You’ve probably heard this phrase quite often while spending time with couples. The truth is that Love Language can be used in any type of relationship and is not exclusively connected to romantic relationships.
Here’s a little breakdown of what Love Language really is and how you can gain a better understanding of your partner and the way he/she shows affection. For the purposes of this post, I will be focusing on Love Language in romantic relationships and marriage.
What is Love Language?
Love Language refers to the ways in which people express and interpret love. Not one of us ‘loves’ the same, and there are many factors contributing to the Love Language within each one of us. In my opinion the key to happiness is not the TYPE of Love Language we use, but rather ACCEPTANCE of the fact that your partner uses a different Love Language than you.
People tend to have their mind made up about the definition of love and the way the love needs to be showed. This could create a lot of disappointment.
Eg.: You might show your love by being affectionate but your partner is not as affectionate towards you as you’d like him/her to be. Instead he/she shows love by acts of service, or words of affirmation, rather than being affectionate.
You will overthink the situation and might be under the impression that his/her love is not as strong as yours. This could cause bigger problems in your relationship as it’s most probably not true and you will put too much pressure on your partner, to the point where he/she feels unable to keep you happy.
Why it’s important to gain a better understanding
By learning more about different love languages, we can equip ourselves to be better lovers by understanding our partners.
Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book about relationships, titled: ” The Five Love Languages”.
According to Dr. Chapman, there are five universal ways in which all people express and interpret love. Dr. Chapman had more than 30 years experience in observing couples and how they communicate, and wrote this book based on his observations.
Dr. Chapman furthermore believes that each person has one primary and one secondary love language. Another one of his theories is that we tend to give love in the way we prefer to receive love. Of course this is not a realistic expectation and could be the reason why couples start experiencing difficulties in their relationships.
The Five Love Languages
1 . Words of affirmation
People who prefer this love language, value words more than anything else. They feel loved when receiving compliments and hearing ‘I love you’. On the other hand, negative or insulting comments cut deep and might not easily be forgiven,
2 . Quality time
This love language is about giving your partner your undivided attention without any distraction.People who prefer this language expect their partners to be there for them in person, rather than postponing dates with words of affirmation.
3 . Gift Giving / Gift Receiving
According to Dr. Chapman, some people feel most loved when receiving a gift. It’s important to note that this does not necessarily make them materialistic, but rather appreciative of thoughtful and sentimental gifts.
4 . Acts of service
People who speak the language of service want their partners to help them make their lives a little bit easier. They feel loved when their partner recognizes the need for assistance in any given situation to simplify their lives. They count on their partner for favors. Needless to say, if promises are broken , it will not sit well with them.
5 . Physical Touch
This is not limited to the bedroom. To this person, everyday physical connection is critical, eg. hand holding or kissing. This person doesn’t necessarily like PDA, but does have the need for daily physical touch as it makes them feel safe and loved. Abusing or just ignoring the person physically could be the end of the relationship.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is merely a guideline.Personally, I feel it’s possible to have all or even none of the above as love languages, instead of two as stated by Dr. Chapman. Accepting the fact that each person has a different love language will save you a lot of negativity.
For instance, my love language is definitely a combination of all of the above, while my partner speaks the language of service and gift giving. It took me a while to realize that just because the love language you receive is different than the one you speak, does not mean that your partners love for you is less intense.
It just means it’s different, and that’s okay!
I am, however extremely blessed to be with someone who incorporates all five love languages in our relationship which also indicates compromise. If your love language is different than your partners’, maybe it’s a good idea to try and speak in his/her language every now and again to show that you acknowledge and accept his/her love language.
Feel free to leave a comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the different love languages!