Each person has something specific that makes him or her feel loved—a love language. The concept of love languages has become so wide spread that many people have heard of love languages even if they have never heard of Dr. Gary Chapman who wrote the book called The 5 Love Languages. Over the next 5 weeks, I will provide more in depth summaries of each love language, and below you will find a brief five love languages summary. I also highly recommend reading the book if you want a deep dive into each love language.
Five Love Languages Summary
Words of affirmation:
Individuals with this love language tend to feel loved when they receive compliments from their partner. Verbalizing love with words has a large impact for them. If this is your partner's love language, try telling them things you appreciate about them and compliment them often.
This love language is all about touching each other. Physical touch does not have to be sex. Instead it is usually more important that there is a lot of non-sexual touching: cuddling, hand holding, shoulder touches or cheek kisses as you walk by. People with this love language long to be physically close.
For individuals whose love language is gift, they feel so loved when you get them small gifts that show you were thinking of them. This could be a postcard when you are out of town, a note you put in their work bag, or picking up their favorite dessert when you are at the store. Small thoughtful gifts go a long way for this person.
Acts of Service:
When Acts of Service is your partner's love language, they feel loved and appreciated when you help them with the to-do list or things around the house. With this love language, actions speak louder than words. This may be helping with laundry, other household projects, or even picking up something that’s needed from the store.
For this love language, your partner is longing to be the center of your attention. It doesn't matter what you do--it could be watching TV, cooking together, going grocery shopping—as long as you are doing it together. The important thing to remember for quality time is that these individuals want your attention without distractions.
Love languages are important to consider because when partners differ in what makes them feel loved, there can be conflicts and misunderstandings. Love language communication is about making sure you know what will make both of you feel loved so you can express your love in ways that you both will heard it from your partner. If you don't take into consideration potentially different love languages, your expression of love may actually be pushing your partner away.
Another challenge is that sometimes you may give love and receive love differently. Next week will cover the differences between giving and receiving love based on the five love languages.
Elizabeth Polinsky is a marriage and couple therapist specializing in working with military members, veterans, and their families. Liz is located in Norfolk, Virginia, and provides online counseling services throughout Virginia, South Carolina, and Arkansas.
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The Communicate & Connect Podcast
In Communicate & Connect For Military Relationships, I provide educational tips for relationships, communication, and navigating military family life.