Have you ever considered how you like to give and receive love? Have you ever considered how your partner likes to give and receive love? Basically, if you’re in a relationship then you need to read: The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to your Mate by Dr Gary Chapman (1995).
It’s an oldy, but it’s an absolute classic and Dr Gary Chapman was the original person to identify that as humans we have normally one or maybe two ways that we like to either give our love or receive it. He concludes that people tend to give their love in the way that they also like to receive it and to achieve harmony your relationship, it’s a golden exercise to establish which love language is yours and your partners.
His theory being, if you’re not talking the same language or not understanding each other’s language, there will be a communication gap.
So, what are the love languages?
- Saying “I Love You”
You like to be told by your partner “I Love You” or hear other words of deep affection from them. You need to hear these three words regularly to feel their love.
- Physical Touch
You need to be embraced by your partner and you like to embrace them to show them you love them. This can mean cuddling, holding hands, general touching and kissing. It doesn’t necessarily (although it can) mean sex also.
- Quality Time
You like your partner to give you their undivided attention and spend lots of quality time with you. This means more to you than being told you’re loved by them for example.
- Acts of Service
You like your partner to show you love by doing things for you, like, organising your car MOT, running errands for you, putting up the flat packed furniture, organising holidays etc.
You like to receive gifts to feel the love. It doesn’t mean your materialistic btw, but to you, a well thought out present means a lot.
You probably know your love language already, but if you don’t you can take the quiz on Dr Chapman’s website to find out which is yours.
Once you know your love language and your partners it will make it much easier to navigate your way around your relationship because you will both understand what the other person needs to feel loved.
For example, Dr Chapman gives an example of a man doing the laundry for his girlfriend, he is proud of himself and perceives this as an act of love and gets confused when his girlfriend doesn’t show appreciation for what he’s done. She understands the words – I Love You as an act of love and needs to hear him say that instead of doing the laundry! He on the other hand sees a gesture such as mowing the lawn (or doing the laundry) as her act of love to him.
So, what should you do with this?
Sit with your partner and ensure you’re both clear on what you’re love languages are.
It’s as simple as that!
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