In most relationships, love or absence of it is rarely a problem. Not knowing how to express love in way a that your partner understands is. In this post we will focus on understanding, discovering & find ways of applying the 5 love languages model to express love to our partners in a way that our partner understands.
What is love?
“Love” has been the most desired, debated, talked about.., controversial emotion…that many of us claim to have “mastered“. We have all experienced it at some point in our life… But ironically most of us are still unfamiliar of its truest essence!
People marry out of love.., care for one another because of love… And do all the special things to make their partner know that.. “yes! I love you”. However, with time & age, just as things decay.., their love also decays & Fades away..!!
Let us consider a stereotypical love scenario…!
“A couple gets married out of love.. Initial years are filled with joy and happiness. But then the man gets busy with work.. & ..the wife with family… Even though he doesn’t find time to go out with the family; he never forgets to gift his wife on special occasions.
The wife on her part begins to feels that ‘he doesn’t spend time with her because he feels no love for her anymore. It is because of this lack of love that he keeps himself busy.’ She begins to believe that they are together not out of love, But .. Just out of responsibilities’.
The man, on the other hand keeps himself busy because he feels his love for his wife is best expressed by gifting her expensive jewelry, buying a better house and giving her everything she ever dreamt of. ”
What happens next? The same partners who are actually in love begin to suspect their beloved, check their phone calls & messages; experience conflict, turmoil, sexual jealousy which may even lead to infidelity & / or divorce.
- Is it really lack of love? or
- Is it the lack of understanding of how the other partner understands love?
One of the primary reason why many relationships break*¹ is… We don’t know how to “communicate” love. We don’t know what our partner’s predominant love language is.*² (yes..! You heard right… even love has a language..!)
Understanding the Concept behind the 5 Love Languages
We, many a times, don’t understand what makes our partner feel loved and what doesn’t. The scenario that you read above.. Simply states that both loved each other… But their language to express & understand (feel) love were different. It was this difference that made them unsatisfied despite being together!
Gary Chapman in his book “The 5 love languages” has talked about ways to long lasting love & relationship. And based on that… I wish to provide you all a gist, that can help you convey your love in a correct (read effective) way… Straight to the heart of the person that matters to you…! (no more efforts in vein!.. No more struggling..!, sounds almost magical, no?)
What are the 5 Love Languages?
Here are the love languages that I find so magical
Words of Affirmation:
Simply meaning, saying words that makes your partner feel good, wanted, loved & accepted (& ya… Saying it with the feel) This can be in a form of appreciation, encouragement, compliment, gratitude etc… that makes the receiver feel loved. For example : you are looking beautiful, I appreciate what you did for me, I love you, thanks for being with me…Etc.
This simply means “spending time together” by giving your undivided attention, affection & energy to the one you love. This includes going for a walk or just sitting together and talking. It can also include doing absolutely nothing but cherishing one another’s presence & company..!
There are times when your partner may complain about lack of quality time even after you have spent time together at a party. This may confuse you but remember what they are after is not quantity of time but the quality which means complete and undivided attention.
Acts of Service:
This is another interesting way of expressing love. Here love is expressed by “helping them”.. in their work e.g. finding some files, completing some assignments, doing household chores together like washing dishes, ironing, preparing a meal or even small thing like reading a book to them without expecting anything in return.
If you do these activities with an expectation for something then it is not love it is a bargain, isn’t it?!. Here acts convey your love not through words or gifts but through your deeds!
Some feel loved by receiving gifts. It can be anything…It doesn’t matter whether the gift is expensive, luxurious or not. What matters is that it is something they like, has an element of surprise and is preferably gift wrapped. This makes them know that “you think about them, that you care and that you have gone an extra mile just to buy a gift for them because they are important”. If this is your partner’s love language… then go ahead.. Don’t wait for specific events.. Gift them without any occasion!!
“Touch”*³ by the right person can make us feel warm & comforting. Touch though includes sex (in a romantic relationship) is a lot more than that. Even simple touch like holding hands together, giving a peck on cheek, hugging or just massaging your partner after a long tiring day… has the power to elicit love!!!
How to apply the 5 Love Languages?
Now that you know about the love languages, let us revisit the stereotypical love story. Most of you would have figured out that the wife’s love language was quality time but her husband was expressing love by giving gifts. Despite of the presence of love, it is the lack of understanding of how the partner understands love that leads to problems in their life.
If you were to look back in your life, at relationships that you cherish, that matter to you… you would begin to notice the massive role that these love languages play in our lives. Which means you would want to know about yours & your partner’s love language, wouldn’t you?
How to discover your and your partners Love Language?
One way of doing so is to take the love language quiz at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/
A better way of finding the partners love language is to check what your partner complains most about. The table below can act as a point of reference.
|E.g. of Prominent Complain||Love Language|
|You don’t tell me how you feel about me||Words of affirmation|
|You don’t spend enough time with me or that you don’t take me out.||Quality Time|
|You don’t do things for me||Acts of Service|
|You don’t buy or get things for me||Gifts|
|You don’t even hold me or hug me||Physical Touch|
When we talk about complain, it is not what they have said once, but what they complain about most of the times when it comes to you and the relationship. In short if you were to pay close attention to the words your partner speaks, you would generally be able to figure out the partners primary love language. If you were to focus on the words you speak, you would also be able to figure out your own love language. Fun isn’t it?
It is incredible how much we can learn about ourselves and about others if we were to just learn to pay attention to things that really matter.
Other models that complement the 5 Love Languages
Love language along with sexuality, suggestibility and a couple of other topics that we cover in our online relationship module and also in the practitioner’s course on hypnosis and NLP can completely change the way you understand relationships, yourself and people around you. I am sure you can understand the immense benefits of being able to do so.
So let us end this article by committing to invest time in developing skills that will help us pay attention to the things & people that are most important to us.
This understanding can be applied to any relationship, not just romantic ones.
If you are looking at ways to take your relationship to the next level, check out this comprehensive online program which is the ultimate guide to love, dating and happy relationships.
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If you are a psychologist who would like to learn advanced models and techniques to help clients resolve conflicts in relationships, the Cognitive Hypnotic Psychotherapy™ Certification Program is just the perfect program for you.
[*¹: there are other reasons as well for breaking of a relationship… However this article is directed specifically to mode of communicating-love as one of the cause ]
[*² : a person is not confide to only one specific form of love language….he/she can have more than one love language… depending upon situation & other factors.]
[*³: touch can be controversial.. depending upon- who is touching you; and where & how you are being touched. Not all types of touch is related to love]