We all express and feel love in different ways. How do you and your partner match up?
What is a love language?
According to author Dr Gary Chapman there are five love languages. You can find out what your preferred love language is by taking the test on the website.
Dr Chapman has delivered couples counselling for decades. Over this time he noticed that problems arise when each member of the couple speaks a different language. He identified 5 different languages and stated that each of us have at least one preference.
The 5 love languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Why does it matter what my love language is?
The more you understand yourself, the more you will understand why you may not feel happy in your relationship.
If your love language is receiving gifts and your partner doesn't believe in giving them how would that make you feel? Or if they prefer physical touch and you aren't a cuddly person will they be happy?
This might explain why your attitude to special occasions differs. Only half of married couples celebrate their wedding anniversary according to Travelodge, while 60% of adults don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day according to a survey by Glowing Embers. If you feel loved by celebrating these occasions and it doesn't happen you could end up frustrated and unheard.
This Reader’s Digest article offers a range of subtle yet caring activities to try.
Why do I need to know my partner's love language?
If you understand what makes your partner feel loved, then you can do those things. Some of the things they require might seem trivial to you, but you ignore their love language at your peril.
If you need gifts to make you feel loved and your partner needs acts of kindness then you are speaking a different language. It won't make your partner feel loved to receive gifts, no matter how many you buy. And no matter how many acts of kindness they do, it won't make you feel loved.
Now you know your partner's love language, you can start to learn it.
Who's love language is right?
It's not a case of who is right and who is wrong. We've all got the right to be shown love in the way that works for us. If your partner has a different love language to you, not learning to speak it, is like asking a French person to speak English all of the time. It would be exhausting and upsetting.
The two of you don't have to speak the same language, you just need to understand what your partner needs. It might seem unnatural at first to have to think of things you can do to make them loved. But, as with learning other languages, you can become fluent with practice.
If you find yourselves unable to resolve your differences, you might benefit from relationship counselling. Here at NECS, we can help mediate and guide you and your partner to a positive resolution – even if it ultimately means separating – through our couples counselling. Get in touch with us today to arrange your initial consultation.