We all express and receive love in different ways, and those variations may be the reason why sometimes feelings and good intentions are misunderstood.
For instance, you might spend weeks searching for the most incredible gift for your partner, only to hear them say on their birthday, "I would've been happy just cuddling up on the couch together."
It's not that they're unappreciative or you made a mistake. It's because they speak different love languages or communicate their love differently.
The five love languages were first introduced in 1992 by marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman in his book "The 5 Love Languages." He noticed there was often a discrepancy in how each person in a marriage felt loved. If one person only felt love when they received a gift but their partner rarely bought them gifts, they felt as if their partner didn’t love them.
Knowing what your love language is and learning what your partner’s love language is will help you create an awesome relationship.
Words of affirmation are for people who appreciate verbal and written expressions of their love. Regular communication is necessary to create feelings of validation and security in their relationship. If your partner’s primary love language is words of affirmation, support them and provide them with kind and positive messages to make them feel validated.
Examples of words of affirmation:
You can download my FREE Effective Communication Guide to improve your communication skills with your partner. This guide covers communicating assertively and the six principles for effective communication. Once we've gone through the nuts and bolts of all that, I'll walk you through a template so you can write your scripts for bringing up complex topics effectively to maximize your chances of being heard.
Quality time is one of the love languages that may appear self-explanatory. Still, it may require some work to achieve, especially since what defines quality time varies from person to person.
If your partner’s primary love language is quality time, they will expect you to spend time with them, including putting your phone aside, getting rid of any distractions from your mind, and just focusing on them during your time together.
Here are some examples of expressing your love through quality time:
You can also try my 28-Day Rekindle Your Relationship Challenge, which consists of 28 fun and engaging activities you can do with your partner to increase your connection. Subscribe here and receive daily emails designed to reconnect you to your lover.
Physical touch is essential for those whose preferred way of expressing and receiving love is touch. If your partner’s primary love language is physical touch, they will communicate and feel connected to you through touch, such as kissing, hugging, holding hands, and sex.
Having you put your arm around them in public or cuddle up next to them on the couch as you watch TV are great examples of simple physical gestures that count much more to them than presents or declarations of love.
Remember, physical touch is not just about sex. There are also many examples of physical touches, such as:
Just be careful to respect consent. Use these actions exclusively when your partner has indicated they are desired and welcome.
It’s the little things you do that make your partner feel loved if their primary love language is acts of service. They can sense your love for them when you go the extra step. Maybe you get up in the middle of the night to care for the baby so they can sleep, or you do the dishes or take the trash out. It may sound odd, but going the extra mile and stepping in to help will really make their day.
Acts of service examples and ideas:
If this is your partner's preferred love language, always ask or reach out to them about how you can help them to reduce their burden or ease their stress.
If you or your partner express your love through gifts, it indicates that you experience love through material objects. For some people, receiving a heartfelt gift makes them feel most loved.
Receiving a gift doesn't mean it needs to be extravagant or expensive!
Receiving gifts as a form of love language can be as simple as:
Keep in mind that the price tag is not the point. The idea is to show them through gifting that you care, know them well, and think of them when you are apart.
Bottomline: It takes effort to build healthy relationships. Knowing your partner’s love language is an important key to building a health and strong relationship. You want to be able to tell your partner your love language and learn their love language so you can express love to your partner in the manner that says “I love you” to them.