Relationship counselor Gary Chapman explains how to distinguish between and learn the different ’languages of love’ that we use to express our feelings. Properly understanding the language of the one we love can help us make our partner really happy. Read on.
Words of Affirmation
Words are the beginning of everything. Words can inspire and words can bring us to tears. If words are your means of communicating your love, that means words are of course vitally important for you. And it’s not only about compliments or praise. What you need in particular is verbal communication with those closest to you, being able to hear the voice of your interlocutor and sharing your worries openly. If this is also the language used by those closest to you, then you’ll be able to show them how much they mean to you simply by saying words of praise and gratitude. It might be slightly awkward and unusual in the beginning of a relationship, but soon you’ll be able to detect all the little thoughts and feelings they have, the little things they hope to hear from you, and respond accordingly. When you see your partner’s happy eyes and big smile, it’ll mean you’re doing well.
If simply being with your beloved brings you joy, then the language you use to express your love is quality time. And it doesn’t really matter whether you just spend time at home eating ice cream or a visiting the opening of a new art gallery. ’’We are together’’ is the motto of your heart. Even if you realize that those closest to you can’t devote all of their time to you, a meeting of just a couple of minutes or time spent talking on the phone will make you feel really loved. If your partner’s language is quality time, put aside all of your other business and call them. While talking try to listen more. Take your partner to the cinema. Believe us — it will bring more happiness than any elaborate present or words can produce.
Don’t confuse this with greed. In most cases, the exact nature of the gift itself is not important for the person who speaks this language. What they’re really interested in is the sincere desire to give and to receive. If instead of the regular scrambled eggs in the morning you get cute heart-shaped fried eggs, just know that it’s a gift, and not just something silly. If you present your partner with a wild flower while on a nice walk, that counts as a gift too. A person who enjoys doing this kind of thing has at the core of their being a desire to take care of their beloved and make them happy. If this is the love language of your beloved, you need to pay attention to the cute little things for the home that will remind them of you. Make something with your hands. If you think postcards are pointless gifts, and yet your partner treasures all of them, you need to ponder this seriously.
Acts of Service
This language is often used by parents to communicate with their children. Cooking dinner, doing laundry, helping with homework. They spend the whole day doing the housework, but does the family really need all of this? In this case, it’s an act of love, but what that person gets back is just resentment and a reluctance to talk. If acts of service are the love language of those closest to you, then you need to do something for them in return for all that they do for you. Start small — help them around the house, for example. This will be more valued by her than an expensive gift for her birthday.
Everyone has their own opinion about touching. Some people like holding hands, hugging, kissing, touching the hair of their beloved; for others a regular kiss on the cheek is the limit of physical contact which they can stand most of the time. You hear often from married couples that one partner spends all the time in the kitchen trying to impress the other by cooking different culinary delights, while their partner doesn’t feel like having a fancy dinner and only wants to sit next to the spouse on the couch and hold hands while watching a movie. If physical contact is the language used by the one closest to you to express their love, pay attention to how much they want. Hug and kiss them more often. Even the most gentle touch is a manifestation of their love and their desire for love from you, and makes that person incredibly happy.
Adapted from: ’’The 5 Love Languages’’ by Gary Chapman
Preview photo credit: New Line Cinema