By guest blogger: Lisa Arce, LPC
Have you found yourselves arguing more lately? Are you feeling disconnected, neglected or resentful?
Unfortunately for a lot of us, when we become angry at our spouse or partner we tend to shove it down, ignore it or not deal with it. Maybe we were taught to “pick your battles” or “it’s not worth getting angry about.” I call major BS on that. We need to tune into those emotions because that’s where growth lies. The 5 love languages allows us to understand what our spouse/partner needs from us. When we understand why we are fighting, we are in a better position to come up with a solution.
Here’s a look at what the 5 languages are:
- Words of Affirmation: If this is your love language, words speak louder than actions. Hearing, “I love you,” is important—hearing the reasons behind that love is even more powerful.
- Quality Time: To people with this love language, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical. Distractions or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
- Receiving Gifts: The receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known and that you are cared for. It’s all about the thought behind the gift.
- Acts of Service: Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Act of Service” person will speak wonders to them. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.”
- Physical Touch: A person whose primary language is physical touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love.
Beyond fighting less (or at least more productively), the concept of love languages is great for maintaining the relationship, too. Sometimes when we’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it’s easy to get complacent. When we know our partner’s love language, it’s incredibly easy to tune into what they may or may not need from us or heck ask for it ourselves! It’s like a cheat code for your relationship.
Meeting your partner’s needs for love is a choice we make each day. If we know each other’s primary love language then we can choose to speak it and help each other feel secure and happy in our relationship. But what if our partner’s love language does not come naturally to us? Well, so?? When an action doesn’t come naturally to us and we choose to intentionally do it then that is an even greater expression of intimacy. When we talk about connecting to our partner, we are speaking about choosing to lean into connection.
Overall, it all comes down to knowing what’s important to people so that you can understand, empathize, and work with them a little better. Everyone is different. We all have different life experiences; we come from different backgrounds. It makes sense that we communicate differently, too. Now don’t get me wrong, the 5 love languages can’t fix everything. They’re not going to magically make problems go away. But the concept does go a long way in communicating and connecting better, and we all know how much that matters in a relationship.
Relationships need to be maintained and healthy relationships take work. If you need help with communicating and connecting better, send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org! I am ready to help you have healthier and more fulfilling relationships.
P.S. Did you know this love language business works with kids too? Try it out and let us know how it goes!