Do you know your love language? Gary Chapman, author of the bestseller The 5 Love Languages, identified five love language options that help people connect deeply with one another.
According to Chapman, when you reach out to a partner via their specific love language, you help keep their “emotional love tanks full” and maintain a meaningful connection. This is important because you’re purposefully reaching out to your partner in a way that will make them feel loved and cherished. And when your partner is feeling loved and appreciated, there will be less strife between the two of you in your relationship.
Learning to speak one another’s “language” is an important part of connecting and strengthening your bond together. It’s imperative to make sure that you’re taking the time to really show your partner how you feel about them and how much you need and want them in your life.
And when there’s more love and less stress between you, other parts of your relationship will come easier, too. You’re learning to communicate and grow together, and finding out the best way to express your feelings.
Below are Chapman’s 5 “love languages,” and how you and your partner can begin practicing them in your everyday life.
- Words of affirmation: Many people feel loved when their partner offers verbal compliments. Those who speak this language feel embraced when they hear, “You look lovely in that new dress!” And “Thanks for making my favorite dish for dinner tonight.”
- Quality time: For some, spending time together speaks the loudest. Shared experiences enhance their feelings of connection.
- Receiving gifts: Many feel a deep sense of happiness as they unwrap a carefully chosen item that was purchased especially for them.
- Acts of service: Does your heart race when you discover that your loved one put away the laundry so you wouldn’t have to? That and other “acts of service” speak loud and clear to those who identify with this love language.
- Physical touch: For those who have this love language, everything else pales when compared to hugging, holding hands, kissing and tender, loving touches.
Some of us must dig a bit deeper to identify the individual actions that truly touch our loved one’s heart. I suppose we can call it their love language “dialect.”
For example, my husband connects strongly to the “receiving gifts” language, but only in a unique way. He feels extremely loved whenever I purchase a certain jar of pickles for him at the grocery store. His “pickle” dialect actually makes sense. In our store, pickles are displayed in an aisle that doesn’t contain anything I would normally purchase. That alone means that I must make an effort to go there.
Also, the jars are on a shelf that is beyond my reach, so I have to find a clerk to assist me. Finally, he prefers a specific brand that is made fresh and comes in a plastic container. No commercial pickle for him. So, I can’t just grab any pickle. I must think of him as I shop.
When hubby pulls his jar of pickles from my recyclable shopping bag or spots them in the fridge, he always exclaims in a loud voice, “YOU LOVE ME!”
It took years for me to identify his love language dialect, but when I hit upon it, I knew I struck gold. We’ve been married for thirty-six years. Over the decades, I’ve tried all five of the different Chapman languages. But none sparks as much joy as pickles do.
So, try the languages listed above and see what works for you and your loved one. If none trigger much excitement, keep digging. And if pickles hit the mark, leave at least one jar on the shelf for me.
This article was originally published on Your Tango at this link.
Janis Roszler, LMFT, RD, LD/N, CDE, FAND is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Sex Therapist, Registered Dietitian, and award-winning Certified Diabetes Educator. Her books include Intimacy and Diabetes (2019), Approaches to Behaviors (2014), Sex and Diabetes For Him and For Her (2007), Diabetes On Your OWN Terms (2007), and The Secrets of Living and Loving with Diabetes (2004). Her website is dearjanis.com.