Do you ever feel like you try and try to show your partner that you care, but no matter what, your partner does not feel that you truly love them?
Does it often seem like you are on different planets, or as if you are speaking two different languages? That’s because you are! We all speak different love languages, which, when compared, can seem as different as Mandarin and French. Each person has their own way of expressing their love.
The language you express your love with, is also how you want to be loved. You most likely wish that your partner was a reflection of your behaviour. You may feel that your partner does not love you because he or she does not show it. If you dig a little deeper, you could find that your partner loves you in a way that you never expected, and didn’t know to look for.
So, what language are you speaking?
- You prepare meals, run errands, complete chores, and take care of the tasks of daily life so that your partner does not have to. If the description above suits you, you express love by doing things for your partner. And you do all of these things, with love. You may feel hurt or insulted if your partner does not complete a task they said they would, or worse, says. “I’ll do it later.” To you, this seems as though you have told your partner that you love them, and they responded by telling you, “I’ll tell you that I love you, but later.” If your partner does not express love by these acts of service, you may be picking up the slack around the house. It does not mean that your partner does not love you, but they might be showing you love in a different way.
- Perhaps you say and need to hear the words, “I love you” frequently. You express your love through praise, and solidify your love for your partner through words of affirmation. You might compliment your partner often or talk about how much you care for them. You are easily hurt by insults, and feel unloved when your partner does not praise you or verbally express their feelings.
- Do you touch your partner, or need them to touch you to feel close? Touch is not always sexual in nature; holding hands, back rubs, hugs, kisses, and thoughtful touches on the face, back, or arms make you feel emotionally close to your partner. Your partner’s physical presence is important to you.
- Is spending time alone with your partner important for you to feel connected to them? Do you crave their full, undivided attention? You most likely express your love by setting aside quality time with your partner. This time together, in which all other tasks and stressors of life are on hold, refuels your love and makes you feel special. You probably become upset when your partner zones out in front of the television, or becomes distracted by their cell phone or computer. You are especially hurt when your partner fails to listen to you.
- Do you feel giddy when your partner comes home with a gift wrapped present, “just because”? Do you pick up small gifts for your partner, often for no special occasion? You express love, and feel loved through the giving of gifts. This may seem shallow or materialistic, but what you really love is that your partner is being thoughtful, and is reminded of you when you are apart. If this is your language, the perfect gift is a representation of your partner’s feelings for you: it tells you that he or she knows, cares for and loves you. You become especially upset by last minute or generic gifts on birthdays or anniversaries, and are devastated if your partner forgets a special occasion.
Why is an understanding of these love languages so important? First of all, you are able to see that although you may be trying very hard to show your partner that you care, no amount of work will make them feel loved if you are not speaking their language or languages. If you show love by spending quality time with your partner and telling them how much you care, but they need you to help them around the house and occasionally get them thoughtful gifts, the love in your relationship is being expressed, but will never truly be received. Once you learn the ways in which you and your partner want and need to be loved, it becomes much easier to give them the kind of love they need.