Relationships thrive when communication among partners is at its finest, yet emotional disconnect or dissatisfaction is an issue experienced by many couples. This may not sound like something being experienced now, but it is expected among the average relationship that surpasses two years.
More often than not, people will first experience an intense phase of physical and emotional attraction when entering a relationship. It seems like these feelings are infinite, yet they all comes to an end eventually.
Once a couple moves past the “honeymoon” phase, it becomes a crucial time to understand one another, and this love and understanding manifests itself differently among everyone. The best part of a relationship can be this time when one has to work for it and figure out how to communicate with their partner.
It’s not safe to assume that one’s partner has the same expectations of love as they do. Explained by Dr. Gary Chapman in “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts,” here are the different languages:
Words of affirmation
People who speak this language prefer to hear how much they are loved or appreciated. A significant other should be prepared to verbalize their thoughts and feelings to someone like this. These comments range from the little things like “I like your shirt” to more grandiose remarks such as “I love you.”
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Acts of service
This entails doing something for a significant other that one knows they would like to do. For example, cooking dinner and making a partner’s favorite meal can show them how much they are loved. For people like this, its more about the how than the why — actions tend to speak louder than words.
Giving a gift to one’s partner can show them visually how much they mean. This language can be mistaken for materialism, but it isn’t about buying the most expensive piece of jewelry that can be found. The appreciation often comes from the thought behind the gift instead of the physical object itself. Some people want to know that they are appreciated with simple gestures, flowers or homemade coupon booklets.
This language requires giving a partner undivided attention. It’s not enough to Netflix and chill, so be prepared to actively listen to a significant other and pursue meaningful conversations.
As understood by the name, knowing how a person wants to be touched allows them to feel the love they are looking for. This love is expressed similarly to the way a caregiver touches a newborn baby or infant to provide comfort.
By distinguishing five love languages, this doesn’t go to say that people experience or understand only one. Chapman said many people have a primary love language, in addition to some secondary preferences. One could even argue that they speak different love languages depending on the person they are with.
Some individuals are more fluent than others when it comes to giving and receiving love, but it doesn’t mean one can’t learn a love language they didn’t understand prior to meeting someone with such a preference.
Real love takes work, and recognizing the different ways people prefer to be loved allows partners who may have stopped connecting on a deeper level see things from a new perspective and re-spark a stronger relationship.
One can figure out their love language by taking the quiz here.