Wednesday, April 25, 2012
5 Languages of Love - Which is your love language?
You wouldn’t speak French to a Chinese man or order pizza at a Thai restaurant. Then why do we have so much miscommunication in our relationships? In life, we usually try to please other people as best we can, but often in relationships we love our partner how we want them to love us and not the way they actually need to be loved. This is why it is important for you as a couple to understand the five languages of love.
The truth be told, we all want to be loved - whichever way it might be. However, when receiving the wrong type of love we can often start to feel empty and unwanted. The best way to know if you are giving your partner the right type of love is simply to ask. It might save you a lot of time and effort cooking exotic meals if your partner for instance needs words of affection in order to feel loved.
Miscommunication or lack of it is what causes conflict to arise in intimate relationships. This is why the golden rule in any relationship is to be kind and humble. Another part of the golden rule is to respect your partner and not to judge them based on your own expectations. We are all individuals with different personalities and have gone through life experiencing different aspects of life.
This is where the 5 languages of love come into play. Dr. Gary Chapman is an American marriage counsellor who has described and clarified these differences in a very interesting and useful way. In his book The Five Love Languages, he reveals the theory that there are five key ways of showing love and that every one of us has a preference for what makes us feel most loved. Understanding love languages leads to the ability to communicate with your partner in a non-judgemental way.
Here are the 5 languages of love:
· Quality time: For a person who speaks this language, things like eye contact, deep and meaningful conversations and shared activities are needed to feel loved. Bonding time with their partner is what is most important to them.
· Receiving gifts: When you are with a partner who love little gifts and surprises, this is precisely what you will get. You will constantly be showered with new clothes, flowers or even chocolates. This is how they want to be loved, so this is exactly what they do for their partners. Giving the gift of self is also an important symbol of love to these people.
· Words of affection: This works by giving your partner constant compliments, sweet love notes and lots of encouragement. This is important because those who speak this language are sensitive people and don’t take criticism as well as others. They may illustrate their frustrations by using sharp words or even by harassing you.
· Physical touch: If this is the language of your partner they will be very affectionate or, as some like to call it, touchy-feely. Sex to them means much more than just an orgasm - it is a way to connect. If you deny someone who speaks this love language sex, they may feel unloved.
· Acts of service: Some people find pleasure in doing things for others. This may mean that they will feel loved when their partners help out with chores or doing things for them. However, acts of service should be done out of love, not obligation.
So which of the 5 languages of love do you speak and, just as importantly, which one does your partner speak?
Don't make assumptions here - make sure to ask them directly and talk about the different options. Once your love languages have been established, you need to keep communication lines open on what it means to both of you as individuals and in your relationship.
If you love your partner using the right language, they will be happy and want to love you back. Love is deliciously contagious.