Gary Chapman wrote a book called “The 5 Love Languages.” Did you know there were 5 love languages? It’s a fascinating look at what people need out of a relationship, and how understanding your partner’s love language can keep a relationship alive and happy.
And of course, not knowing your partner’s love language can create a lot of struggle and unhappiness.
The 5 Love Languages are:
1. words of affirmation
2. quality time
3. receiving gifts
4. acts of service
5. physical touch
Here’s how it works: let’s say you’re someone to whom quality time is the most important thing. Sure, you love hearing how great you are; you love receiving gifts; you love it when your partner does something nice for you and you adore physical touch… but if the only time the two of you have together is when you’re doing chores around the house or out with friends, then a critical aspect of your relationship will be missing. No matter how awesome your partner is in every other respect, if he or she doesn’t provide you with quality time, you will always be unhappy.
We all have a primary love language, and a secondary one as well.
It’s not as difficult as you might think, to find out what your partner’s love languages are. Just ask! Of course you might get a “huh?” from someone who isn’t familiar with categorised ways of showing love, but as soon as they see the list, they will immediately gravitate toward one or two love languages.
These are non-negotiables. If unmet, they will inevitably result in unhappiness, lack of fulfillment and more than likely, an end to the relationship.
What to do when you find out your partner’s love language(s):
1. If your partner needs words of affirmation, they are simply looking for verbal validation that they are appreciated. So tell them! I don’t mean empty platitudes. I mean genuine compliments of their talents, attributes, achievements, appearance, etc.
2. If your partner needs quality time, they need to feel wanted and accepted. You don’t have to plan elaborate activities. A person who needs quality time just wants you to BE there – fully engaged with them, not to have you working alongside, lost in your own agenda and thoughts. Suggestion: go for a walk together, hand-in-hand. Just BE.
3. If your partner needs gifts, this is another sign of needing to feel appreciated. Fancy, expensive gifts are not necessary. Small, thoughtful gifts with your partner’s interests and values in mind are much more appreciated!
4. If your partner needs acts of service, they are looking for validation of their importance to you. Acts of service can be as simple as taking out the trash before you’re asked to, and other small acts that help foster a sense of partnership and equality.
5. If your partner needs physical touch, they need to feel attractive to you, and/or accepted. Touch is such a nurturing, comforting thing! A daily hug; holding hands; a touch on the shoulder; kissing; and of course sex, make your partner feel safe, secure and loved.
And do you know what your love language(s) are? Have you communicated them to your partner? It’s never too late to learn a new language, including the 5 Love Languages. Knowing them will keep your relationship happy and passionate!