When you express your affection to someone, you possess a certain style and method for communicating how you feel. Likewise, your partner has a particular method of expressing him- or her-self. Both of you also have certain expressions which you are particularly fond of that make you feel as though you are deeply loved. This method of giving and receiving love is a form of communication referred to as your “love language” as coined by author Gary Chapman.
What Is your love language?
In Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, he delineates five different communication methods or styles of communicating love. By reducing these into five basic categories, you can easily determine which love language(s) you and your partner are most aligned with.
According to the author, everyone has a primary and secondary love language. Most people tend to express their love for their partner using their own love language. If getting a gift from someone make you feel loved and cherished, then it is highly likely that you will express your love to your partner by giving him or her a gift because Receiving Gifts is your primary love language.
What if your partner’s heart speaks a different love language?
Here is the rub: You buy your partner gifts because this is meaningful for you but your partner’s heart speaks an entirely different love language. No matter how many gifts you give your partner to express your affection for him or her, while appreciated, your partner is not receptive to the sincerity and tenderness of your love’s message.
Learning what love language your partner’s heart speaks is a highly regarded tool for effective love communication.
Let’s take a brief look at Chapman’s five love languages. They are:
1. Words of Affirmation
If your partner’s love language is Words of Affirmation, his or her heart responds to certain spoken and/or written words which make him or her feel loved and appreciated, such as, “I love you,” “You are amazing,” “You look sexy in that outfit,” or, “I am so proud of you.”
Different words of affirmation work best for different people. What might be seen as a compliment to one person might be seen as offensive to the next. Taking your time to do a little research to find out which words and phrases your Words of Affirmation partner responds best to is effort well spent.
2. Quality Time
If your partner’s heart responds to Quality Time, he or she will revel in spending private and focused one-on-one time with you.
Could be anything from a quaint dinner out at a restaurant with enough privacy to talk and gaze into each other’s eyes to sitting on the sofa with the TV turned down and phones silenced, having one-on-one time. Attentive listening to your partner and giving him or her the uninterrupted space to express him-or her-self wile you look into his of her eyes and listen attentively could be done anywhere, anytime, if he or she is receptive to this type of loving communication.
3. Receiving Gifts
If your partner’s heart responds to gifts, keep in mind that they not all be expensive gifts. Simple gifts are just as meaningful, if not more so. A handmade card, presenting a freshly picked flower while taking a stroll with your partner, or giving your partner a monetary gift that he or she can contribute to his or her favorite charity.
Those who are prone to receiving gifts as a sign of being loved and cherished will desire a little something-something in between holidays to feel deeply loved. Fortunately for you, they don’t have to be expensive, only meaningful to your partner.
4. Acts of Service
Acts of service are those things that you do which make your partner feel loved and adored. Like all love languages, you will need to find out which specific acts speak to your partner’s heart.
Simple acts of service could include volunteering to perform a chore which your partner normally accepts as his or her responsibility, detailing his or her car, or joining in an activity your partner is engaged in to show love and supportiveness. Pretty much any assistance you can offer to “lighten the load” of any responsibility he or she might have would be particularly endearing to the Act of Service lover.
5. Physical Touch
People either like being touched or they don’t but if your partner’s heart longs for physical tough, then by all means, reach out and touch him or her, even if you are one who doesn’t like to touch or be touched.
Simple touching can be just holding hands in public, a little foot-play under the table at dinner, putting your hand on his or her arm or leg while deeply connecting in conversation or listening will go a long way with someone whose love language is Physical Touch.
Of course, sexual intimacy is assumed in the language of Physical Touch, but it need not be the primary form of communication to express sincere love.
For more information, check out The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.