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Understanding the Five Love Languages

Written by: Jasmine Wilson, MS, LMFT-A

Have you ever felt as if your spouse never shows you love? Or maybe that no matter what you do for your partner they are never satisfied? If so, these are signs that you or your partners love langue isn’t being spoken to. Dr. Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages, has been instrumental in teaching ways to receive and express love. Knowing your love language, and the love language of your partner can help promote better communication, deeper intimacy and reduced conflict.

There are five categories for love languages. Physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and words of affirmation. Getting to know your partners love language will provide you with the skills needed to express love in a way that honors your partner.

Physical touch

Physical touch allows for the person who speaks this love language to feel connected to their partner. Those who thrive from this may feel rejected if their partner does not allow for hand holding or skips that good night kiss. Physical touch can be expressed in many ways from cuddling, kissing, hand holding or a back rub.

Whether you want to make your partner feel special or just show them that you care, physical touch is an effective way to show them that you are deeply connected to them. The gestures you use to show your affection can be as simple as a hug. They can also be as subtle as a leg graze.

Acts of service

Those who thrive from acts of service like to see actions. Helping with the children’s homework, taking out the trash, doing household chores are small gestures that you can incorporate to show your partner you care. When showing your love through acts of service, it is important that you are doing these gestures out of willingness to support your partner. If there is insincerity in the acts, this can be perceived wrong, and your love gesture may not be received well.

Quality time

In the world of relationships, quality time is one of the most essential aspects of being in a loving relationship. There are many ways to make quality time more meaningful and enjoyable for your partner. The person whose love language is quality time desires to spend time with their partner without interruption. Going out for coffee or dinner, playing games, and taking a walk are all great ways to spend quality time. Remember that quality time is important in all relationships, as it provides time to check in with one another and escape the busy world around us.

Receiving gifts

Receiving gifts can make anyone feel special, but for those who speak this love language, it is extra special. This love language finds that the best gifts are the ones that are truly thoughtful. Getting to know what your partner likes and surprising them with even the smallest gift can show that they are a priority. This love language isn’t all about how much you spend but more so about showing that you listen and care about their needs. If you struggle with gift giving be upfront and ask your partner what are some things that they like such as their favorite food, candy, book and so on, this will allow you to provide your partner with thoughtful gifts.

Words of Affirmation

I love and appreciate you…you look amazing…I am proud of you; this is music to the ears of someone whose love language is words of affirmation. If your partner strives from being affirmed, it is important to remember that your words matter. Being genuine with your words will allow for your partner to feel loved and seen. Some ways to share words of affirmation can be by writing a sticky note and posting it where your partner can find it, send a text message, mail a letter, or just say it. Remember, affirming your partner should be done frequently but not as a task, and your words should be honest and true.

If you are feeling lost and confused on why you cannot please your partner no matter how hard you try, you may not be speaking in the love language that your partner understands. You can create a lasting romance by knowing your partners love language. Take some time to take the test and discover ways to strength your love.

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