Learning your partner’s love language is a great way to foster a healthy, long relationship.
It can be frustrating when your love language and your partner’s don’t naturally align, but knowing them allows you to express your love in a way your partner will understand.
Not familiar with love languages?
They are theories developed by Dr. Gary Chapman that categorize ways a person prefers to receive love and affection. Most people naturally show love the way they wish to receive it, which can lead to problems if partners don’t share the same love language.
Being cognizant of your spouse’s love language can lead to better communication and deeper intimacy because you are now showing it in a way that “speaks your partner’s language”.
The theory extends beyond your relationship with your partner and expands to your relationship with your children, your extended family, your co-workers, and even yourself!
While most people have a strong primary love language, they can also prefer a mix of several, depending on the occasion. The five love language categories most people fall into are:
- Acts of Service
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
Acts of Service
People whose love language is “Acts of Service” feel loved when their loved ones show their appreciation by doing chores or other odd jobs.
Things like making breakfast in bed for your significant other, helping your child do a chore they’ve been dreading, or treating yourself to a cleaning service are great ways to show “Acts of Service”.
Words of Affirmation
If their love language is “Words of Affirmation” they want to hear that they are appreciated and loved often.
It can be as simple as telling them you love them, or you can go above and beyond. For your significant other, sharing something nice they did on Facebook will make their heart sing. For your kids, you can write them a note and put it in their lunchbox. For yourself, you can repeat self love affirmations to yourself in the mirror.
The physical touch love language isn’t necessarily about sex, and is not reserved for couples. People who prefer this love language just enjoy human contact, like a hug or a back rub.
Things like holding your partner’s hand while you’re in public, cuddling your child to fall asleep, or sleeping with a weighted blanket are all ways of giving physical touch.
When showing your love through gifts, it doesn’t necessarily have to be grandiose or expensive. Small, thoughtful gifts mean the most to these people.
For your significant other, you can make them a mix CD crafted specifically for them. For your kids you can surprise them with a small present on an obscure holiday. For yourself, you can have an extra glass of wine or buy yourself your favorite dessert!
People whose love language is quality time usually want undivided attention from their loved ones. Time with no cell phones, computers or interruptions where they feel heard and loved. Things like going on a walk with your significant other after dinner, baking cookies with your kiddos, or taking a bubble bath by yourself are great ways of giving quality time.
It’s always a great time to show your significant other you love them in their language. And don’t forget to show your kids and yourself some love too, though, and feel the love in your home blossom!