People tend to give love in the way they prefer to receive it. Sometimes this leads to misunderstandings between loved ones, as they are literally speaking different languages.
US marriage counsellor Gary Chapman came up with five different love languages – in other words, five different ways to help people understand what their partner, or children, really want and expect from them.
According to Dr. Chapman, there are five universal ways that all people express and interpret love, and people tend to give love in the way they prefer to receive it. But, as we are all different, we can feel misunderstood when our preferences differ to those of our loved ones, and this is where communication breakdown often happens.
Here are the five love languages:
Words of affirmation
People with this love language thrive when they are verbally complimented, or words of appreciation are used by their loved one. We all like to feel appreciated, I think. So next time you are thinking how good your partner looks, tell them!
A tough one as so many of us are guilty of giving our loved ones compromised quality time, talking to them with our attention half on the television or our phone. Try switching off and really talking to the person you care about, with eye contact and your full attention.
It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, the main sentiment is that you were thinking of that person and the gift shows that.
Acts of service
“Actions speak louder than words” for this one. This means doing chores that you know will really help your loved one, such as offering to cook the dinner that night as you know they had a tough day.
People whose primary love language is physical touch will struggle in a relationship without kisses, hugs and other physical expressions of love. But the good news is that once the other partner is aware of this, they can quite easily learn this love language and help to make their partner feel loved and secure.
What is your love language?
You can take the quiz here and it is relevant for both partners and children. Once you understand your partner or child’s love language, it can be easier to understand what makes them ‘tick’, and lead to improved harmony in relationships. Everyone needs to feel loved, right?