As a Family and Couples Therapist, the tragedy I see in relationships is that of miscommunication. There are miscommunications of boundaries, understandings, and various other values. However, one of the biggest detriments is a miscommunication of Love Languages. In other words, what language do you speak when it comes to love? When people in a relationship speak different languages, they cannot understand one another. This is no different when people speak different Love Languages. If you cannot understand how your partner prefers to be loved, how can they ever understand that you do?
The Love Languages were founded in 1992 by Therapist and Author Dr. Gary Chapman. Listed below are the five Love Languages one can hold:
- Physical Touch
Ones with this love language favor physical acts of affection. This is not strictly sexual touch, but any kind of touch. A gentle touch of the shoulder, handholding, or a massage can be very meaningful to an individual with this love language.
- Words of Affirmation
Those who hold this love language hold words at high value. Compliments, or simply telling them that you are proud of them goes a long way. Pointing out the positive things about them or what they do may mean a lot to this person.
With this love language, a gift is the best way to express and receive love. This can mean making a gift by hand for them because you were thinking of them, or taking them out to dinner to celebrate something. For those of you who love watching others open gifts you have given, this may be a way you like to express love.
- Quality Time
For those with this love language, you like to spend undivided attention and time with your person. This can mean setting the phone down and looking at each other when speaking, or just making extra time for date night.
- Acts of Service
Have you ever found yourself feeling warm and fuzzy after your partner does the dishes, or folds that MONSTER of a laundry pile that’s been sitting for a week? This may be your love language. Enjoying when your partner does something of any capacity for you goes a long way.
By understanding your own love language, you may be more attuned to your needs. It allows you to have a different lens on what helps you feel loved and appreciated in a relationship of any kind. By understanding someone else’s love language, you can present your feelings for them in a way that is palatable for them to receive as love. It’s also important to note that someone can have more than one love language, and that your preferred expressing love language can differ from your preferred receiving love language. Below is a link to the Love Languages Quiz. Take it and open your eyes to a whole new world of understanding of who you are, and who the important person in your life is: