How 'Love Languages' Can Make or Break Your Relationship

When a relationship is new, we cling to the heightened emotions of excitement, desire, love, and more. But as time passes, the newness haze starts to clear and a relationship that once seemed so effortless takes work. One of the main reasons a relationship appears to deteriorate before our eyes is because one or both partners feel like they aren't receiving the love they deserve and need. Luckily, if you find yourself in this situation, learning about the five love languages can bring the love bug back into your life.  

Gary Chapman, author and marriage counselor, developed what he refers to as the five love languages, which describe how people express and receive love. Chances are you and your partner will not have the same love language, but both of your needs must be met to maintain a healthy relationship. It's also important to note that having more than one love language is entirely natural. Most people have a primary love language, but you and your partner may communicate in more than one of the following love languages.

 

Words of Affirmation

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Almost everyone loves a good compliment, and who couldn't use a confidence boost every once in a while. Words of affirmations go beyond the simple praise, or the quick 'love you' as you're running out the door. People with this type of love language need frequent compliments and to physically hear how much you love them and why. If your partner needs words of affirmation, the worst thing you could do is never tell them how much you appreciate them and the things they do. If they get their hair done or you like their outfit, if you notice they are doing something for you, or if it's just a random afternoon, make sure you acknowledge them and tell them you appreciate them. You could also try leaving little notes saying, 'I love you,' 'I'm thinking of you,' or perhaps something like 'you look wonderful today.'

 

Acts of Service 

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Acts of service are anything to ease the burden of responsibilities for your partner. Actions like cleaning the house, cooking dinner, or perhaps packing them lunch can show them how much you love and support them. If they are having a stressful week, one of the worst things you can do is add to their stress. If they feel like they are doing all the work in the relationship, they will view that as a critical sign that you don't care. To make your partner feel loved, don't wait for them to blow up from the stress. Make sure you are observant of what is happening around you and help out where you can. Lastly, it's not a crime to be disorganized, and if you are having a stressful week and things get out of place, making sure to communicate that with your partner, so they don't think it's a regular thing.

 

Receiving Gifts 

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When you first hear this, it might seem like someone who needs gifts to feel loved is too materialistic. But your partner may not necessarily seek expensive monetary tributes. Most likely, they are looking for small things that show you were thinking of them. For example, some days, you could stop on your way home from work and pick up flowers or a slice of their favorite pizza. Another thoughtful tribute can be a personalized playlist you put together for them. It is vital to avoid giving impersonalized or thoughtless gifts. Another gift card or prewritten card probably won’t hit the mark. Instead, seek something that will show them you know and understand them.

 

Quality Time

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A partner who needs quality time wants more than to just sit in the same room while you watch a movie. Now, if both partners share an interest in the movie or television show, and if all other distractions are set aside while you give each other your undivided attention, it can be viewed as quality time. Some other activities you could do is go for a walk, teach your partner something you love to do, or let them involve you in one of their hobbies. Quality time can even just be sitting together at the end of a long day and sharing what happened. Shrugging off your partner or trying to multitask when they spend time with you is a big no no. If they think you're just dragging them along for the ride or you're trying to squeeze them into your busy schedule, it will hurt both their feelings and your relationship.

 

Physical Touch

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Physical touch a is nonverbal love language using touch as expressions of love. Even though it seems self-explanatory, it doesn't mean you need to be involved in constant PDA (public displays of affection). If your partner's love language is physical touch, anything from holding hands, giving hugs, even just placing your hand on their back will help meet their needs. It's by far the most straightforward love language to please, so make sure you are not physically neglecting your partner!

If, after reading through the 5 love languages, you still can't figure out your partner's love language, the easiest thing to do is ask. You can also take the online quiz here! This is applicable if you feel that your partner isn't picking up the cues you think you have obviously left them. The best way to have a healthy relationship is to have open communication, and if you don't know how to get it started, don't be afraid to share this article with them!