Expressing oneself is one of the most powerful human abilities. To fully convey emotion and express thoughts is something that’s uniquely human. But when it comes to our partners, expressing ourselves can be quite a challenge.
Expressing yourself and communicating are often the two primary challenges when it comes to relationships. Perhaps this due to the difference in “love languages”. What is a “love language” and how can it affect your relationship?
What Is It and Why Is It Important?
Being able to understand your and your partner’s love language will give you a clearer way to communicate your needs towards each other. Understanding each other’s ways of expressing love and care can improve your relationship. In the case of misunderstandings, being able to express love more effectively can help regain a relationship’s intimacy. Not only that, but it can also help you as an individual to better yourself and become more empathetic.
The Different Types of Love Languages
Words of Affirmation and Positive Communication
If your love language is words of affirmation, you feel most appreciated and loved through words. An endearing text in the middle of the day, a poem, or a quick call from your loved one can speak volumes for you. Of course, saying and hearing the words “I love you” means so much to you too. Hearing words of validation and compliments will definitely make your day. For you, ignored text messages or giving the cold shoulder is a painful act that can cause problems in your relationship. If this is the case, make sure to communicate it to your partner so they can understand why you are upset or frustrated.
Spending Quality Time Together
Netflix and chill is your type of jam if your love language is spending quality time. Giving your partner undivided attention seems natural for you, and you highly appreciate it if your partner pays attention to you and your interests. Maybe doing an activity together or sharing a hobby can be a great way for you to develop your relationship. If you know that your partner values quality time, make sure that you are focused on them when you are spending time together. Being on your phone while talking to them is rude and hurtful, so try to make eye contact and really be engaged in your conversations with them.
Physical Touch and Affection
Physical affection isn’t just about intimate acts. It can also be something simple, like a hug or a pat on the back. Or it can be rather significant like holding hands or kissing. To some people, physical affection is the pinnacle of showing love. They’re the types to enjoy a cozy couch with their loved ones, or hugging their partner tight during emotional moments. Even giving a massage can count as physical affection, as it brings both a sense of closeness and biological satisfaction. Someone who appreciates physical touch might like to show their affection through physical touch as well.
Helping out and Other Acts of Service
Doing the dishes, cleaning the house, helping someone with their tasks, these might not seem much like an expression of love, but to some people they are. Acts of service is a love language characterized by appreciating and feeling loved when somebody does a task for them. Be it something small like picking up a fallen item or something significant like helping someone study. It is these types of actions that many people find highly appreciable and take as a form of expressing love. If you know someone like this, physically doing something for them will make them happy.
Receiving Gifts (and Giving Too)
Many people find the act of receiving (or giving) something the purest expression of love. We give Valentine’s Day gifts, anniversary gifts, birthday gifts- the act of receiving brings us validation that someone cares for us enough to give us something. Often, the monetary value of the gift matters very little. The intent and meaning behind it are what takes importance. This makes sentimental gifts, like a bead and string necklace or a custom-designed silicone ring, a great gift as it signifies the love and intent of the person giving it. Those whose love language is receiving (or even giving) would appreciate this, as they have a tangible token of love and affection.
Knowing what love language you and your partner have is not the end all be all of the relationships. It simply allows you to understand each other better, so you can communicate your love better. After all, a relationship is not one-way, and making the effort to make it work goes both ways.