top of learning about our partners’ personality and interests, we also have to learn their love language.
The first step in achieving that is to also know our own! While it is important to learn about our partner’s love language, it is also important for us to be able to communicate with our partner how it is that we feel loved. This way, they can be mindful of our emotional needs as well, in order for us to feel connected to one another.
Now, what are the primary love languages and how can we learn about them?
According to Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, we have five primary love languages. They are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Each of these categories offer a different way in which an individual can feel loved.
Words of affirmation refers to the way we speak to one another and can include things like compliments or loving and kind words expressing our appreciation for one another. For some, hearing that they look handsome or beautiful, or that they are loved can make their whole day and even their whole week.
Acts of service refers to doing the things we know our partners would like us to do and can include tasks around the home or even chores that need to be taken care of outside the home. So if someone’s primary love language is acts of service, they can feel loved and taken care of when their partner does things like washing the dishes or paying the bills.
If our primary love language is receiving gifts, it may be the case that we feel loved when our partner brings us something that made them think of us through their day. Anything from flowers or something unique can make the day quite special.
When it comes to quality time, it is not just about being in the same room together. Quality time is all about giving your partner undivided attention and keeping your focus entirely on them. The chances are that if this is your love language, you enjoy the time spent with your partner talking about your day without the interruption of text messages and phone calls.
Physical touch can refer to any intimate physical interaction. Sometimes just a hug or holding your partner’s hand can make them feel special. Through physical touch, they feel emotionally connected to you.
After going through the five love languages, it is important to note that while people have a primary language, all five of these can be essential to remaining connected to our partners. Therefore, just because our partner feels loved through words of affirmation, doesn’t mean quality time or acts of service won't make them happy. Additionally, being mindful of each other’s love language is a step forward in creating a bond with our partner, but it acts as more of a base to the rest of the relationship and its ups and downs, rather than a solution.
Finally, the interesting part. How can you find out specifically what your primary love language is? After going through this list, you may be able to tell clearly what it is that makes you feel loved. However, if you are curious to learn more, there is a website and a quiz that can guide you further in your journey about learning about you and your partner’s love language.