Coping with different love languages
If you and your partner do not speak the same love language and if it is leading to some misunderstanding in your relationships, then here are a few steps that can help you rekindle the spark and express & receive love in a better way:
1. Realize that it’s okay to express love differently
Our love language is often based on our personality, attachment style and past experiences. If you were raised in a family where love was not expressed in an open and physical way, then you might be uncomfortable showing love to your partner through physical contact, even if it is their love language. You may express love through words of affirmation or acts of service as they don’t require any physical touch. And that is perfectly fine as long as you communicate that with your partner.
2. Identify your love language
As Chapman has described Five Love Languages, it is important that you find out what your preferred language is when it comes to love. Do you love receiving gifts or do you prefer spending time with your partner? Or do you prefer old fashioned handwritten love letters? Understand your own love language and find out how you express love.
3. Know your partner’s love language
It is actually easier than you think. All you need to do is pay attention to what your partner does and says. Notice what makes them feel better. What do they appreciate about you? How do they show love to you? What makes them feel upset and when do they complain? Or you can choose to take Chapman’s online quiz to avoid any misunderstandings.
Once you have figured it out and if you and your partner have different love languages, then take an effort to speak it. Show love to them the way they want you to. Express your love the way your partner understands it best. It might be difficult initially as you are learning a new language, but in the end it will be more than worth it.
When you’re in a relationship, it is important that you learn to compromise. Relationships are complicated and it is crucial that sometimes we give up a few things to make sure the relationship works. Nobody likes to compromise, but we can’t really avoid it in a relationship. Sometimes you win, sometimes you let your partner win. You need to start spending more time with your partner despite your busy schedule, if quality time is their love language. Similarly, your partner needs to communicate their love through appreciative and loving words, if words of affirmation is your language. Chapman explains “If you don’t learn to speak your partner’s language, they won’t feel loved and nurtured – and vice versa.” If you want to have a happy relationship, compromise.
5. Communicate your needs
“It’s normal to have different languages, but the key is to be clear with your partner about what you are needing versus assuming that since they know, they ‘should’ be delivering on it,” says clinical sexologist and psychotherapist Dr. Kristie Overstreet. Presuming that your partner is unable to read your mind, you need to communicate your expectations and needs from them. However, it is also important that you have realistic expectations from the relationship. Unless they know what you want from them, they will be unable to make the same amount of compromises for you that you are making for them. And this can lead to bitterness and resentment. This is how relationships become complicated. Speaking different love languages is not the problem, not communicating openly is.
Read also: The Love Tank Theory – How To Make Love Last