Inspired by a popular book by Gary Chapman, you may have heard people refer to “love languages”. While everyone should read this excellent book, perhaps you’re looking for the cliff-notes version. The book is based on five different ways that people in relationships express and show their love. So, why should you care?
Understanding each of these five love languages can help better your relationship. To begin with, you can begin to analyze which love language best suits the way you choose to show your partner love. In addition, you can identify which of the five categories your partner falls in. Every couple can benefit from understanding each other’s love language, as it helps you understand your partner better and adapt to their needs. Being more in sync also insinuates a stronger bond especially if addressed at the beginning.
Below, we’ll dive into each of the 5 love languages and how to identify them.
Words of Affirmation
The first of the five love languages is titled “words of affirmation”. People who express love through words of affirmation are good at expressing their feelings through words. If this is your love language, you might find yourself verbally praising your partner. Perhaps this is through written texts or notes, compliments, and long talks.
If your partner shows love in this way, you may notice them actively listening and encouraging you. Of course, each person is different and no two people will ever be exactly the same. However, most people that fall within this love language express their love verbally. Verbal encouragement and praise are how they show love and affection towards their partner.
Another love language is shown through spending quality time. These people show their love and affection by spending one-on-one quality time with you. Perhaps this is through a date night or even just running errands together. Partners that show love through quality time want to plan things to do together and are very present.
If your partner shows love this way, you may notice they show love through planning dates. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a movie night on the couch, people who express love through quality time value communication and connection through their presence.
Some people express their love through physical touch. Usually, this love language is easy to identify. These people show lots of affection through hugs and kisses. Perhaps they want to hold your hand all the time or cuddle. Physically connecting and touching is how they express their feelings. These people may not be overly wordy or verbal. Instead, they show their love through physical interactions.
If your partner shows love this way, you’ll know it. They make intimacy and connection a priority and feel distant when there is a lack of physical touch.
People who show love through this love language believe in the “it’s the thought that counts” mentality. They like things that show that you’ve thought about them and their individual interests. They’re usually good at giving gifts and finding a way to make you feel special through items. Those with the “receiving gifts” love language aren’t typically those who are giving you any old gift card.
If your partner shows love this way, they’re always showering you with gifts. Whether it’s a small snack or a big destination trip, the amount and size of the gift don’t matter. They show they love you by picking out things you’d like and thinking about the best gift to suit you.
Acts of Service
The “acts of service” love language involves showing love through gestures. This involves doing things to help your partner feel loved and to help make their day easier. Whether this is taking out the trash or folding their laundry, acts of service is all about showing love through physical tasks.
If your partner shows love this way, you’ll find them doing things for you. This could be something big or small. Maybe they help you pack lunch for work or book you a massage after a hard day. These acts of service are their way of showing their love.
Coping and Adapting to Different Love Languages
While some couples may happen to have the same love language, others will not. Differing love languages can be a positive thing in a relationship, however, it can also cause problems. To begin with, it’s important to start by recognizing that everyone wants to give and receive love differently. The way your partner shows you love may not be the same way they want you to show them affection or love. Accepting these differences is important to start, as it can change the way you view interactions with your partner.
Given the definitions of the five love languages listed above, think about which category you think you show love under. Then, think about which category your partner falls into. It’s possible that determining this will be quite obvious, instantly. However, some people may fall between two categories or be a little harder to classify.
Communicate with Your Partner
Some couples find that they have expectations as they enter the relationship. If your way of showing love is through gifts, perhaps you expect your partner to show up with flowers once a week. However, it is important to understand that this may not be your partner’s natural way of showing love. You cannot expect them to know how you want to receive love unless you tell them!
Having this discussion doesn’t need to be awkward. Start by sitting down with your partner and explaining the five different love languages. This will help pave the way for a conversation centered around your relationship. Your partner cannot be blamed for not knowing your needs if you don’t express them. That is why communication is a key piece to coping with differing love languages.
It is your job to communicate effectively with your partner, letting them know how you want to receive love. Also, it is important to be specific, as your partner may not naturally understand this love language. Give examples of things that make you feel loved and appreciated.
Of course, you need to give your partner time to adapt and change. Remember that it takes time to form habits, especially ones that do not come naturally to us. This requires patience from both sides. While you give your partner some time to adapt to changing their love language, you may also wish to alter the way you give them love.
Problems Can Be Avoided
Having a different love language than your partner does not have to cause issues. With good communication, adapting to meet each other’s needs is certainly possible. First, awareness is key. Both partners need to understand the five love languages, what they look like, and which category they fall under. Then, they’ll need to think about the way that each partner wants to receive love.
Understanding and adapting to each other’s love languages can bring a couple closer. Whether you want to dive in and read the full book or stick with the basics, understanding the concept of love languages can lend itself to a stronger, healthier relationship where both partners’ needs are met.
Having the Prenup Conversation
Keeping in mind you and your partners love language when bringing up a prenup can make the process a lot smoother! When you’re ready HelloPrenup can help you complete the prenup process stress free, learn more here.
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].