Updated: Nov 28, 2022
Miscommunication is often one of the major culprits why most relationships struggle. You always feel something is lacking, like your partner never seems to understand you or show up whenever you need them most. On the other hand, your partner could be having difficulty figuring out what’s on your mind and constantly feeling insecure because they think they’re never good enough for you. Sometimes you see your relationship as a lost cost when you and your significant other could just be speaking a different love language from each other.
What Are Love Languages?
Love languages are a concept originally created by Dr. Gary Chapman based on his extensive experience as a marriage counselor. Essentially, love languages explain the different ways you want to love or be loved by your partner. Each person may speak and respond to at least one or a combination of other love languages.
1. Words of Affirmation
Beyond hearing “I love you” and other sweet nothings, you appreciate it most when your partner speaks to you kindly and gently or showers you with praises and words of encouragement. But, on the contrary, it may also mean that you can get easily offended by harsh criticisms and silent treatment.
2. Gift Giving
This love language doesn’t necessarily mean your partner is materialistic. Instead, it emphasizes their need for someone who remembers key moments in the relationship or who can make ordinary days seem special. Thoughtful gifts don’t have to be expensive. It can be a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, or their favorite book. If you are in a long-distance relationship, sending gifts, something tangible, can strengthen your connection.
3. Acts of Service
For some people, actions speak louder than words. This love language highlights showing initiative to support your partner without being asked, following through on your promises, or making life easier for your partner. It can be as simple as getting them a cup of coffee, picking up the dry cleaning, loading the dishes into the dishwasher, or vacuuming the floors at home, so they have one less thing to do when they get off work.
4. Quality Time
Some people’s love language is spending quality time with their partner. Of course, even if you live in the same house, share the same bed, and have meals together, it’s still possible to not be intentional with the time you spend with your partner, especially when one or both of you are busy with work or have kids to take care of. But an effort to devote quality time and your undivided attention to someone you love shouldn’t be that difficult because that’s a moment you should also be looking forward to.
Here are some examples.
• Listen intently and put your phone down when they try to strike up a conversation with you.
• Set aside at least an hour every day to be alone with each other. For example, have coffee or breakfast together or wind down with wine at night.
• Show up and support important events in their lives.
• Get away from all the chaos of life every chance you get. Book a flight, go on a road trip, spend a day on the beach, or go camping.
5. Physical Touch
This love language yearns for warmth and intimacy that isn’t limited to having sex. It can be as innocent as holding hands, hugging, or touching the shoulders affectionately. These little gestures make some feel secure, safe, and loved. Nevertheless, never assume — always ask for consent before initiating intimacy regardless if you’re in a relationship.
Speaking Love Languages
Understanding each other’s love language can make a huge difference in your relationship. However, it takes two to tango. You both have to make an effort to pay attention and then speak and respond to each other’s love language to make it an effective form of communication.