Are you struggling in your relationship? The key to fully understanding your partner is knowing how they express and communicate love. The 5 love languages can help you strengthen your connection.
Why love languages are important
When you and your partner speak the same love language, you can build a better relationship. Contrarily, if you speak different love languages you will experience a lack of emotional connection, unhealthy attachment patterns and be confused about what you’re doing wrong. Author, former monk and motivational speaker Jay Shetty says “You think you’re giving everything to this person. You think you’ve gone above and beyond, but actually they’re looking at you like you don’t love them.” This results in an emotional disconnection which can lead to the end of the relationship.
Granted it can take time to truly know your romantic partner. But once you learn about what makes them happy, how they behave and think, their likes and dislikes, you can form a bond that can last a lifetime. “One of the most common relationship issues people face today is the struggle to express love in intentional and meaningful ways to someone else,” explains bullying prevention expert and author Sherri Gordon. And this is exactly where the need for understanding 5 love languages comes in. She adds that “learning how your partner receives love will help you know the best way to demonstrate your love and caring.”
The 5 love languages
“Real love is figuring out how someone wants to be loved and loving them in that way,” says Shetty. In his New York Times bestselling book, marriage counselor and author Dr. Gary Chapman explains the five love languages. These enable us to understand and express emotional love in a way that communicates best with our partners.
In a HuffPost interview, Chapman says “After many years of counseling couples in crisis and taking notes during each session… it became apparent to me that what makes one person feel loved isn’t always the same for their spouse or partner. I discovered every person understands and receives love in a specific language.”
The 5 love languages as explained by Chapman are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
Now let us take a quick look at what each of these love languages mean:
1. Words of affirmation
If this is your partner’s love language, then words mean everything to them. Words of affirmation require that you express love and affection through spoken words, appreciation, praise, encouragement and even written notes like cute texts. Chapman adds “For people with this love language, they need to hear, ‘I love you’.”
2. Quality time
Giving your undivided attention to your partner is necessary for this love language. When you express your love and affection by being present, listening to them and refraining from reacting, they feel loved. Chapman notes “Giving your partner your undivided attention is what matters most to them.”
3. Physical touch
Apart from getting physically intimate, people with this love language feel loved through physical touch like holding their hand, touching their shoulder, cuddling or getting a massage. They prefer being physically close to their partners. “Be intentional about finding ways to express your love using physical touch: giving hugs, touching their arm or hand during a conversation, offer to give a neck or back rub,” suggests Chapman.
4. Acts of service
This means your partner feels loved when you take the effort to do nice things to make them feel happy. It can be the smallest gestures like doing chores around the house or buying groceries. It is the little things that matter the most. Chapman says “Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibility… will satisfy this type of partner.” This is one of the most crucial aspects of the 5 love languages.