The 5 love languages: how to show your love
Have you ever felt unloved by your partner, because they’re not showing you they love you in the way that is most meaningful for you?
If you’re like many people, often you may not realise that the way you most prefer to be ‘shown’ you’re loved, can be quite different to how your partner shows their love. It all comes down to your ‘love language’.
If you have ever felt your partner doesn’t love you, then it may be because he or she doesn’t have the same love languages as you do.
According to Gary Chapman, there are basically 5 love languages or ways that people express their love.
For most couples, these are different from each other.
When we are in a love relationship, we tend to speak our own primary love language, and we become confused when our spouse does not understand what we are communicating, or doesn’t feel our love.
When we can identify and also learn to speak our partners love language, we have the key to a truly loving relationship.
Often people can determine their own unique love language by reviewing the 5 below and recognising the one or two that are usually most important or meaningful for them. Have a look below and see what stands out for you, and have your partner do the same.
Here are the 5 Love Languages:
1. Words of affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. According to Dr. Chapman, this language uses words to affirm other people (how meaningful they are to us, how much we love them, how much we appreciate them, etc). For those who prefer the words of affirmation language, hearing “I love you” and other compliments are what they value the most. Words hold real value within this language. Furthermore, negative or insulting comments cut deep — and won’t be easily forgiven.
2. Quality time
This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention. It also includes empathic conversations, sharing thoughts, feelings and desires in an open uninterrupted environment. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful to these individuals. Being there for them is crucial. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.
3. Receiving gifts
Giving gifts are a symbol of thinking about your partner, and often are visual gifts of love. Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.
4. Acts of service
Can cleaning up the kitchen really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. These could include cooking a meal, washing dishes, changing the babies nappies, vacuuming the floor, cleaning the car. People who thrive on this language do not deal well with broken promises — or perceived laziness — and have very little tolerance for people who make more work for them.
5. Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. Physical touch is a powerful vehicle to expressing your love. These include, holding hands, kissing, hugging, cuddling, touching and making love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
There are 3 methods of discovering what your primary Love Language is.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What does my partner do or fail to do that hurts me deeply? If your primary love language is used negatively by your spouse, it will hurt you more deeply than it will someone else, because not only is he neglecting to speak your primary love language, but he is actually using that language as a knife to your heart.
- In what way do you regularly express your love for your partner? This is usually what you are wishing your partner would do for you.
- What have you most often asked for from your partner? The thing you have most often asked for is likely to be the one that will make you feel most loved.
Once you have identified the primary love language for each of you, it is important to give to your partner using their primary love language first and foremost.
Then both of you will feel whole-heartedly loved.
If you need help in discovering your love languages and/or communicating with your partner and ensuring that you both feel loved by each other, phone us for help. We have 70 Relationship Psychologists Australia wide who can assist you create a healthy and happy relationship again.
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Cost: $175 – $195
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