When it comes to relationships, especially ones we want to last it takes work. Let’s be honest, being with a significant other can be difficult. Things may seem all sweet and rosy in the beginning, but at times things go awry. Disagreements turn into argument, which can turn to fights, and over time, one can begin to harbor resentment for the person they supposedly love.
However in order to understand how to love, you must understand how your significant want to be love. In 1995, author and relationship counselor Gary Chapman wrote The 5 Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts, a New York Times Best Seller. In the this groundbreaking read, Dr. Gary Chapman shares the 5 simple and practical ways we as humans communicate love for one another.
Before we break down the 5 love languages, it is important to note that we as humans tend to give love the way we think we should be loved, but it is far more important to understand the language of love in order to help us realize how our partners want to be loved. According the book by Dr. Chapman, human give and receive love in 5 different ways.
The First Love Language: Word of Affirmation
Some people feel loved only when they are given words of affirmation. This includes but is not limited to verbal compliments (aka words of appreciation), encouraging words, kind words, words of forgiveness, humble words. Examples of things actions related to words of affirmation.
- Tell them about your day
- Tell when you feel proud of them and why
- Tell them you like the way they look
- Compliment them in front of others
- Tell them you’re sorry, and mean it
- Picture something positive about your future together
- Talk to them directly about how you feel- don’t be distant or shy
The Second Love Language: Quality Time
Part of being in a relation is spending quality time with your partner. This does not simply mean being there with your partner. Its about consciously giving them your full and undivided attention. The activity you are engaging in is simply a vehicle in creating that sense of togetherness. Besides creating a sense of togetherness, quality time helps to learn to talk with our partners and understand each other’s personality. One of you may be more outgoing and talkative, while the other tends to be reserved. The best way to ensure quality time is to have a daily minimum requirement for sharing time. This can established from the beginning or later on the relationship when you’re more comfortable with each other. Here are some way to spend quality time with your partner.
- Come home from work together
- Plan some alone time
- Read the same book
- Substitute time with other activities with time with your partner
- Make dinner together
The Third Language: Gift Giving
Perhaps one of the most common ways of showing love, gift giving is a fundamental aspect of being in a relationship. However, it is important that receiving materialistic possessions not be the basis of your love one another. Gifts come in different forms. Sometimes the gift is intangible, such as gift of self, which may be more important to your partner than a diamond ring. Here are some ways you can give gifts to your partner:
- Surprise gifts
It would seem as though though this is list is geared towards women, but that is mainly due to the fact that surprise gifts generally do not make men feel loved as much as physical touch words of affirmation.
The Fourth Love Language: Acts of Service
We have all heard the term, “Talk is cheap” and “Actions speak louder than words”. One of the ways of expressing love for your partner is through acts of service, which is essentially doing something for others. When we do something for our loves ones, it maybe them feel happy. Furthermore, when we sacrifice our time to do something for a loved one, shows that we care about their well-being. Examples of acts of service are:
- Doing household chores
- Cooking dinner
- Helping with projects
The Fifth Love Language: Physical Touch
Perhaps a personal favorite for some, physical touch is both fundamental and biological. Holding hands, giving massages, kissing, hugs, a light touch, and sex. If you are someone who needs to be touched to feel loved, it would very important for your partner to understand. A loving touch can work wonder in changing your partner’s mood. It is especially important during a time of crisis. Holding someone who is experiencing pain or sadness can help that person feel safe, vulnerable, and can help them be more vocal about the pain or sadness they may be feeling. If you’re someone who needs physical touch to feel loved, here some ways to communicate that to your partner:
- Spend more time being affectionate
- Tell them what pleases your sexually
- Tell them you like foot massage and back rubs
- Tell them you like having your hair combed
Everyone has a primary love language. After reading this article, you may feel there they are all important. However, there is usually one dominant language of love that makes us consistently feel loved. Want to find your most dominant love language? Click here!