The Five Love Languages transformed the way many of us understand affection in intimate relationships. Do you know your love language? Or your honey’s?
Have you ever been in relationship where you feel like your partner just doesn’t care about you even though they say they love you? Where it feels like you aren’t connecting and you don’t know what happened as you struggle understand it? This was me in multiple relationships where I felt confused and unloved.
Years later I learned that we grow up with different ideas of what we think love is and how it should look. From hearing someone say they love us, to waking up to a fresh cup of coffee made just the way you like it… there are many ways we show love. We experience heartache and pain in relationships from receiving love that we do not identify with, a different love language.
In his book, The Five Love Languages, Chapman identifies the languages people use to express their love for one another. Perhaps your partner is expressing their love in a way you didn’t understand.
Here’s how to identify their love language to rekindle the intimate connection with your partner.
Words of Kindness & Appreciation
Are you deeply moved when he says how much he cares about you? Do you feel valued when she expresses how much she appreciates your hard work? Your primary love language is verbal expressions of love.
Hearing words of love and encouragement was not a big thing in my family. As an adult, I struggled with saying “I love you” to my boyfriends and complimenting them. My exes would tell me they felt unappreciated by me; I struggled with this for many years because it felt unnatural to compliment others.
If this is your partner’s love language, a little praise goes a long way in making them feel happy and appreciated. But, if you’re like me and struggle with complimenting your partner, start by making a list of things you appreciate about your partner and the positive comments you would like to give. Once you have your list, use it as a guide to express appreciation to your partner on a daily basis.
Spending Quality Time Together
Do you remember the last time you were on an amazing date that just flew by in a blink of an eye? Or a time where you felt really heard because she really related to what you said? This is giving your partner your undivided attention and being present.
I notice that I feel disconnected if I don’t get quality time with my partner. Like most women, I love to bond with my partner through conversation and when he is not paying attention it diminishes the value of our time together.
The love language of quality time is not defined by the activity or the amount of time spent together, but is more focused on sharing feelings and thoughts together, taking turns on listening to each other. Quality time is being together while giving each other your full attention.
If this is one of your partner’s love language schedule time for each other. It can be as simple as 15 minutes before bed to give a rundown of each other’s day, meeting each other for lunch, or going for a walk together.
Giving Each Other Gifts
This love language is the most visual of all the languages and a favorite of jewelry ads. Gift giving is capturing the thought of love in a gift to give to someone as an expression of your love.
Giving gifts was the most difficult for me to understand because I am not a materialistic person. It took a great deal of awareness for me to appreciate and understand that gifts are a symbol of both love and thought.
I remember receiving gifts from an ex-boyfriend that to me seemed like a mismatch of items—a ceramic dog from the dollar store, a random colored plate, and gold locket. When I finished opening the presents he explained to me why he chose those items. Each item had a symbolic meaning because it represented a sentimental but significant moment we had together.
If your partner’s love language is gift giving, the cost of the gift will matter very little because the meaning is more important. Start by remembering all the gifts they were excited to receive in the past and create a list to get an idea of what kinds of gifts they like to receive. It is the thought that counts which symbolizes your love.
Actions of Love
This doing things for your partner that will make them happy, Acts of Service. If you live with your partner, them doing the household chores and daily errands is probably what makes you happy. This expression of love requires someone to put in the thought to provide the service and plan for it which requires time and effort.
Do you remember the sweetest thing your partner has done for you? I have a strict morning routine that involves drinking a glass of water first thing when I get up. To my surprise, my boyfriend at the time brought me my glass of water the first night I slept over at his place when he went to make his coffee in the morning. That was the sweetest moment ever! Acts of Service is the primary love language I identify with.
If this is your love language too, get started on your list by writing down things anything that, if done by your partner, would make you feel loved. This activity can be done by both partners, opening up an insightful discussion on how you view love differently.
Have you ever longed for a warm, comforting hug? Or experienced that delirious happiness when their hand enveloped yours for the first time? Touch is a powerful way to communicate emotional love and for some this is their primary love language. Without touch many can feel alone and unloved because physical touch, for them, can make or break a relationship. Communicating that you love and care for someone through touch can come in many forms such as a kiss, hand holding, massages, and sex.
Due to the personal nature of verbally requesting more physical affection, it can be one of the hardest requests to ask from your partner. You can initiate with small displays of affection such as holding their hands, a back rub and running your hand through their hair. This can help break the barrier to asking for more loving touch in the future.
After reading this have you been overlooking your partner’s expressions of love? If so, what is your partner’s love language?
[image: via shutterstock]