Want to be a better lover? Want your partner to love you in a way that really matters to you?
Understand Your Partner’s “Love Languages” to Create a Better Relationship
Gary Chapman has a great book called, “The 5 Love Languages” The premise of the book is that we all experience Love in five general ways or “languages”.
I have converted the 5 Love Languages into a simple acronym easy to remember: The 5 “T’s.” We can love people through:
- Time: as in spending time with our loved one. It could be just being in the presence of the other person or doing something fun together.
- Touch: as in being physically affectionate; whether it be in a sexual way or not. It could be a kiss or a simple hand on someone’s back.
- Tell: as in telling your loved ones verbally how much they mean to you. You might text, send a card, leave a voice message for instance.
- Buy Things: as in buying any type of gifts. It’s important to note that it is the act of thinking about the person, finding the right gift, and trying to make your loved one happy that is the act of love that matters here, not the actual gift itself.
- Do Things: as in doing something that will make your loved one’s life easier or more pleasant. It could be making an extra cup of coffee, running to the store of your own accord because you notice something is needed, or going to an event that you might not have an interest in, but that matters to your loved one.
Although we may feel loved when we experience any one of those “languages”, most of us have a couple of preferred languages. Instinctively, we tend to love others in our language instead of theirs.
Have you ever been baffled to find your loved one unmoved by your loving words or your affectionate touch because he or she is annoyed at the fact that you haven’t brought the trash in? This miscommunication can happen in any type of relationship; with your kids, with your spouse, with your parents.
Imagine… you come back from vacation with a gift for son which you thought was the perfect gift for him, he looks at you and gives you a polite smile but you can tell he’s unmoved and proceeds to ask you to sit and watch him play his latest video game. You’re tired and anxious to unpack so you put it off for later and he runs off to play. He never felt loved by you getting him the shirt, and you felt more guilty than loved by his wanting to spend time with you.
Sounds vaguely familiar?
While we all understand intellectually that each language is an expression of love, we truly feel loved when that love is expressed in our own dominant language.
So, how do you tell what your Lover’s Love Language is?
Simple. Ask the question: “When have you known you were loved the most?” Ask a couple of times and get a couple of different examples. The answers will tell you what speaks their Language the loudest.
I asked my son that question when he was six and he responded, “When we snuggle and cuddle on the couch watching movies.” He is a Time and Touch” person. Just that simple. Knowing that, we switched from candy in his Easter basket, to coupons for extra reading time together, movies, or guy night. My daughter on the other hand, can pass on the Touch, but feels genuinely touched when I take the time to think of her while I’m away and get her a trinket. And she herself spends ours making “gifts” for the rest of the family. As for my wife, I can skip the flowers without worry, and drive the kids to school instead, or fill up her car up with gas. She’s clearly a “Do” person.
And as far as you being loved in your love language, simply tell your loved one what makes you feel most loved. And when he or she loves you in that language, respond and reaffirm the love in theirs. By reciprocating, you will be communicating in a way that deepens your relationship.
On Valentine’s Day, find out each other’s love language! Not only you will learn something, but it might just put the spark back in your love life! Give it a try!
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