Do you ever feel like no matter how much ‘love’ you provide to your partner that nothing is ever enough? Do you ‘know’ your partner loves you but you don’t ‘feel’ it all the time? Perhaps you and your partner’s love languages are out of sync. Love Languages? What is that? Isn’t just saying I love you enough? It’s a good start but unless your love language is Words of Affirmation then unfortunately, no it is not enough! Now, if you read the title of this blog and do not know what the 5 love languages are, you’ve come to the right place! The more I see couples for therapy, the more I realize that most people do not know what the 5 Love Languages are, which is generally how they end up in my office in the first place.
Love Languages are defined by how we give & receive love with other people. The original book by Gary D. Chapman was written in 2004 entitled, “The 5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”. This book serves as an outline for the different types of ways to improve relationship by becoming in-tune with how you love and how you want to be loved. Most are surprised when they find out that saying, ‘You’re beautiful’ (words of affirmation), and buying flowers/dinner for their partner (Acts of Service or Gifts) is not enough to maintain a strong loving relationship, especially if these are not the languages of love your partner speaks. In fact, if your partner is a ‘Quality Time’ lover, no matter how many times you affirm them with compliments, they might not receive the love you are sending them. This can certainly be exhausting for both parties! Ironically enough, we generally provide love with the love language that we want which is why often after we have ‘loved’ (kissed, bought them something, etc) our partner, we are left scratching our heads wondering what more could they possible want?! This inevitably leads to fighting and dissatisfaction and in some cases, infidelity or divorce. So here’s the good news… The good thing about the 5 Love Languages is it is not about loving MORE, it is about loving more EFFECTIVELY so they receive all of the love you are giving to them. Sounds like a WIN-WIN to me!
The 5 Love Languages are:
- Words of Affirmation: Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love. Examples: “I love you”, “You look great in that suit”, “You’re beautiful”, etc. Often considered ‘Expressed Love’.
- Physical Touch: Offering your partner an intimate connection with you through holding hands, sitting close together, hugs, kissing, etc.
- Quality Time: Giving someone your undivided attention and genuinely being ‘together’. This is not to be confused with watching TV together while being on your phones.
- Acts of Service: Doing things you know your spouse would appreciate or things that would make their life easier, i.e.: cooking a meal, setting a table, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, changing the baby’s diaper, picking up a prescription, etc. is often considered ‘Implied Love’.
- Gifts: The gift itself is a symbol of thought that states, “I was thinking about you” or “I remembered you”. Generally, buying them a CD of their favorite band or a shirt from a store they love is a nice personalized way to love your partner.
If you are struggling with figuring out which way you give & receive love and would like some help to improve your relationship, call STA today (201-488-6678) to make an appointment. We will be happy to help you develop a stable & a happy relationship!