It can be hard to understand your partner. This can occur over time for a number of years. It may be difficult to figure out how to have a better understanding of your partner’s perspective so that the both of you are able to build a stronger relationship. It can be confusing and complicated to sort through the disconnect between the two of you. Understanding the five languages of love can be a key component to being able to have a better understanding of one another. A therapist can help you and your partner come together to understand each other’s perspectives and your own individual love languages. It’s not uncommon for couples to discover that they do not share the same language of love.
What are the Five Languages of Love?
The Five Love Languages is a concept developed by Gary Chapman, who wrote a book outlining the five languages of love. The five languages of love is the idea that each person has one or two ways of expressing their love. Knowing the five languages of love can help you to better understand your partner and yourself in regards to how you express love in a relationship:
Love Language #1 Words of Affirmation
Using words by providing your spouse with verbal compliments or saying things to build them up. For example:
“You look beautiful in that dress.”
“I love spending time with you.”
“I really appreciate that you…..”
Love Language #2 Quality Time
Providing your partner with your full attention. This would include having conversation, making eye contact and dedicating your time to them.
Love Language #3 Receiving Gifts
For some, receiving gifts from their partner is a way that you may feel love. This provides them with the biggest affirmation that their partner truly loves and cares for them. Giving gifts may be hard for someone to do who did not receive gifts frequently growing up.
Love Language #4 Acts of Service
Acts of services are when one person does specific tasks that the other one would like to have completed. This could be basic chores around the house or more complicated projects. For example:
- Mowing the Lawn
- Making Dinner
- Doing the Dishes
- Folding the Laundry
Love Language #5 Physical Touch
Some people prefer physical touch as a way to express and receive love when in a relationship. Physicality is a key point of intimacy for marital couples. Touching, holding hands, hugging, and kissing. People whose language is physical touch may feel unloved without it.
How Love Languages Apply to Therapy
When considering the five languages of love, it’s important to first understand how people experience and give their love. Often a therapist will work to identify each partner’s love language by listening to the common complaints they may have with their relationship. In most situations, each person may have common things they are looking for from their partner that they may not be receiving. When one person does not prefer their partner’s love language, it can be difficult to come together. When two people speak different love languages, couples may experience feeling disconnected from one another. A therapist can support the both of you in having honest and open conversations with one another to understand how you both like to give and receive love. Learning to speak each other’s love languages can help to overcome frustrations you may have with your partner and help you to develop a deeper, more meaningful connection.
If you and your partner do not share the same love language, it’s important to know that this does not mean your relationship is doomed. A couples therapist can offer you experience in being able to help the two of you come together in understanding your love languages. Although you may be speaking different love languages, they can help you learn to come together through communication and understanding to help you improve your relationship.