Last week, Achea dished out her 12 essential steps to keeping things white hot in your relationship. This week, we’ve decided to keep the fire burning with the 5 Love Languages®. Never heard of ‘em? Here’s a quick breakdown before we get started:
Lasting relationships, like anything worthwhile, take intentional commitment over time. But when you’re just not on the same page, keeping your love alive can feel intimidating—or even impossible.
In his #1 New York Times bestseller, The 5 Love Languages®, Dr. Gary Chapman presents a simple truth: relationships grow better when we understand each other. Everyone gives and receives love differently, but with a little insight into these differences, we can be confidently equipped to communicate love well. This is true for all forms of relationship—for married or dating couples, for children and teenagers, for friends and coworkers, for long-distance relationships, for those brand-new loves and for the romances that are older than the hills.” – The 5 Love Languages®
In other words, the key to a healthy relationship is knowing how the other person communicates. In general, these communication techniques, or love languages, can be summarized into five different types:
1. Words of Affirmation
What this looks like: “I love that shirt you’re wearing!” “You always know how to make me laugh.”
2. Acts of Service
What this looks like: Cooking them a meal, picking up a few things for them at the store, doing their laundry
3. Receiving Gifts
What this looks like: not to be mistaken as materialistic, a thoughtful gift makes them feel appreciated and loved
4. Quality Time
What this looks like: one-on-one time at a nice restaurant, phones put away, TV turned off, undivided attention
5. Physical Touch
What this looks like: affectionate behavior like holding hands, kissing, hugging, a pat on the back, etc.
Everyone experiences love differently, and it’s important to recognize the other person’s language so it doesn’t get missed when they try to communicate it to you. But it’s also just as important to recognize your own so that you’ll be able to properly communicate it to your partner. Remember: your S.O. isn’t a mind-reader, so you’re gonna have to tell them what you need!
Putting Your Love Languages to Work
Oftentimes, we’ll project what we want onto our partner, but quickly become confused when it’s not as appreciated as you expected. For example, let’s say you love receiving words of affirmation from your spouse (“you look beautiful today” or “I’m so proud of you!”). You might think about how great this feels when you hear it and want to reciprocate that feeling by telling your partner how smart he is or how much you love that shirt on him.
But maybe your kind words fall a little flat. Sure, everyone loves to be complimented! But maybe these words of affirmation aren’t as hard-hitting compared to how you feel when you hear them (versus when he hears them).
Instead, let’s say your partner prefers quality time. Telling him how smart he is may be said with good intentions, but the key to his heart is putting the phone away, turning off the TV for a moment and talking to him face-to-face—listening intently and giving him your undivided attention.
Let’s Do This!
See what we mean? Communicating with your loved ones may feel like a chore sometimes, but understanding their style might just be a step in the right direction! Take the quiz for free and share your love language in the comments section below. Already know your love language and have a success story to share? We wanna hear it!
Psst…be sure to invite your spouse to take the quiz, too!