Know Your Partners Love Language
We often speak the love language to our partners that we ourselves want to receive,” says Williams. “Meaning, if your partner buys you an album two days after you talk about how much you love a new band, or gets you a subscription to a magazine they think youd like, its likely that their love language is gift-giving.
Another good way to know if your partner’s love language is gifts is by gauging their reaction to presents. Williams says that if they feel embarrassed when presented with a gift, its likely not their love language. Conversely, if theyre highly enthusiastic, if they put the item on display, wear it every day, or gush to their friends about it, they likely feel very loved by the gesture.
The most surefire way to find out if your partners love language is gifts is to ask them.
Love Language #: Words Of Affirmation
Those of us whose love language is words of affirmation prize verbal connection. They want to hear you say precisely what you appreciate or admire about them. For example: I really loved it when you made dinner last night Wow, it was so nice of you to organize that neighborhood bonfire or just I love you.
For the people in your life that youre not seeing in person because of the pandemic, you could film a short video to send them. My kindergarten-aged goddaughter and I havent been together in 7+ months, but we text each other silly videos of us saying or even singing what we miss most about each other.
And for the people you are seeing all of the time these days, remember that even making tiny gestures matters. This is my primary love language, and my husband of 29 years knows it. Ill often wake up and go into the kitchen to find a sweet post-it note next to a glass of ice water on the counter .
When It Comes To Love We All Speak Different Languages
Keeping love alive is a serious business. When it’s in jeopardy, we go to therapy, couples’ counseling, or maybe even turn to the internet for advice on, “how to rekindle the spark.” The problem is that it’s difficult to resolve issues when partners don’t understand each other. So Chapman suggests going back to the basics. This approach means looking at language, which forms the basis of connection.
We all grow up speaking a primary language. Later on in life, we may learn a new language, which can take an enormous effort. However, as with all things, practice makes perfect, and the more you speak a particular language, the easier it becomes.
The difficulty arises when we speak a specific language and encounter someone who speaks another. Communication will be limited, so to understand each other, we may try to point, grunt, draw, or even act out our ideas. So, communication can occur, but it’ll likely appear awkward and unnatural. Ultimately, for effective communication, we need to learn each other’s language.
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The Truity Love Languages Quiz
I took the quiz on Truitys site. I am in a relationship, and I found that the questions were a bit difficult to answer without taking what I know about my partner into consideration. Things like, If your partner had a bad day, rank these 4 things in order of what you would do when they came home.
Having been in a relationship for a significant chunk of my life now, it was nearly impossible for me to answer how I would respond to this situation, versus how I know my partner would like for me to respond. For example, I know my partner isnt the lets talk about it kind of person. Hes an Enneagram 5, also a test Truity offers. He would much prefer to decompress alone and then spend quality time together once hes had time to sort through his thoughts. Me? Im the lets talk about it all right now! kind of person. So, the answers were difficult to sort because, had I not known that about my partner, I may have selected what I thought was best, my way of dealing with things. I feel like this may have skewed the results a bit.
The Two New Love Languages
As for emotional and intellectual, these are a bit more inclusive of modern relationships. Thirty years ago, we werent as aware of toxic masculinity as we are now. So, men were not as free to display their emotions as they are now. Perhaps, more men will find that emotional will be their love language in todays culture. Along the same lines, the past two years have opened countless conversations between couples that they certainly wouldnt have had ten or twenty years ago. Perhaps, one may realize that intellectual is their preferred love language.
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The Secret To Love That Lasts
Between busy schedules and long days, expressing love can fall by the wayside. We forget to compliment, to give gifts just because, to linger in our embrace. The things that say I love you seem to either not get said or not get through. This is a book about saying itand hearing itclearly. No gimmicks. No psychoanalyzing. Just learning to express love in your spouses language.
With over 20 MILLION COPIES SOLD, The 5 Love Languages® has been improving relationships for nearly 30 years. Its ideas are simple and conveyed with clarity and humor, making this book as practical as it is personable. Get inspired by real life stories and a common sense approach that will teach you to love better.
They May Lead To Pressure On Partners
Many people talk about love languages in the context of committed relationships or marriage. Remember that learning and understanding your own love language is an important tool for you to practice self-love.
You want to avoid putting too much pressure on your partner to consistently express your love language to you.
