So If This Is My Love Language How Do I Make A Relationship Work
Communication, communication, oh, and um, some more communication.
When acts of service are involved, thereâs no room for assumptions, says Palmer. Assuming your S.O. knows which acts of service you value most and expecting them to perform them at all is a surefire way to make your partner feel taken advantage of.
So here’s how to be straightforward without demanding anything in return:
- Clearly tell your partner which acts of service you value. This way they can prioritize those actions, Palmer says. Frame it in a way that explains why their help means something to you, like: “I haven’t been getting much sleep latelyâwould you mind walking the dog in the morning so I can sleep in a little longer?”If you have a hard time expressing your needs, talking to a therapist can help you feel more comfortable doing so. Either way, if you prefer to be more subtle, try telling your partner about a time a friend or family member did something for you that meant a lot to you, suggests Palmer.
Grow Beyond This Starting Place:
Chapman’s 30-year-old system is not the be-all, end-all when it comes to relationship. Amias cautions against relying on the love languages to entirely guide your relationship, “It can become too transactional,” Amias says. For example, you shouldn’t be thinking “If my love language is quality time and your love language is acts of service, if you spent 30 minutes talking to me then I will rake the leaves.”
Exchanges like this shift the focus away from what should be at the core of the relationship: Presence and connection. Instead of becoming myopically focused on speaking your partner’s love language , think of the love languages as a starting point for tending to your relationship with a sense of generosity and goodwill.
But Are The Five Love Languages Legit
Does having compatible love languages actually matter? And are they something you should consider when looking for a partner? We spoke with three relationship experts to get to the root of whether love languages are mere pop science, or if theres a solid base to how Chapman theorized the ways we express and receive love.
Stephen Snyder, MD, a sex and relationship therapist and host of the Relationship Doctor podcast, is skeptical about the theory’s legitimacy. Gary Chapman’s original Five Love Languages idea was based on his own informal review of his office notes from many years of counseling couples,” Snyder says. “There’s been some confirmatory research since then, but not a lot.”
Nevertheless, he gives the love languages some credit, noting, A counseling technique doesn’t typically go viral like that, unless there’s something to it.
In fact, its a tool that Vienna Pharaon, a licensed marriage and family therapist, uses with her clients. Ive had so many couples have aha moments around this research,” Pharaon says. “Its common to hear one partner say, I dont feel loved by my partner, and the other respond by saying, I just dont get it. I do everything possible to make sure you feel loved.
She continues, Sometimes the answer is as simple as: Youre speaking different love languages and missing the mark with each other.
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The 5 Love Languages 7 Days 1 Couple
The best-selling relationship advice book gets put to the test.
After 30 years as a marriage and family counselor, Gary Chapman, PhD had heard a lot of couples’ complaints — so many, in fact, that he began to see a pattern. “I realized I was hearing the same stories over and over again,” he says.
When Chapman sat down and read through more than a decade worth of notes, he realized that what couples really wanted from each other fell into five distinct categories:
“I really do feel that these five appear to be rather fundamental in terms of ways to express love to people,” says Chapman, the director of Marriage & Family Life Consultants, Inc. in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Chapman termed these five categories “love languages” and turned the idea into a book, The 5 Love Languages, which went on to become a huge bestseller. Chapman says that learning each other’s love language can help couples express their emotions in a way that’s “deeply meaningful” to one another.
I thought I’d put his strategy to the test.
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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Strengths And Challenges Of Giving Physical Touch
Like Acts of Service, Physical Touch triggers oxytocin, the hormone that boosts mood, morale, and connection between teammates. Unfortunately, satisfying the needs of those who require Physical Touch to feel appreciated is a tall order in the workplace.
In the pandemic era, where social distance is a matter of survival, its more difficult than ever to provide Physical Touch. Plus, even in non-pandemic times, Physical Touch comes with a tangle of ethical dilemmas around work-appropriate physical boundaries and cultural norms.
Physical Touch As A Love Language
Physical touch is the third love language. Lets be clear that this is appropriate, consensual physical touch, which looks different depending on the situation and the type of relationship you have with the person.
