How do you know your partner loves you? Is it through their words of love or their actions?
Gary Chapman is the author of a book called “Five Love Languages” which suggests that there are five ways or languages through which people give and receive love. According to his theory each person has a primary love language and it is through this language that we know and believe we are loved. Through marriage counselling and helping couples to heal their relationships, I have found this theory to be useful at times.
The five languages he describes are:
Quality Time – this means spending time with your partner that is meaningful and worthwhile. Doing activities together, focusing on each other and giving undivided attention. It is important to make time together if your partner has this as their primary love language.
Physical Touch – this includes any form of touch including hand holding, general touch, cuddles and sexual intimacy. If you or your partner has this as your primary love language then you will thrive on constant affection and touch from each other. Holding hands, snuggling on the lounge, any gesture of affection means love to you. Sex doesn’t just mean pleasure, it represents each others love and to withhold sex can indicate to the other that you don’t really love them, regardless of what you say.
Words of Affirmation – this means giving your partner lots of praise and positive compliments. People who have this as their primary language will be attuned to what their partner is saying and the tone they use. Small words of encouragement and words of love can have a big impact on these people. Use praise – and lots of it.
Gifts – Giving gifts to these people signifies love. Small or large gifts and little suprises can show these people that you love them.
Acts of Service – individuals who have this as their primary language thrive on having things done for them. Small gestures of helping with housework, a foot rub, making a cup of tea are all acts of love to these people.
The love language theory suggests that all individuals require all five to feel loved by their partner, but they have a main one which is most important to them and without this they will not feel that they are loved. Some couples find that they are making an effort in many ways to make their partner happy but nothing seems to please. This is possibly because we tend to give in a relationship what we wish to receive. Simply put, we know what makes us happy and try and offer the same to our partner. This works well if you both have the same primary love language, but if not then you are trying to communicate your love to your partner in a language they do not understand.
How to make it work
Which love language is your main one? What does your partner do that makes you happy? Is it when they bring home a small gift or perhaps when they tell you how amazing you look? Do you know which love language is your partner’s primary one?
Once you have identified your main language, talk to your partner about which one they feel is their main language. It can be fun to talk to your partner about each language and discuss what each one means to each of you. You may find that you have two languages that you identify with. Try and think of examples of when you have used your partners primary language and ways in which they would like you to express it.
Once you are aware of each others primary love language you can focus on trying to meet each others needs. Try and make an effort to fill up on the language that they have identified and watch the results.
This is just one way that you can work together to strengthen your relationship and try to meet each others needs. Have fun with it.
If you would like help with your relationship, please contact me on now on 0468 950 420 to chat about how I can help you or email me for more information.