Gary Chapman came up with five languages of love that we speak in any relationship. Be it platonic or romantic, it is through these languages that we receive and extend love. In this article, we will first talk about Chapman’s five languages of love, and two additional ones that also show you love your partner.
Physical touch and physical intimacy are not synonyms. When talking about languages of love, physical touch is all about expressing affection through hugs, forehead kisses, rubs, etc. An act as simple as holding your partner’s hand can mean a lot to them! You can sprinkle these acts all throughout the day and make your partner feel loved.
Acts of Service
This language consists of acts like cleaning the house, doing the dishes, picking them up from the airport, etc. When you set aside time from your day to do these things, you are telling your partner that you care about them and that they are worth the time and effort involved. These are the things that you know your partner is going to appreciate and feel good about. Care should be taken to not use these acts to demand gratitude.
Spending quality time with your partner is all about removing distractions like phones, TV, or work when you are together. Talk about your day, ask about theirs, show interest in what they have to say to make the best of the time you spend together. If it is your partner’s language of love, they want to be the center of your attention when, for example, you go on a date. Hence, if you keep canceling plans together or are arriving late, it might be very hurtful for them, for it feels like you are prioritizing other things over them.
Cute notes, a random flower, or bringing home their favorite chocolate are all gifts your partner will appreciate if this is their language of love. Gifts are not necessarily materialistic – it just means that your partner takes joy in the effort and thought you put behind the gift. So the next time you come across an adorable knick-knack you know your partner will love, get it for them!
Words of affirmation
Affirmations build us up. They instill in us positive feelings about ourselves and make us feel good. If words of affirmation are your partner’s language of love, saying (and meaning) things like “you look so beautiful today” or “you are so kind” can go a long way. Try to be creative, and focus on attributes that you love about them that you know they put time and energy to cultivating. Another thing to remember is that people who identify with this language also tend to feel extremely hurt when words or statements are made harshly or callously.
Effective communication is extremely important to make any relationship work. If you and your partner are not having honest and healthy conversations about the stuff that matters, it might prove to be a problem. A lot of times, communicating our fears, big emotions, or things we feel are silly is very difficult. But once you realize that telling your partner is a step in the right direction, you can start making a habit out of it. By doing so, your relationship will be more open and understanding.
We all mess up. It is natural, and totally understandable. But after we commit a mistake, an apology is always a must. Learning how to apologize properly is key to making your partner feel acknowledged and reassuring them about your future actions. There are four main components of a genuine apology – you first need to explicitly apologize (by saying “sorry” etc.), you need to take responsibility for your actions and not try to blame anyone else, you have to acknowledge the damage caused by the mistake, and tell your partner how you plan to not repeat it again.
Take Chapman’s language of love test today, and find out which ones suit you and your partner. By doing so, you both can express the love you already have more effectively.