Do you know what your partner’s love language is and what you should do about it? All of us speak different love languages which can make relationships complicated.
Whether you are together for a while or you’ve just started dating, the truth is, relationships can be complicated. As communication is key for a healthy relationship to thrive, we can often get confused as to what exactly we need to do to express our love and make our partners happy. Most of us speak and understand love differently. And this determines how we give and receive love. By understanding your and your partner’s love language, you will be better able to relate and sync with your partner.
What is a love language?
In the 1990s, psychologist Gary Chapman popularized the concept of 5 love languages in his book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. As the idea has become globally popular over the years, relationship experts started to encourage more and more people to understand their partner’s love language to strengthen their relationship.
The 5 love languages proposed by Chapman are:
- Words of Affirmation: Receiving compliments, kind words, praise
- Acts of Service: Getting help with chores, daily tasks and other favors
- Receiving Gifts: Getting thoughtful gifts that show love & effort
- Quality Time: Spending quality time with your partner
- Physical Touch: Being physically intimate in sexual and non-sexual ways
“The idea of love languages is that each of us has one or two preferred ways to receive love and attention from a partner, and that receiving affection in our own ‘language’ makes us feel more content and happy,” explains Carol Church of SMART Couples, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida. Chapman believes that although we prefer to be loved in our own preferred language, we also tend to express love to our partners the very same language. As a result, our feelings and emotions may not always be expressed and received by our partners in the best way possible. And this can lead to a lot of misunderstandings, complications and conflicts in the relationship.
Know your partner’s love language
“In a marriage, almost never do a husband and wife have the same language,” explains Chapman in a New York Times post. According to the theory, one of the best ways to improve your relationship and make your partner feel loved and appreciated is to understand and pay attention to what love language your partner speaks. Once you know this, you can communicate love and affection in their preferred language, and eventually your partner will do the same with you as well.
Clinical sexologist Dr. Valeria Chuba says “The idea of love languages, simply put, is about our preferences in how we give and receive love and affection in relationships.” She adds “The Love Language framework can be very useful in helping us understand ourselves and our partners better. But what makes the application of this knowledge possible is compassionate and honest communication with your partner, coupled with a genuine desire to share pleasure and connection together”
When we understand the languages we speak in a romantic relationship we can better understand how they show us love and how they want us to communicate love to them. This helps to build the emotional connection and strengthens the bond in the relationship. It also helps you to effectively communicate your needs, understand what you should do without your partner asking you and help you and your partner feel more appreciated.
Speak your partner’s love language
If you are wondering how you can express your love and affection to your partner in their preferred love language, then here are some tips to help you.
1. Words of Affirmation
If this is your partner’s love language, then they need verbal affirmations and compliments from you. They need you to tell them why you love and value them. Simple words like “You make me so happy” or “I am so proud of you” can make them feel loved.
How to communicate:
Encourage them, give affirmations, appreciate them, show empathy and actively listen to them.
Actions to take:
Make sure to frequently send them loving & encouraging notes, texts, or cards. Encourage your partner often. Compliment them frequently, share words of appreciation etc.
Things to avoid:
Don’t assume they know you love them. Stay away from non-constructive, toxic criticism or use emotionally abusive words. Don’t fail to identify or appreciate the effort they put in.