The biggest communication problem couples run into are due to the differences in their love languages. We all give and show love differently. Yet, we all at one point feel completely stuck in a relationship that doesn't seem to move forward. Understanding these differences can help improve communication between couples and result in happier relationships.
There are 5 different primary languages — words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, physical touch, and quality time. If your love language is acts of service, you feel most appreciated when your partner does things for you without you asking them. If your love language is quality time, you feel most loved when you have their undivided attention. Understanding these differences helps to better understand your partners wants and needs.
"I wish he would bring me flowers every now and then."
Does he know how much you would like that, or what your favorite kind of flowers are? Or are you hoping he knows and you are just not telling him?
We all fall into the trap of assuming. Assuming our minds are being read then we wonder why our needs are not met.
The "bring me flowers without me asking" is the classic version of a communication issue that most, if not all, couples face. This is because they speak different love languages. It is true, love languages really are a thing and understanding your partner is as important as understanding your own. In fact, we don't only speak love languages with our romantic partners, we also have this in our friendships and family relations.
The best part of discovering your love language is via understanding how you show love. The more you understand about how you show love, the more you will know about how you like to receive it. As you understand the different ways people show love, the more likely you are to notice those gestures. As a result, you will feel more loved. When you start to give and receive love in a way that's more tailored, it creates an even deeper connection between you and your partner.
1. Words of affirmation
If words of affirmation is your primary love language, you like to hear a lot of acknowledgement. Hearing statements like these would make you very happy: You seem really relaxed and cheerful today — you're so easy to spend time with/I ap preciated the way you handled the tension in that meeting, we're lucky to have you on the team/What's in the chicken you made? It tastes delicious!
These words of affirmation make you feel understood and appreciated. People who use this love language value verbal acknowledgments of affection, including frequent "I love you's,". For them, compliments come easy as well as words of appreciation, and verbal encouragement.
2. Gift Giving
This isn't about being materialistic in any way. It's about receiving something tangible that reminds you that your partner thinks of you when you're not with them. It's a way to know they love you and want you to be happy. If you love language is gifts, you will be so good a giving well thought out gifts and spoiling your partner. Not just on special occasions but also on any day. On the flip side, if you don't receive what you consider to be a quality gift, it can feel as though your partner does not care about you as much as you think of them. You end up putting a lot of expectations on your partner and often can be disappointed.
3. Acts of service
If this is your love language, you are over the moon when your partner has called your grandma to check how she is doing. He makes you an early morning breakfast, knowing you have an important day ahead. When you get home from a long business trip and that one spot in the apartment that's always cluttered has been de-cluttered. All these acts of service make you feel loved and cared for. And don't even get me started on what happens when your partner knows you have an exhausting day and walks your dogs for you.
"This love language is for people who believe that actions speak louder than words. Unlike those who prefer to hear how much they're cared for, people on this list like to be shown how they're appreciated.
4. Physical Touch
Most people think of sex with this category and of course that does count. Yet this is so much more than just sex. It's about everyday gestures of affection. A mini shoulder massage whilst having a conversation, having your hair stroked just before falling asleep as so forth. If physical touch is your language, it is so soothing, so warm, and so assuring to be touched. If your partner's giving you this, you feel so loved and fulfilled.
Intimacy and touch can be incredibly affirming and a powerful emotional connector for people with this love language. The roots go back to our childhood, to when we felt deep affection and love by our parents when we were held, kissed, or touched.
5. Quality Time
If your partner's primary love language is quality time, they feel valued when you give them your undivided attention. A lengthy dinner without you checking your phone having a highly engaged conversation. Sometimes even just being in the same room without having any contact can also mean quality time too. If your partner likes quality time, they'll feel content that you're both working on your own projects in the same room. Even if you never say a word to each other.
The thing to remember is that we all typically give love in the same way we like to receive it, and this is where things get complicated. It is important to give your partner what they want, not just what you would like to get. When you recognize that your partner is demonstrating their love language, you will appreciate the meaning behind their actions. It can be in the form of gestures, presence, touch, words, or special gifts. The more you will observe and notice, the more you will appreciate. This will enable you to naturally be inspired to give and receive all different types of love yourself.