One study found that the biggest obstacle for couples who were using each other’s love languages was that the recipient often didn’t recognize that their partner was trying to use their love language. It’s crucial that the recipient recognizes their partner’s efforts, even if they don’t exactly meet expectations.
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Love Language #: Acts Of Service
Some of us feel most loved when others lend a helping hand or do something kind for us. A friend of mine is currently going through chemotherapy and radiation, putting her at high risk for COVID-19 and other infections. Knowing that her love language is acts of service, a group of neighbor friends snuck over under the cover of darkness in December and filled her flower pots in front of her house with holiday flowers and sprigs. Others have committed to shoveling her driveway all winter.
In your home, you could be proactive and do something that eases your persons daily grind. Why not take on the chore that everyone avoids doing, whether thats cleaning the oven, changing the litter box, scraping ice off the car, or filling and running the dishwasher? For anyone whose love tank is filled up by people pitching in, seeing someone intentionally scanning the environment to figure out what they can do to make their environment better sends a clear and loving message to them.
Love Languages In Everyday Life
According to Chapman, love languages also apply to relationships between parents and children, among coworkers, and among friends. For example, if your child’s primary love language is words of affirmation, they’d like to hear verbal praise or, “I love you.” It’s highly individual: A coworker might feel more appreciated if you use one love language instead of another.
Your love language can also change occasionally. For instance, if you had a bad day at work, you might prefer a hug from your partner rather than an encouraging word.
The key is to regularly communicate and ask what your partner needs to feel cherished, heard, appreciated, and loved. Then, put this into practice.
What Is Quality Time
When it comes to Gary Chapman’s five love languages, quality time is the one that centers around togetherness. It’s all about expressing your love and affection with your undivided attention.
When you’re with your partner, you put down the cell phone, turn off the tablet, and focus on them. And, when you do that, it touches their heart in a way that really matters. They feel important, loved, and speciallike you were intentional in setting aside time just for them.
Unfortunately, thanks to technology, quality time with our partners is becoming more and more scarce. Even when we are together, we are someplace elseusually in cyberspace or deep in our own thoughts. But being in close proximity to one another while doing something else does not always constitute quality time, no matter how long you sit there. And for someone whose primary love language is quality time, this lack of connectedness can leave them feeling empty and alone.
Criticisms Of The Love Language Theory
Fast-forward to the present day, almost 30 years from the book’s publication. As popular as the concept is, many people have since pointed out problems with the love languages. Some people can use the love languages theory as a sort of personality test, despite the fact that Chapman’s whole point is that we’re supposed to adapt ourselves to our partner’s love language, not demand they use ours.
Indeed, recent research revealed couples being aligned with each other’s love language wavelength doesn’t exactly mean it makes a successful and happy relationship. Couples who shared the same love language weren’t happier than the couples who had differing styles, suggesting mastering fluency over the love language system and adapting it based on what the partner needs at the moment is more valuable than solely relying on a dominant love language type.
“It promotes codependency and prevents partners from developing autonomy and authenticity,” Motamedi adds. “A relationship is a place for transformation and growth. When we limit each other with a specific love language, we do not allow room for change.”
In general, it’s important not to use love languages as a universal salve to remedy issues. It’s clear we need more skill sets than those in our tool kit to face problems that may exist below the surface of our relationship.
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Use Active Listening Skills
Active listening is one of the most loving things you can do for your partner, but for many people, this doesn’t come naturally. Instead, most people think about their own thoughts and opinions more than they think about their partner’s.
When quality time people are talking, try the following active listening skills:
- Focus on what they are saying.
- Lean in slightly.
- Affirm what they are saying.
- Ask thoughtful questions.
- Avoid trying to offer advice, unless they ask for it.
- Try putting yourself in their shoes or thinking about how you might feel in the same situation.
Quality time partners are more interested in feeling understood. They are looking for empathy and compassion and don’t always want to have their situations fixed.
How To Give Your Partner Quality Time
When it comes to speaking your partner’s love language, it’s important that you do things that will make your partner feel loved and appreciated.
If your partner’s primary love language is quality time, you need to not only set aside time for your partner, but also be intentional about how you are spending that time.
If you don’t share the same love language as your partner, don’t be surprised if these efforts seem a little unnatural at first. With time and effort though, you will be doing these things for your partner without a second thought.
The following are some of the ways you can show your quality time partner that you love them.
