Posted on Wednesday, 18th July 2018
How often have you felt that your partner isn’t doing enough or showing you enough that they care? Do you ever find yourself thinking how easy it is to please you and wondering why they can’t see that?
Or have you ever done something so lovely for your partner and you feel they haven’t really appreciated it as much as you thought they would?
Don’t despair! It may be that you have different Love Languages and you just need to learn what each others are.
The concept of Love Languages was developed by Gary Chapman, who wrote the book The Five Love Languages.
The premise is that there are five Love Languages and we have an order of preference as to which ones we ‘speak’ or resonate with. The five are; words of affirmation, physical touch, gifts, acts of service, and quality time.
Let’s look into these in more detail:
Words of affirmation
When your partner shows how they feel about you with words. E.g. saying I love you, or talking about what they like about you regularly.
Expressing love through being affectionate or touchy-feely, e.g. holding hands, hugging etc.
Receiving gifts from our partner as a way of them to demonstrate how they feel
Acts of Service
When our partner demonstrates their feelings by doing something thoughtful for us. E.g. taking out the bins, making sure there’s always fresh milk in the fridge.
Spending good quality time with our partner, e.g. them ensuring they make time in their diary for us regularly.
You can take a quiz which provides you with your Love Languages in order of preference.
Misunderstandings in relationships can occur when we do something for our partner that according to our Love Language preference demonstrates our love, but if they don’t have the same preference, they don’t appreciate it as much as anticipated. And conversely, if our partner does something for us which demonstrates their Love Language preference but it is not ours, we may not realise they are doing something to express their love and may be left feeling neglected rather than loved.
Meet Jane and Tim. Tim’s Love Language is Quality Time and Jane’s Love Language is Gifts.
Jane is going away with her friends for the weekend and before going, she leaves Tim a gift- a new record he’s been wanting for a while. Tim thanks Jane but she feels he doesn’t really appreciate the gift as much as she thought he would. Jane also reflects that she can’t remember the last time Tim bought her a gift and starts worrying that maybe he doesn’t care as much as she does about the relationship.
Tim feels upset that Jane is spending another weekend away from him- he wants to spend time with her and feels that her going for weekends away without him might mean she doesn’t love him as much as he loves her. She has left him a gift, but he’d much rather have her company than a record.
Knowing what your partner’s Love Languages are can be so valuable. If Tim bought Jane a gift she would really feel he cared for her. If Jane cleared her diary one weekend and told Tim she would like to spend some quality time just them two, he would feel that Jane was really invested in the relationship.
Once we know our partner’s Love Languages it achieves two things. 1. We can start to appreciate that the things they are doing for us are their way showing love, and 2. We can start doing things for them that will truly make them happy.
If you are interested in this you can take the quiz to find out what your Love Languages are. Why not send it to your partner as well?