Everybody is different. That also means that in a relationship you express your love in different ways. Where one uses words to express love, the other may be focused on physical touch; you call this your love language. How do you show your love?
Relationship therapist and anthropologist Gary Chapman wanted to understand why so many relationships break up and explored love languages. His goal? To make sure relationships succeed! His conclusion was that everyone has their own “love language”. If your love language is different from that of your partner, this can cause miscommunication. And if there is miscommunication, the chance that you will grow apart as partners increases. It’s as if one speaks Chinese and the other Spanish; it is impossible to properly understand each other. Time to find out what love language you and your partner have!
How do you and your partner show each other love?
If this is your way of expressing love, then you probably value compliments from your partner. You prefer your partner using words to express his/her love. Someone with this love language is extra sensitive to positive words. If someone doesn’t express themselves with words, you might feel emotionally neglected or rejected.
Time and attention
If you like to invest time and attention in your partner, then you probably find it important to experience this the other way around as well. If your partner pays a lot of attention to you, spends time with you and does fun things with you, that will make you very happy. So if that doesn’t happen (for example because your partner cancels appointments or doesn’t really listen to you) you may feel very disappointed.
Giving and receiving presents
If you enjoy pampering your partner, for example by unexpectedly giving your partner a present, then you will also appreciate receiving these gestures from him/her. You enjoy getting presents from your partner because it makes you feel like your partner cares about you. It’s not about buying expensive gifts, it is rather about thoughtfulness and effort.
When you speak this love language, you express your love by executing tasks. This could be anything: taking out the trash, doing the dishes or tidying the house because you know your partner appreciates it. Some people prefer their partner being helpful over getting compliments. If your partner is not helpful, whilst this is your own love language, you may experience it as hurtful or you may not feel taken seriously.
This is not just about sex, but also about walking hand in hand, sitting next to each other or cuddling on the couch, being touched when your partner walks past you. When someone does not touch you, while this is your love language, it can quickly feel like rejection.
Talk to each other
It is important to understand what each other’s love language is. By knowing this, you can both learn what you like, and you can take each other’s feelings into account. When you talk about your love language, you can then take them into account and grow closer to each other instead of apart!