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Reception Of Five Love Languages
As with most concepts that are so widely known and adapted over generations and cultures, Chapmans original five love languages have received a bit of criticism. Some say that the concept of love languages promotes co-dependency and prevents partners from developing autonomy and authenticity. Others are a bit harsher, claiming that the five love languages focus too heavily on heteronormative Christian couples and are exclusive of modern couples, like LGBTQIA+, interracial, or straight couples who do not practice traditional gender roles.
How To Identify Your Love Language
In a relationship, do you feel more loved when your partner:
- Tells you, “I love you,” or praises something you did?
- Surprises you with a meaningful gift?
- Plans a trip for just the two of you?
- Runs the errands or does the laundry?
- Holds your hand while you’re walking?
Answering these questions could give you a hint as to what your love language might be. You could also try to recall the sorts of things you ask for in a relationship or consider how you express love to your partner. Chapman also offers an online 30-question quiz to help you determine your dominant love language.
Your partner’s love language might not be the same as yours. When couples have different primary love languages, there are bound to be misunderstandings. However, if your partner learns to speak your love language , they will likely feel loved, appreciated, and, ultimately, happier in the relationship.
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What The Receiving Gifts Love Language Means For A Relationship
In 1992, author Gary Chapman revolutionized the way many people view love with his bestselling book, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.” In the book, Chapman shares five primary ways romantic partners give and receive love, adding that we all speak certain languages better than others in our romantic lives.
Understanding your own love language and the love language of your partner can help you both get what you need from the relationship. Here we will take a closer look at the love language of gift-giving and gift-receiving and what this means for your partnership.
You may know or suspect that one of your partners strongest love languages is the act of giving and receiving gifts. Or perhaps gifts are your love language and youre looking for a better way to communicate your needs.
Beyond The Five Love Languages
Now that we have a clear understanding of Gary Chapmans Five Love Languages, lets talk about how theyve been received and how they have changed since 1992. Chapman himself will be the first to admit that his five love languages are just a framework. They are a place to start, not an all-encompassing, exclusive way to love those in your life. Hes adapted his original book for couples to books on the love languages for children, singles, teenagers, men, and even one specifically for military service members. Hes created podcasts, radio shows, and conferences on the topic. Counselors, relationship experts, and even employers all over the world have turned to Chapmans concept as a guide for understanding how humans connect with one another.
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Love Language #: Physical Touch
Expressing the language of physical touch can be as platonic as giving a friend an enthusiastic fist-bump when she tells you about landing an interview for a dream job or as intimate as a kiss with your partner to mark the end of the workday.
I know that for some parents with young children, spending too much time in the same small space has created a rub literally. Theyd do anything to have fewer people touching them fewer hours of the day. At the same time, for those living alone or those self-isolating because of their exposure or health risks, theyre experiencing the painful opposite: a lack of touch.
While there are no easy solutions for either case, we can get creative. If you know someone whos overwhelmed by the small hands reaching for them, you might offer to take the kids to a park so they can run off some of their energy. For loved ones who are touch-deprived, try emailing them an outline of your hand and instruct them to lay their hand on the image while imagining your hand on theirs. Even thinking about a warm embrace something you can do by texting friends and family members with the hug or hugging face emoji and telling you wish you could be doing this in person can cause their brain to produce some of the same endorphins as an actual hug would.
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Love Languages Promote Selflessness
When you are committed to learning someone else’s love language, you are focused on their needs rather than your own. This is the central premise of Chapman’s theory. Couples should work to learn their partner’s love language rather than trying to convince their partner to learn theirs. Ideally, both people will want to express love in a way that is meaningful to the other.
The entire purpose of exploring your love languages together is to learn how to love your partner in a way that is meaningful to them.
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Love Language #: Gifts
Those of us whose love language is gifts arent necessarily materialistic. Instead, their tanks are filled when someone presents them with a specific thing, tangible or intangible, that helps them feel special. Yes, truly, its the thought that counts.
When youre out grabbing groceries for your family, pick up your roommates favorite kombucha or seltzer and drop it by their door. Our daughter whose love language is gifts is a junior in college and we know shell adore whats in the box soon to arrive in the mail: a small package covered in valentine stickers and containing her favorite chocolates, gift cards for coffee and a framed picture of our family dogs, Fred and George. Its an act of love that will fill her mailbox and her emotional bank account.