Do you ever feel like you and your significant other are speaking two different languages during an argument? Well – maybe you are.
Sometimes, in a relationship (and in life), a person will treat their partner the way that they would like to be treated.
But.. that’s not always the best approach, especially if your partner isn’treceptive to your attempts at giving affection.
A few years ago, I read The Five Love Languages, written by Dr. Gary Chapman.
After thirty years of couples’ counseling work, Dr. Chapman concluded that there are five main categories that people best interpret “feeling loved.”
Dr. Chapman discovered that there IS a reason why so many disagreements and misunderstandings occur in relationships.
The couple probably isn’t speaking the right LOVE LANGUAGE to each other.
So, instead of resorting to smoke signals the next time you’re frustrated – let’s find a better method to communicate.
What Are the Five Love Languages?
They’re pretty self-explanatory.
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
For example! My boyfriend’s #1 love language is Acts of Service and his second is Receiving Gifts. When we first started dating, he would buy me gifts and do nice things for me, like getting my car cleaned and doing chores that I didn’t particularly like.
And that was great.
BUT -- my primary love language is Words of Affirmation, which means I 100% prefer to receive affection through verbal compliments, appreciation and respect.
So. Words of Affirmation is my love language, which meant that I tended to write Steve notes and letters, and was overall very affectionate towards him verbally.
Do you see the disconnect?
If your partner isn’t receiving the love they desire most – they’ll feel unloved, even if you are trying to show them affection.
A cycle of frustration and unhappiness can manifest because of a disconnect like this.
Say that your love language is Quality Time, and your partner’s is Physical Touch. You may be thinking, “Thank you so much for these presents, but let’s just stay in tonight and play a game together.”
Meanwhile, your partner may feel unloved because they may be thinking “___ hasn’t hugged me or we haven’t been intimate in x amount of time.. what did I do?”
AND - if you became frustrated since the two of you weren’t spending any time together, that coupd cause you to withdraw physically, and unintentionally cause additional hurt to your partner.
This cycle puts you both into a situation where neither are happy, and the solution is right in front of your face! Both of you are trying to show love, just not in the other person’s preferred method.
What’s the solution?
Figure out your Love Language!
@@If you don’t know what your love language is – think about what you crave the most from your partner or people in general.@@
Whatever you find yourself wishing OR doing for your partner – is probably related to your love language.
Try it out – you could be surprised! Maybe you thought your partner’s LL was Physical Touch when it’s actually Acts of Service. Their love language might be something that doesn’t come easily to you. Steve finds it really hard to use Words of Affirmation -- but it’s a daily practice.
You have to put the effort in until it becomes a habit, (or involuntary ;p)
Work hard at it for the person you love. If not, you might be incompatible, or dating a schmuck.
Peace out, Girl Scout.
Most relationship issues (barring any individual problems) can be resolved by speaking to your partner in their preferred love language.
When you learn what your primary love language is, along with your partner’s, it opens up an entire dialogue about how you approach your relationship.
Dr. Chapman goes more in-depth than this. It’s a good read.
The Five Love Languages also talks about different dialects of each language -- "Quality Time" could mean undivided attention during a conversation, or sitting together and watching a movie.
Thinking about it – a lot of the relationship troubles I’ve encountered, either myself or from friends, can boil down to these five categories. .. it was so enlightening and I felt like I was a part of a secret club *~of relationship guru-ness.
ONE MORE THING.
Be careful – Don’t let a love language “claim” turn into abuse.
There are (ALSO) five main types of Domestic Violence:
A manipulative person could quickly turn something as well-meaning as “Words of Affirmation” into a terrible tornado of verbal abuse.
I highly recommend that you read this book -- check it out on Amazon! It could change your life!
If you’re too lazy, at least take the quiz. You can take it HERE ONLINE or HERE AS A PDF.
Oh! If you’re single – there are other versions of the book. Love Languages aren’t limited to romantic relationships. How did your parents show you affection when you were a child? Did it align with your current preference?