Do you ever feel as though you and your partner are speaking different languages? Are you doing all you can to make them feel loved, and it does not feel received? It is very possible you are speaking different languages! Different love languages.
The idea of love languages arose in 1992 with Gary Chapman, a counselor trying to make sense of patterns he was seeing in so many of his clients’ relationships. Patterns that you are likely seeing in your relationship as well!
There are five love languages, five different ways that people give and receive love. You can identify these in yourself, and in your partner by being observant and having an open, honest conversation. What is your most common argument? What do you each complain about the most? There is a good chance your frustrations are stemming from an unmet need in one of these areas:
Acts of Service
How great is it when you get in your car in the morning to see your partner has filled the gas tank for you?! Acts of service looks like your partner helping you out and doing things to make life a bit easier for you. This is all about showing your partner how much they mean to you.
Words of Affirmation
Hearing “I love you”, “I am proud of you”, and “you look great today” can mean so much if your love language is words of affirmation! Spoken words, appreciation, and praise is the core of this language.
Your partner picks up a surprise on their way home because it made them think of you? The best! If your love language is receiving gifts, you enjoy receiving gifts all times of the year, not just on holidays or your birthday! The gifts do not have to be lavish, but rather have thought behind them.
Do you feel connected to your partner by just sitting with them? Quality time may look like planning purposeful time together, engaging in hobbies together, and unplugging from technology while you do so. Active listening, spending uninterrupted time together, and being present are the staples for this language.
Having your partner’s arm around you and cuddling while watching your favorite show- how comfy! This love language isn’t only about sexual intimacy, but physical intimacy as a whole. If being all snuggled up to your partner makes you feel the most loved and appreciated, this one’s for you!
Do any of these feel relatable? Maybe a few of them? It is totally possible to have more than one language that makes you feel loved, in fact most people have a ranking order of the 5, rather than just one. Finding the ones that speak deeply to you and communicating these needs with your partner could greatly help to improve your connection, increase productive communication, and promote meaningful interactions.
Relationships need a balance of all languages, but focusing on the one’s most important to you and your partner can help you get on the same page and speak the same language!