While it isn’t difficult to identify behaviour that expresses love, it can be difficult to identify a partner’s prime love language- especially if both partners aren’t aware of the different love languages.
According to Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, there are 5 ways for a partner to express their love: Words, gifts, quality time, physical touch, and acts of service.
Although partners usually use all five ways, each partner has a preferred way of expressing their love, and it’s time for you to discover your own.
Do you value words of kindness? Of course you do. We all do, but some of us believe that words of kindness need to be mentioned more often, or else feelings of sadness and loneliness will engulf them.
Do you become extremely cheerful when your partner gives you a gift? Most of us do, but some of us believe that they must frequently receive gifts, even if there is no occasion. Why? Gifts symbolize love: the more gifts they receive, the more loved they feel.
Whatever your current situation may be, discover the 5 love languages and identify your prime love language:
Words of Affirmation
Alisa and Rob are newlyweds who are struggling to understand each other’s needs. Alisa isn’t satisfied with her husband’s way of expressing his love. Even though he spends a lot of quality time with her, she feels neglected because he never tells her how much he loves her or reminds her of how much he is thankful for what she does for him, both of which are expressions that she needs to hear. Her expectations involve him acting a certain way and saying certain words such as:
- “I love how you love me”
- ” You have a remarkably charming way with words.I’m glad you’re in my life.”
- “I love you in all of your forms”
- “I’m blessed to have you by my side”
- “You bring me happiness”
- “I love how you care for me”
- “I appreciate what you did last night”
Words of affirmation are powerful and can revive a bond; they can also bring indescribable joy to a lover who desires this particular love language from their partner.
Here are a few other words of affirmation which you can say to your man if he values this love language:
“Oh darling, you have a really sweet way of calming me down when I’m frustrated.”
“Whenever I see you, I forget all of the disturbing parts of my day.”
“Your smile is tasty. It reminds me of ….”
“Your hands are so smooth. I wish I could hold them forever”
“Hug me. I adore your hug. It uplifts me.”
Be thoughtful. Think of your own and use them. You can even whisper them into his ears. A little romance can turn an “all right” evening into a splendid one.
Tom showers his girlfriend with gifts, even when there isn’t an occasion. She loves all of his gifts, but like Alisa, she wants him to compliment her and express his love in words. Tom’s prime love language is ‘gifts’ and he is most excited when he receives them from his girlfriend. You may be the same. Regardless of whether or not your prime love language is “gifts,” here are a few gift ideas:
- Place love notes in a huge coffee cup and give it to him the next time he picks you up. Don’t forget to close the lid. Tell him he is only allowed to drink it after he drops you off.
- Get him a custom key chain with his name and a heart imprinted in the middle.
- Buy him his favourite book and place it in a decorated box.
- Bake him a dozen cupcakes and using red icing, add “I love you.” Make sure you place them in a box before you decorate them.
- Be thoughtful. Think of your own and use them.
Phil and his girlfriend Jen go to the cinema three times a week. Jen complains about how they don’t spend any quality time together and Phil says, “We go out three times a week. What more do you want?” Jen doesn’t believe that time spent in a cinema is quality time, and she doesn’t know how to explain herself to her boyfriend. She tells him that quality time is when we’re both involved in an activity that allows for us to get to know each other better. She’s right, but not entirely. You don’t have to take part in an activity to spend quality time with your partner. Chatting and laughing are great ways to become closer to your partner and share a memorable moment.
What does “quality time” mean to you?
How do you bring it into your relationship?
If your partner values this the most, make sure that you invite more of it into your relationship. It can be as simple as holding your partner’s hand when they least expect it.
Acts of Service
Mark and his partner Lauren aren’t happy. Even though they both use the four love languages, they feel that their relationship is empty. Mark doesn’t know what it is, and neither does Lauren. In a session with his therapist, Mark discovers the importance of a behavior that he and his partner have been neglecting: helping each other with tasks, and satisfying each other’s requests. He discusses this with Lauren and she tells him that she’s been expressing this need for a very long time and he continued to ignore it. He apologizes and promises to pay more attention to her needs. If, like Lauren, you desire “acts of service,” let your partner know how much you value this behaviour and how much you need it. Chances are, however, that your prime love language is not “acts of service.”
Understand your prime love language and share your insights with your partner. They might become more aware of their own prime love language, and thank-you for sharing this bit of information with them.
Discovering your prime love language is worth your while. It can help you understand why you act the way that you do, and why your partner acts the way that he/she does.
Remember that, in a relationship, it takes “one” to take a step, and ” two” to move foward.
If you have interesting experiences with any of the 5 love languages, share them with us!