A great way to understand yourself and your partner is to find out your love language through Dr Gary Chapman, PhD’s The Five Love Languages!
There are many ways to express love to your significant other. But you want to make sure your partner knows that you truly understand their needs by showing appreciation and intimacy the right way. Thankfully, marriage counsellor Dr Gary Chapman, PhD published The 5 Love Languages, a book that shows the five different ways people can show and see love. We’ve summed up the five love languages below for you to find out which one you or your partner value most to understand each other better and achieve a healthier relationship:
What it is: A person whose love language is words of affirmation often knows how to lift people’s spirits up. Perhaps because they know firsthand how kind words would make someone feel. Dr Chapman’s book shares that this person values words of encouragement, support, appreciation, and affirmation. A group of Japanese scientists found that positive words are seen as social rewards that can help a person perform better in the things they do.
How to make them feel loved: According to Dr Chapman, words of affirmation can be best expressed through love notes or letters. You may make notes out of the blue or consistently and leave them in different parts of the house. But you may also give them letters on special occasions.
What it is: According to Dr Chapman, a person who values quality time with their partner is someone who puts importance on togetherness. This means that there should be undivided attention given to one another. They enjoy being engaged in various activities that involve their significant other as a way of showing that they enjoy their partner’s company. This also includes having a quality conversation where both people can sympathetically listen to one another’s personal experiences and thoughts.
How to make them feel loved: Ask which activities your significant other enjoys, then plan how you both can engage in that activity. It would also be a great idea to do something you don’t necessarily like but your partner loves so you can learn why they value that particular hobby. You may even surprise them with a date to a place they love where you both can talk for hours without interruption. Or simply dedicate time every day to share events that occurred on that specific day.
What it is: Some people love receiving gifts from their partners, not because they want to be spoiled but because they believe their partner remembers what they like. This is because the gift is seen as a symbol of love, according to Dr Chapman. They want to see a visual symbol of their partner’s love. While big spenders have no problem with this love language, savers might find it difficult to do so—until they realise that this act of love is an emotional investment and a way to make the love of their life the happiest. Moreover, not all gifts can be bought. Dr Chapman also says that some people value the gift of self—which focuses on physical presence.
How to make them feel loved: Wherever you and your loved one might be, gift them anything that catches your eye and reminds you of them which could be as small as a flower. A living gift such as plants, which you can both nurture, is also a great idea. You may also try making an effort in creating handcrafted gifts which will be highly appreciated, too. You may even offer to accompany them on events and occasions as they also highly value your presence.
What it is: A person whose love language is acts of service wants a partner who will do things that they like, which can be as simple as throwing out the trash right away or helping with the dishes. You should also understand that being brought up in different households makes people different in the way they behave; you might be doing things that your father used to do and wonder why your spouse still thinks it isn’t enough. That’s because you have to know what a good spouse or father looks like to them.
How to make them feel loved: Those who perform acts of service as a love language for their partners should not be done out of resentment or guilt but out of love. If your partner often criticizes you or their demands seem offensive, tell them how you want their requests to be phrased. It is important that both of you understand that acts of service are not a demand but a request. You may also write down the things your partner considers as an act of service and make time to do what she asks you as much as you can.
What it is: A person who highly values physical touch finds kisses, hugs, and other kinds of physical intimacies more powerful than merely ‘I love yous’. Physical touch or love touches vary as well, which is why it is important to learn what they like. They prefer to be close to their significant other. As Dr Chapman puts it, “to touch my body is to touch me. To withdraw from my body is to distance yourself from me emotionally”.
How to make them feel loved: Apart from sexual intercourse, implicit touches are also significant. You may try wrapping your arm around them while walking, kissing them before you leave, cuddling while watching a movie would be highly appreciated by your partner. You may even touch knees when eating together, hug them for no reason at all, or hold their hand once in a while in the car. Greeting them with a kiss or a hug after being apart for a while is also a great way to show your love.