You need to Know the Five Love Languages in a Relationship
Ever felt like you partner doesn’t understand what you’re saying – even when you’re speaking very clearly (is there anything more frustrating?), or just wished you could read their mind during a fight? Even if not with your partner, chances are there have been times where you feel you communicate differently to your friends or even a family member. It all comes down to the five love languages in a Relationship – and why you need to know them.
We all express and feel love differently, and understanding those differences can seriously help your relationship. Our Love Language is how we express, and receive, love.
Dr Gary Chapman’s “ 5 Love Languages” –
Recently, a friend introduced me to the concept of love languages which is in reference to the book “The 5 Love Languages” written by relationship counsellor Dr Gary Chapman. Its premise is that every individual shows his or her love differently and conflict will arise if you do not understand what language your partner speaks.
Instantly, this resonated with me. Having previously done the Myers-Briggs test, I already know that our personalities deal with conflicts differently, so I had to find out more about the book and its idea.
The description from the website is:
“Between busy schedules and long days, expressing love can fall by the wayside. We forget to compliment, to give gifts “just because,” to linger in our embrace. The things that say “I love you” seem to either not get said or not get through. This is a book about saying it —and hearing it—clearly. No gimmicks. No psychoanalyzing. Just learning to express love in your spouse’s language.
With over 11 million books sold, The 5 Love Languages has transformed countless relationships. Its ideas are simple and conveyed with clarity and humor, making this book practical as it is personable. You’ll be inspired by real-life stories and encouraged by its commonsense approach. reading this book feels like taking a walk with a wise friend. Applying it will forever change your relationship—starting today.”
Having taken the quiz and reading about my preferred language, I can see how it can give both individuals and couples a level of awareness that may be useful in his or her relationships. Unfortunately, Dr Chapman also appears to have very outdated ideas on marriage, sexuality, gender roles and what makes a happy partnership. Though I do not condone those ideas, putting aside his personal views, I do agree that understanding your love language is a relationship game-changer.
What are the The Five Love Languages?
1. Words of affirmation – this language uses words to affirm others. ‘You look beautiful today’ or ‘I really appreciated it when you did X,Y,Z’
2. Acts of service – actions are used to communicate love. Think ‘actions speak louder than words’.
3. Receiving gifts – For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift. Gifting is symbolic of love and affection. Of course, how can I not mention I still do wedding anniversary journal!
4. Quality time – This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention. If you are with a person who speaks this love language, its time to turn off the phone, shut down the computer and give your partner your full attention with no distractions!
5. Physical touch – To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than touch – not just sex and intimacy, but holding hands and embracing. This person feels affection through physical touch
Our Love Languages – and how they Impact Our Relationship
- Blair and I undertook the test, and despite having known each other for 12 years, I was still surprised by the results.
- Most of us have one or two that are much more important to us than the others – for me, the big one was ‘Acts of Service’. I don’t like (or need) to be touched, nor do gifts swing me, but if Blair is willing to help me, that’s when I feel most loved.
- While he knows I need his help (all the time!) until now, he didn’t actually realise that this was my “love language”. He helps me wrap and send the little white book every day though, so safe to say I’m getting a lot of love!
- Blair, on the other hand, responds to words of affirmation and quality time (I was surprised that gifting wasn’t his love language!). If “words of affirmation” is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—and hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
- In terms of quality time, this is where I can really improve the “language” I use – really being there, without my phone, and with chores and tasks on standby, makes him feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
How This Concept Can Change Your Relationship
Learning about love languages is an effective way to understand differences and strengthen a relationship. When you realise what your partner does and doesn’t care about, you can empathise better.Take the quiz with your partner and pay attention to his or her order of preferred language.What makes him or her feel most loved or appreciated?
Is it when you compliment them on their outfit (affirmation)? Is it when you are fully present and engaged in whatever activity you two are doing together (quality time)? When you surprise them with a present (receiving gifts), do the dishes for them (acts of service), or when they spontaneously give you a kiss (physical touch)?
Understanding your love language promotes self awareness and communication – when do you feel loved and appreciated the most? Has your partner previously done things that you may now realise that was them showing their love to you but in a different language?
Your Love Language in Everyday Life
Understanding your personal love language, and theirs will enable you to to become more aware of how and when your partner feels the most appreciated or unappreciated (perhaps later helping you understand how they are feeling in a future disagreement). Even if you’re not in a romantic relationship, knowing love languages can help in many different types of relationships aside from romantic ones.
Understanding your love language can also help you in other areas of your life – the concept of love languages transcends to all relationships in your life including professional relationships, friendship and family. It is unsurprising that with everyones differences and diverse backgrounds people will inevitably communicate in different ways. Your love language may be different for each relationship, but it is a useful tool to see what is important to the people around you so you can empathise and understand them more.
The important thing with understanding your love languages is to be thoughtful and celebrate each other’s differences and desires. It is such a great way to learn what your loved-one wants, and how both of you can help improve your connectedness.
Have you taken the quiz? Was your love language different to what you expected? Is this going to help you communicate to your partner how they can help you in wedding planning, for instance. If you’re having disagreements and communication breakdowns, make sure to read