The Five Love Languages

At any age, relationships can be a difficult endeavor to tackle. After the honeymoon stage begins to fade away (which can be between a few weeks to 2 years) and problems begin to seep into your relationship, things start to feel more difficult. You start to witness more of your partner's flaws, you may bicker more often, and the things that used to make you feel butterflies now simply annoy you. 

All relationships require self-awareness, communication, intimacy, honesty and trust. However, a key aspect that has been missing from this dialogue is the knowledge of your partner’s love languages. In “The Five Love Languages”by Gary Chapman, he details that lacking knowledge of your partner’s love language is one of the biggest things that causes a “failed” relationship. As a couples therapist, he has had hundreds of couples enter his practice nearing the edge of divorce, and after identifying their love languages and challenging them to switch their behaviors, the couples have come back as if they were reborn. Of course, this requires a lot of effort, patience and flexibility. He also details that we often practice the love language that we want to receive and that it is very uncommon for two people to have the same primary love language. 

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The five love languages are: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion) and physical touch. By identifying your love language, you may not only learn more about yourself but also help others better understand the way you receive love in both platonic and romantic relationships. 

Now let’s put this in a real-life example if your partner expresses their love by giving you gifts, but the way you recognize love is through physical touch or words of affirmation, chances are, you won’t be feeling loved in that relationship. On the other hand, if you have a conversation with your partner about your love language, and they begin to put energy into practicing love in a way you are more familiar with, your “love tank” will start to feel full. 

A cautionary statement here though: do not expect your partner to change overnight. There are many people who have not been taught how to feel or express their emotions; therefore, this will be a re-learning process for them (as it is for you) too! Have the conversation and don’t be afraid to bring it up again and give specific examples of what you want to see or hear. It will be a unifying experience for the both of you.

So, what’s your love language? Take this quiz and find out!  (P.S. you can have more than one).