For people whose love language is physical touch, expressing and receiving love through physical contact is important. Touch is the way they connect and feel connected with others.
Physical contact might be your love language if:
- You feel lonely or disconnected when you dont get physical affection from your partner.
- You feel especially loved when a partner randomly kisses you or holds you.
- You consider yourself a touchy-feely person and enjoy PDA.
Obviously, the way you can and should touch others really comes down to the relationship you share. Expressing affection through physical touch can happen through small physical gestures, like a hug or snuggling. If appropriate, it can also involve more intimate contact like kissing, and yes, sexual activities.
Here are some examples of expressing love through physical touch:
- Kissing a partner hello and goodbye.
- Being generous with your affection, including in public.
- Spending some time cuddling in bed before and after sleep.
- Prioritizing sex, even if you have to schedule it.
- Using touch when comforting them, such as placing your hand on theirs or holding them.
Again, consent is a must. Only touch someone or use these examples if theyve conveyed theyre wanted and welcome.
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Is Acts Of Service Ever A Bad Thing
Okay, brace yourself: The acts of service love language can be a little problematic if you’re not super self-aware.
While every relationship should be about balance, where both partners get their needs equally met, having this particular love language could make you more susceptible to letting expectations get in the way of an otherwise happy and healthy situation. In other words, if you think your partner should be doing X or Y for you, rather than letting them choose how to show their support, you could self-sabotage your bond.
“Unbalanced relationships where one person expects too much and thinks their partner must meet those expectations to prove that they love them” is when things get tricky, Palmer says. No one wants a relationship that comes with a list of chores.
Think about it: At work, you’d be put off by a new employee who feels like they’re entitled to certain things before they’ve even shown their commitment to the company. Similarly, your partner should feel like their demonstrations of love are reciprocated and their choice, at their willânot your demand.
Watch this to learn more about the five love languages:
Identify Your Love Language:
“Knowing your love language can be one of the single most important things in a relationship,” says Robin R. Milhausen, PhD, Associate Chair, Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph. “Without this knowledge you can miss that your partner is being loving and caring.” Unfortunately, this can result in a vicious cycle of resentment that can ultimately lead to divorce or a breakup.
If you really care and respect your partner, take the time to acquaint yourself with your love language and theirs, says Milhausen. With this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to meet your partner’s emotional needs.
Start by thinking about how you like to give and receive love, says Milhausen. Ask yourself: When I want to show affection, how do I do it? Do you cook a really nice meal? Or maybe you send an appreciative text or buy concert tickets. Often, the way you express love can provide clues about what kind of love you most appreciate, says Milhausen.
Next, think about what makes you feel most loved and cared for. Do you feel closest to your partner when they do something helpful, or do you crave physical touch? Dig deep by thinking back to all your past relationshipsboth romantic and otherwise, says Milhausen.
You can also take this 10- to 15-minute quiz to help pinpoint your primary love language. And, once you do, communicate your results to your partner to help them better understand what makes you feel appreciated.
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The Secret To Loving Teens Effectively
Over 600,000 copies sold!
Socially, mentally, and spiritually, teenagers face a variety of pressures and stresses each day. Despite these pressures, it is still parents who can influence teens the most, and The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers equips parents to make the most of that opportunity.
In this adaptation of the #1 New York Times bestseller The 5 Love Languages®, Dr. Gary Chapman explores the world in which teenagers live, explains their developmental changes, and gives tools to help you identify and appropriately communicate in your teens love language.
Love Language #: Acts Of Service
The person who lists acts of service as their main love language is someone who truly believes that actions speak louder than words. For example, giving acts of service might be filling their car up with gas, cooking a meal, running an errand for them if they are too busy. Or, on the flip side, having these things done for you. If this is an important love language for you, these things may all make you feel loved or like you’re expressing your love to someone else.
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How To Use Love Languages For Self
It’s just as important to show yourself some love as it is to show love to your loved ones and Heller and Small both note that the love languages framework can apply to your self-care routine.
Human beings literally cannot love others without loving themselves first, says Heller. In order to love qualities in others, we first recognize what those qualities are somewhere else. Guess where? In ourselves!
