Let’s talk about Love Languages.
By Kaitlynn E. Divine, LMFTA
What is a love language?
Dr. Gary Chapman is a counselor and the author of “The 5 Love Languages.” As a counselor he examined couple’s patterns and complaints that they had for one another. Through working with couples, he wrote his book on love languages as another way for couples to express their love for one another. A love language is a way in which individuals like to receive and give affection. Some individuals in a relationship like to receive gifts as a way to know that someone loves them. Others may like quality time with their partner. It really just depends on the individual. Misunderstandings with couples can come from not understanding what their partner wants or needs in regard to affection in the relationship. That is why it might be wise to consider what you and your partners love language is.
What are the types of love languages?
Words of Affirmation
A lot of individuals like to be complimented and recognized for what they do. Others may not look for compliments or expect compliments from their friends, family, or significant other but appreciate it when compliments come their way. This is what makes words of affirmation a love language. A person with the love language of words of affirmation appreciate verbal recognition for what they do or verbal compliments. If your partners love language is words of affirmation, it’s important to recognize that in building your relationship with your partner so it becomes even stronger.
Examples of words of affirmation:
- Praising your partner on their hard work and when they complete difficult tasks.
- Recognizing a change in your partner and complimenting them. (if they got a new haircut)
- Reminding your partner how much you care for them.
Acts of Service
Most of us like to not only be told how much we are love but also appreciate it being put into action. People who find their love language to be acts of service, especially like it when someone does something for them and really feel loved when someone does. When we get into relationships and marriages over time we get into patterns of behavior and specific roles are assigned in that relationship. Switching up routine and doing something unexpected for your partner can be something very special.
Examples of Acts of Service:
- If your partner normally does certain housework tasks, verbally offer completing their assigned task for a day.
- Set up a date with your partner to show that you appreciate them.
- Offer to help your partner if they are struggling with completing an assignment or task.
Does receiving a gift from someone make you feel appreciated by someone else? Then one of your love languages may be receiving gifts. If you are a person who likes to receive and give gifts, you may find pride and joy in fully understanding your partner and taking the time to get them something that they would appreciate. This love language is not all about materialism, it’s just another way of understanding your partner in a way that they would appreciate.
Example of receiving gifts:
- Planning for your partners birthday and researching what they may appreciate receiving.
- Get your partner a gift “just because” out of the blue for them.
Those that enjoy one on one time with their partner may find quality time as a primary love language. Quality time is so important for a relationship and when responsibilities pile up, it can be something that gets lost in a relationship. Make some time out of your busy schedule to spend time with your partner. Spending time with your partner with this love language includes spending time with your partner in a way where they have your undivided attention.
Examples of quality time:
- Making time in your schedule to have a lunch date with your partner.
- If your partner is struggling with having a hard day be a listening ear for them and help them if you can.
- Turning off the TV or putting down your electronic device to listen to your partner if they are trying to engage in a conversation with you.
Those with the love language of physical touch appreciate being close with their partner. They may enjoy giving or receiving affection by physically touching their partner. This could be in the form of hugging, kissing, or even just being physically near their partner. It is important to be aware of limits and boundaries that you and your partner hold in regard to physical touch. Make sure to check in with your partner before engaging in a form of physical touch so you know that you both consent to it beforehand.
Examples of physical touch:
- Hugging and kissing your partner when you greet them or say goodbye.
- Sitting close to your partner if both of you are watching a movie together.
Want to find out what your love language is? Here is Dr. Gary Chapmans website that helps individuals find what their love language is! https://www.5lovelanguages.com/5-love-languages/
Kaitlynn Divine, LMFTA is a local therapist in Charlotte, NC. To learn more about how to deal with the anxiety of getting back to the office, reach out to Kaitlynn, if you live in the state of North Carolina at [email protected] or 980-294-0462
Chapman, G.D. (2015). The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts (Reprint ed.). Northfield Publishing.