We catch feelings and fall in love all the time, but have you ever asked yourself, “am I loving correctly?” There’s not just one way to love and be loved, and it’s important to figure this out during the beginning stages of the relationship. “The 5 Love Languages” by Dr. Gary Chapman explain five different ways we can be loved and will ultimately strengthen a relationship. The love language of one person isn’t always the same for the other either. Spend time with your significant other talking about each other’s language and doing things that cater to them specifically. Be open to learning their language so both of you are able to speak it correctly.
Words of Affirmation
It’s simple for you, words mean things and actions don’t always speak louder. You need to hear it, too. Just like you are probably big on daily affirmations, you need the same in your relationships. You love when someone expresses how they feel about you, hearing that you are appreciated, and compliments are always welcomed. Encouraging words help to build up your motivation, and insults live with you for a very long time.
If your significant other’s love language is Words of Affirmation, be open to being vulnerable with them in regards to talking. Express your love with words, send random love messages throughout the day or write love notes for them to find later. Be mindful of how you say things so it doesn’t hurt them.
Acts of Service
Cooking a meal, washing dishes, and cleaning the house together are some of the ways you feel loved by your partner. These acts require thought, planning and energy and are most effective when done with a positive spirit. You know someone loves you when they provide an act of service for you without fighting against it or even being asked.
If your significant other’s love language is Acts of Service, ask them to tell you daily or weekly acts that they would love for you to do for them. You may also begin to reflect and change the stereotypical roles of a man and woman. Make sure to keep the requests surrounded by love, rather than making them into demands.
For you, the ultimate recognition of love is receiving something special from your partner that made them think of you. Gifts are physical and visual expressions of love. They come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, but the value doesn’t necessarily matter to you. Gifts can be purchased, found, or made, but there’s also the gift of self. The power of physical presence is a gift that could hold more weight than anything money could buy.
If your significant other’s love language is Receiving Gifts, make a list of gifts they have expressed they would like and expand on them. Take your own ideas and experiences with gifts out of the situation. Start thinking of them when you’re out or when you know you haven’t gifted them with anything in a while. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion either. Make it a weekly “flowers every Thursday” occasion, or give them something that they will be inspired by and learn from.
Someone giving you their undivided attention speaks volumes for you. There’s a difference between spending quality time versus being close in proximity. You need them to focus on you. Eye contact and body language is the first thing you notice. You start to feel less secure when other things are put before you. You need your partner to make time just for you and mean it.
If your significant other’s love language is Quality Time, be mindful of distractions when you’re together. Turn the television off, put the phones down, and look at them while talking. Set aside time during the day to give each other full, focused attention without doing something else at the same time. Also, partake in quality activities that one or both of you have an interest in with a positive attitude.
Holding hands, kissing, genuine hugs, and sexual intercourse are some of the ways you need to experience to be loved. You know exactly where and how you like to be touched to make you happy. It could be a small touch like a forehead kiss, or a longer act such as a full body massage. You need your partner to communicate their love to you by showing physical affection in a non-harmful way.
If your significant other’s love language is Physical Touch, spend time learning their favorite spots. Understand what they like and be open to doing things you may not regularly do. Hold hands in public, hug them from behind, give them random shoulder massages in passing, and embrace them even when you have company. And always keep it exciting in the bedroom.
Learning your own love language is not only imperative for romantic relationships, but for general relationships with people you love. You have a better understanding of how you need to be loved so that you are able to communicate this to everyone that is in a position to love you. To find out what your love language is, take the quiz here.