Once we identify our love language, he adds, it becomes much easier to take time to love and care for ourselves.
When we take time to engage in self-care practices that are specific to our needs, we reap health benefits, too. A study published in April 2019 in the BMJ suggested that people who followed self-care practices were more likely to make informed decisions about their health and healthcare, and had increased choice, accessibility, and affordability in these areas.
To reap the self-care benefits of the five love languages, Small recommends exploring how each might translate to expressions of self-love. For example, if your love language is acts of service, she suggests outsourcing household tasks that bog you down . Or, if you need to spend some quality time by yourself, consider treating yourself to a spa day.
Read on for some more inspiration for applying the love languages to self-care.
Acts of Service
- Organize your work or living space.
- Create a to-do list to help yourself stay on top of your responsibilities.
- Cook yourself a nice meal.
Tips For Working With People Who Value Tangible Gifts
Here are three rules of thumb on getting it right for the Tangible Gift-speakers in your life:
Identify the people who need gifts to feel appreciated. Observation is key. When a team member shows off the presents they get from loved ones, that may mean they are gift-driven.
Choose gifts that the receiver will genuinely value. Pay close attention to individuals interests and reflect those in the present you choose. And thats the point of the Tangible Gift: making the person feel seen, not just for what they do, but who they are.
Communicate the meaning behind the gift. Tell the person why youre giving them the present. It will help drive home the sense of appreciation that youre trying to express.
As a manager with an employee who value Tangible Gifts:
Keep an ongoing wish list of material things or experiences the gift-driven person expresses a desire for.
Make gifting random, personal, and unconditional.
As a team member with a manager who values Tangible Gifts:
Choose gift-giving times carefully. You dont want a gift to come off as a bribe to curry favor for an upcoming performance review or promotion.
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Raising A Strong Daughter In A Toxic Culture: 11 Steps To Keep Her Happy Healthy And Safe
Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young womenand what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughterwhether shes a toddler or a troubled teento achieve her full human potential.
Love Language #: Physical Touch
The person who lists physical touch as their primary love language loves to touch and be touched nothing is more impactful to them than this. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these people are all about PDA, but rather but for them to feel safe, secure, and comfortable with you, touch must be included.
It’s not always sexual, either. For example, physical touch can include hugs, hand-holding, an arm around the shoulder, playing with hair, cuddling, kissing. These are all forms of touch that will make them feel loved and appreciated. If touch is not given to them or appreciated when they give it, they may feel disconnected or neglected in the relationship.
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Which Love Languages Are Most Compatible With Acts Of Service
You’ve established that your love language is acts of service, and now, you want to know which of the five love languages youâre most compatible with. Well, no surprise here: Acts of service is compatible with acts of service .
But another love language that is compatible with acts of service is giftsâgiving or receiving. Gift-giving is similar to acts of service in its thoughtfulness. With both gifts and acts of service, you have to really think about what the other person might like or what they might want you to do or get for them, says Seip.
And although itâs often believed that people can only have one love language, most actually have one or two main ones, says Seip. Think of the five love languages as existing on a spectrum. Acts of service might be your primary love language, but you may also like to give or receive love through another language, like quality time.
“The love languages are great because they are essentially guides for how to become close with a partner,” explains Seip. As guides, theyâre a great foundation for connecting with an S.O., but they also offer some wiggle room for showing love in other ways if you and your partner arenât exactly “compatible.”
The Most Common Love Language
Chapman analyzed the results of 10,000 people who took his online quiz in 2010 and found words of affirmation was the most popular language but by a thin margin. In 2018, dating app Hinge analyzed their app and found the most common love language was quality time, by far.
“I personally believe it also depends on gender, culture, customs, and values,” Mahmud-Syed notes. “Certain love languages which are prevalent in the West are much less common in non-Western cultures. For example, in my South Asian culture, directly praising someone is very uncomfortable and often not well received. Instead, praising that person to a third party is more highly valued when they hear about what you said about them through the grapevine. Also, public display of affection between spouses or romantic partners is also a major taboo.”
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