So how was your Valentine’s day? Did your partner prove their love to you with a thoughtful gift that was just perfect or were you left disappointed and wondering if your partner knows you at all?
Love may be thought of as the universal language but we actually each have our own dialect. If you or your partner feel that you are not being appreciated it’s worth considering whether it’s just a case of needing to learn a new language.
Here are the top five love languages that we speak and understand. Most of us do have a preference so why not sit down with your partner and work out what they are you may be surprised at the difference it can make to your relationship when understand each other.
Words of Affirmation
Compliments, encouragement, affirmations and kindness. This could include thanking your partner for doing something for you or telling them that their hair looks especially nice. If your partner’s language is words of affirmation be specific in your compliments, vagueness such as you look nice today can seem dismissive. We all have areas in our life where we feel insecure, words of encouragement or affirmation can be very powerful resulting in the increased belief that we are loved.
Undivided attention, shared activities, listening and sharing. Learning to actively listen is a key skill. Sometimes people just need to share feelings and solve their own problems. If your mind is problem solving for them you aren’t really listening, you are busy inside your own head. Talking is also important and involves sharing your inner feelings, not just your thoughts or opinions. Generally if you can use the word ‘think’ instead of feel then it is not a feeling. For example , ‘I feel you drink too much’, isn’t expressing a feeling, it’s expressing a thought. However, ‘I feel worried when you drink too much because I’m concerned for your health’ is sharing a feeling.
Gifts can be simple, extravagant, home-made or shop bought. They can be gifts of time or affection. Receiving a gift, whatever it is can make us feel valued. Giving gifts can also make us feel good and both the giving and receiving is extremely important for some people.
Acts of Service
Acts of service are about doing something that your partner would like you to do , not what you would like to do or think is important. Sometimes this may mean stepping outside of your normal routine and really thinking about what your partner would appreciate. You may already cook dinner, clean the car, walk the dog but what don’t you do that your partner would appreciate a break from? Clean the bathroom, take the rubbish out or something else?
Touch is a powerful way of communicating emotional love and is some peoples primary love language. It can include things like hugs, holding hands, kissing, physical proximity, and sex.
Being able to communicate love to your partner in their own dialect and vice versa can transform your relationship. So take the time and find out what your partner really likes and remember that learning a new language can be challenging but ultimately worthwhile.