What makes you feel loved might not be the same for your partner. Each one of us understands, give and receive love through 5 basic love languages that allow us to connect on a more emotional and deeper level.
This blog is almost entirely about someone else’s brilliant idea, but it’s an idea so brilliant that I want to share it with all of my readers!
Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages created a whole movement around the concept of there being 5 languages of love, and thus 5 ways to express love to your partner.
Expressing love seems straightforward, no? Well, not so much.
It seems that most of us express love in ways that WE want to be loved – as opposed to in ways our partner wants to be loved.
We might feel loved when we get a piece of jewelry as an expression of affection but our partner might feel loved by getting to spend a full day together, just the two of you. We might feel loved when we get a hug but our partner might feel loved if we take out the trash.
The key is learning what it is that your partner needs to feel loved. When you learn what that is and express your love using those actions, your partner will truly feel loved.
And it’s easy to love if you feel the love in return. And isn’t that what we all want. To love and be loved?
Without further ado, the 5 Languages of Love, transcribed exactly from Gary’s Chapman’s website
1) Quality Time
Nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Whether itʼs spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time.
2) Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important— hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up.
3) Physical Touch
A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Appropriate and timely touches communicate warmth, safety, and love to you.
4) Acts of Service
Can helping with homework really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. When others serve you out of love (and not obligation), you feel truly valued and loved.
5) Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are heartfelt symbols to you of someone else’s love and affection for you.
So now you are familiar with the 5 Love Languages. What to do next?
Go to Gary Chapman’s website, and, along with your partner, take the assessment. You will learn which of the love languages are yours and your partner will learn which ones are theirs.
Once you both know each others’ love languages you can stop stabbing blindly in the dark and tell your partner you love them in a language they will understand.