If you’ve read the book, The 5 Love Languages, authored by Gary Chapman, a pastor, the meaning of love languages would not be strange to you.
If you’ve ever been in love, you’ll know there’s a love language for every occasion to connect with your partner. Love language is essential to building a successful relationship.
You may think it’s romantic to express your feelings to your partner regularly, but have you taken the time to ensure your expressions are hitting the right notes for them? Are you expressing your feelings the way your partner will understand them? This is why discovering their love language is important.
What is love language?
Love language can be defined as the process for a couple to express and receive love in several ways. Each individual has a unique way of responding to something. It is left for one’s partner to discover the other’s love language and act accordingly. This is one of the effective ways to strengthen a relationship to something sweeter and long-lasting.
Types of love languages
As you already know in the introduction, there are 5 types of love languages, according to Chapman. These languages are how people receive and express love in a relationship. Chapman made this important discovery while he was counseling, realising that the couples were misunderstanding each other’s needs. Hence he came up with 5 love languages to restore and strengthen relationships. The five love languages are:
1. Words of affirmation
Words of affirmation refer to expressing affection through spoken words, praise, or appreciation. Here you have to vocally express how you feel about your partner. It’s not about “she knows now” after buying her shawarma and cold stone ice cream. You have to say it and mean it. Words of affirmation give your partner peace of mind, especially if they’re confused about where they stand in your life. By saying the simple words, “I love you,” you have opened the floods of love, affection, and appreciation in your relationship. There are several ways to express this. You can do that by sending love texts (not sexting), or a simple compliment will do.
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2. Quality time
Quality time means giving your partner undivided attention. Your partner may not need words to know you love them. But they do need your time and attention to feel loved and appreciated. This means turning off your phone, cancelling hangouts with friends, and listening to your partner talk even if what they say doesn’t make sense. The fact that you’re there is enough to make their love for you blossom.
3. Physical touch
Aside from sex, touching each other is a perfect love language to strengthen your relationship. When your partner feels your physical touch, they feel loved and appreciated. Kissing, holding hands, cuddling, and having sex are perfect examples of physical touch. However, a lot of couples depend on sex as a way of spicing up their relationships. But your partner may not need sex. Simple cuddling on the couch while watching a great movie with a bottle of wine is enough. Learn to know what your partner needs regarding physical touch and act accordingly.
4. Acts of service
Acts of service are nice things you do for your partner that make them feel loved and appreciated. They can be helping with cooking, doing the dishes, going on errands, taking the kids to school, or anything that can reduce their workload. These little things spice up a relationship. You don’t have to kill yourself to show how much you love your partner.
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5. Receiving gifts
Gift-giving indicates love and affection. If you’re used to being the only one giving instead of receiving, it will make you feel used and unappreciated. But when your partner decides to present you a gift, the way you respond matters to the person. Nigerian guys often complain that their women only give them boxers and singlets as gifts on special occasions like Valentine’s Day. If, as a woman, you do this, maybe it’s time to give something different that your partner will appreciate. And you, as the partner, should do well to appreciate whatever she gives you, no matter how little.
How to discover your partner’s love language
Your love language may not be the same as your partner’s. To know what triggers the love in them, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- Does your partner respond well to ” I love you” or compliment you for things you do?
- Does he or she surprise you with gifts?
- Does he or she cancel outside plans to spend time with you?
- Does your partner help with chores or errands?
- Does he or she enjoy cuddling with you?
These questions should help you know what your partner’s love language is. Go ahead to try different things to find out. You may be surprised that your partner’s love language may not be as difficult as you think. A simple “I love you” may be the only thing that makes them “trip” for you more.
Love language differs for many people. To avoid misunderstandings with your partner, learn to speak each other’s love language. By the way, misunderstandings are inevitable in relationships. There’s bound to be see finish when you’ve been with someone for a long time. But that shouldn’t erase your loving feelings for the person. Love language should be a constant part of your relationship. Chapman also offers an online 30-question quiz to help you determine your dominant love language.
What, then, are the benefits of love language?
- Love language promotes selflessness in relationships. When you go out of your way to learn your partner’s love language, you put their needs above yours.
- It creates empathy in the sense that it boosts your emotional intelligence towards your partner. When you learn your partner’s love language, you often put yourself in their shoes to understand their feelings and what makes them feel the way they do.
- It helps you maintain intimacy with your partner. This is where physical touch comes in.
- It promotes personal growth. Going out of your comfort zone to learn what makes your partner “tick” will help you grow to become a better person.
- Spending time with your partner makes more meaning. You’ll find different ways to have fun in each other’s company. It reduces the chances of bringing trouble into your relationship regarding side chicks and side guys.
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