Five Love Languages and how to show them
Just the other day I was working with a client of mine who is really focusing on improving his relationship with his partner. I thought of the Love Languages by Dr Gary Chapman, such a great tool of awareness and practical in terms of getting a better understanding of each other and what love language we speak. You see we are all unique and if we are speaking a different love language then this can lead to misunderstandings, feelings of not being supported and ultimately feeling unwanted and loved. He took away some new insights and later reported that there is more harmony in the home life and they are working on spending more time together as a couple.
Here are some tips on each Love Language in practical terms so you can both benefit from each other and hit the mark with your intimacy and connection
LOVE LANGUAGE #1: Words of Affirmation
Compliments, words of encouragement, and requests rather than demands all affirm the self-worth of your partner/spouse. They create intimacy, heal wounds, and bring out the full potential of your other half.
Evaluate your relational style in terms of communication patterns. Do your words reflect requests, suggestions, and guidance? Or do they hint at demands, ultimatums, or even threats? Remember that choice, free will, and voluntary service are key aspects of love. How can you improve your verbal approach to your partner/spouse? Think about the tone you use, in what state of mind you are in when you communicate. Think before you speak, so it comes out the way they are most likely to respond positively.
LOVE LANGUAGE #2: Quality Time
Spending quality time together through sharing, listening, and participating in joint meaningful activities communicates that we truly care for and enjoy each other. This is what they enjoy the most, not you, so learn to fill their love tank first and yours will be filled in return.
“My job is so demanding” may be a statement of excuse for not spending quality time with your partner/spouse. Yet success and material provision can’t substitute for intimacy. Set up a plan with your spouse to balance your responsibilities to allow for some quality time. Be sacrificial in the trade-offs you make. Remember your relationship is worth it and you need to plan time together.
LOVE LANGUAGE #3: Receiving Gifts
Gifts are visual symbols of love, whether they are items you purchased or made, or are simply your own presence made available to your spouse. Gifts demonstrate that you care, and they represent the value of the relationship. Some people need tangible gifts to demonstrate love, so note what your partner/spouse needs.
Living can be expensive and perhaps in your mind gifts and finances are in conflict of priorities. Yet if gift giving is an investment to the most important person in your life. You can view it as a form of savings or security. Review your budget, and sacrificially give more to your partner/spouse. They will show you love and feel connected to you and in return will fill your love language.
LOVE LANGUAGE #4: Acts of Service
Criticism of your partner’s/spouse’s failure to do things for you may be an indication that “acts of service” is your primary love language. Acts of service should never be coerced but should be freely given and received, and completed as requested. For example: taking out the rubbish, cleaning up, sorting the laundry, having a clean and organised home.
Choose three tasks that you don’t especially like but know your partner/spouse would be pleased to see completed. Surprise them by doing them without being asked. This shows that you care enough to do them for him/her and that you are working on keeping their love tank full.
LOVE LANGUAGE #5: Physical Touch
Physical touch, as a gesture of love, reaches to the depths of our being. As a love language, it is a powerful form of communication from the smallest touch on the shoulder to the most passionate kiss. This is not just sex by the way, it is all about connecting and touching the other person, grabbing a hug, holding hands, a massage.
Perhaps you and your partner/spouse have never openly shared with one another the types of touching you find pleasurable. Discuss the emotional, sexual, and psychological dimensions related to all these areas of the body. If you have any body image issues, talk about this as well, open up and share what you like and dislike.
If you are not sure which love language represents your partner, I recommending doing the questionnaire, then come back and use some practical tips and really make it a decision today to improve the most important relationship in your life.
You can always speak to one of our Relationship Coaches about the result of your questionnaire.
References, Dr Gary Chapman