Spouses Day is being celebrated today, 26 January, and this year it’s time to pull out all the stops to understand your partner’s love language! It doesn’t always take saying “I love you” to let your partner know how you feel.
How you express and receive commitment and love take five forms, according to Gary Chapman’s popular book The Five Love Languages, and everyone is different in how they express them.
This Spouse’s Day, sit your loved one down and figure out each other’s Love Language in order to cement your bond and strengthen communication in the years to come.
Here are the various “languages”, explained:
Not necessarily based in materialism as you may think, this love language is about the thought and meaning that goes into giving and receiving gifts. The consideration and significance of the present, no matter how big or small, makes this person feel appreciated and loved. For people who observe this language, the ceremony and action of giving and receiving gifts is as emotionally invested as the gift itself. Often, something as simple as buying their favourite chocolate or picking their favourite flower is enough to make a significant impact.
Rather than clock watching, this love language is about the quality moments spent together. If you have a demanding job or life commitments and can’t spare very much time, don’t stress. ‘Quality time’ individuals don’t necessarily need a lot of attention – just undivided attention.
When giving and receiving this form of affection, it’s essential to be all-in. No phones ringing or texting, no TV (unless it’s part of the special moment), and definitely no guests – this one is all about one-on-one time. Cancelling dates, postponing meals and even running late can be very hurtful to people who subscribe to this language. So, always be aware of your time around ‘quality time’ people – it’s all about being present and fully engaged in the moment.
Words of affirmation
This way of loving uses words to express care and affection. Small articulations of appreciation and adoration are the key to this love language. Statements such as “thank you for cooking this delicious meal” or “you look amazing today” are the things that make these people tick.
When people are open and expressive using conversation, members who adhere to this way of love are happiest. Alternatively, these people can find hurtful words very hard to forgive.
Acts of service
This love language is all about the provision of services. Meaning is placed on taking care of something so that your partner doesn’t have to. Acts such as paying the home insurance premium because you know your partner always forgets. Or getting an online insurance quote because your partner doesn’t have the time is the type of activity that will win kudos from a person who speaks this love language. Doing something helpful or kind for these people is held in particularly high esteem.
For people who talk this love language, actions such as holding hands, a back rub, a kiss, a hug and sex, are all significant expressions of love.
Depending on the type of relationship, varying levels of physical interactions, with consent, are essential. The absence of cuddles and other touch-based expressions of affection can leave people who receive love this way feeling isolated and unloved.
These are the ways that people express and receive love. Allow yourself and your partner to live your way, happily ever after.