Everyone Loves Differently: What Love Language Do You Speak?
Have you ever stood face to face with someone who spoke a different language and were completely mystified about what they were saying? When you think about it, love, spoken and unspoken can come across the same way … if two people in a relationship do not speak the same love language, chances are, they don’t understand each other.
Several years ago, Dr. Gary Chapman shed light on how people in relationships love differently in a book called “The Five Love Languages.” The book describes the five main love languages that people “speak,” and it also goes into detail about learning to speak the language of your partner.
The five love languages that Chapman describes are:
Words of Affirmation: Never assume that your significant other knows that they are all that and a bag of chips … with the dip. After all, everyone loves to be complimented. Words of Affirmation is an easy way to show your love and appreciation. Does your girlfriend look hot in a newly purchased dress? Tell her how good she looks. Or, did your partner cook a great meal or did they go out of their way to tidy up the house? Let them know that dinner was delicious or that the house looks amazing!
Quality Time: Sure, no one likes a stage 5 clinger, but spending time together in a relationship is just as important as having time away from each other. And no, staring at the television doesn’t count as quality time. Go for a walk, have a meaningful conversation, or just be goofy together. The truth is, it’s easy for couples to feel disconnected from one another when they aren’t spending enough quality time together.
Gifts: I know what you’re thinking … ‘Can’t I just say “I love you” versus having to buy an expensive gift that I probably can’t afford?’ Well, unless your significant other is a gold-digger, all your partner is really looking for is a small, simple gesture that shows that you care. It could be a small teddy bear, a box of chocolates, etc., but the important thing is to make an effort and buy them something they will like. So no, basketball tickets to a game you wanted to see will not suffice, unless of course, your significant other wants to go to the game more than you do!
Acts of Service: Speaking this love language requires a bit more effort. In order for an act of service to be considered a gift of love, it has to be doing something that your significant other will view as love. Does the woman in your life vacuum everyday? Give her a night off by cleaning and vacuuming before she gets home. Did it snow last night? Scrape off the snow and ice from her vehicle before she heads to work in the morning. Learn to speak this language, and your partner will love you forever!
Physical Touch: Affection is an important aspect of any relationship, but more-so if you are in a relationship with a touchy-feely kind of person. Furthermore, if you aren’t the touchy-feely type, being in a relationship with someone who is probably won’t work. Reason being, most people are either affectionate or they’re not. Affection, especially in adulthood, is almost impossible to learn — let alone learn to be comfortable with. With that being said, if you’re down with the whole affection thing, don’t forget to show affection as well as be able to receive affection.
Many relationships end not because the couples are incompatible, but rather the relationship ends because the people in the relationship spoke different love languages — and in the end, the couple split because neither felt loved.
Learning and understanding what love language you speak and which love language your significant other speaks can not only salvage the relationship but can also help you and your partner reconnect again.