With Valentines day coming up love is in the air (well we are being told by the people selling the cards that love is in the air anyway!). For me personally, I was thinking about how to make a lockdown Valentines day a bit more interesting - and I thought about what I would like to do for Valentines day. Then I got to thinking……..Is this the same as my partner would like to do? Hmm? I thought, perhaps not, so how do we get around that then? It reminded me of a book I’d read called ‘The 5 Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman PhD.
The book basically tries to explain how we communicate with each other if we are in a relationship (amongst other things). I’ve given below a brief description of the 5 different love languages but the fun bit - well I think it's fun - is that you (and your partner should you so choose) can do a quiz to determine what your dominant love language is. Perfect for Valentines day! Not only can you discover your dominant language but you can also let your partner know what it is so they can demonstrate their devotion to you in ways that you would really appreciate. Of course it works the other way around as well.
Clearly there is a more serious side to this. Lockdown is undoubtedly affecting peoples relationships the world over and perhaps this could be a fun way of getting back ‘in touch’ with your loved one. Should you be looking for someone to talk to about your relationship worries please click on the link here MWCounselling.
Back to the language of love!
Basically the 5 love languages are ways of both giving (or expressing) and receiving love. We are only touching the surface here and are taking a lighthearted look; there is much more to love languages than what we are looking at here, and some criticism of it - but it's a fun place to start.
If you can determine yours and your partners dominant love language and communicate that effectively then this will help you to feel better understood, supported and appreciated. The purpose of knowing your partners love language it to enable you to adapt to it rather than demanding they switch to yours, so basically, as in all relationships its give and take.
Words of Affirmation
If this is your love language then words, both spoken and written are of primary importance to you. You especially appreciate compliments and hand written thank-you’s. You like to be told what you mean to your partner. Hearing, ‘I love how you….’ can allow you to feel loved. You like to know how much your partner cares.
If this is your love language then spending quality time with your partner is of primary importance to you. This centres around you feeling connected to your partner and having their undivided attention. You appreciate technology being put to one side so you are the focus; this allows you to feel special and loved that someone is purposefully taking time to focus on you. You feel important when you are in close proximity to your partner and feel empty if you lack that connectedness.
Acts of Service
If this is your love language then acts of service (or helpful behaviour) from your partner is of primary importance to you. To be more specific, you feel more loved if your partner cooks the dinner or goes to fill your car up with petrol for you or walks the dog to help you out. It is a non-verbal form of love where you feel important if your partner notices the ‘small’ things, for example what time your favourite programme is on.
If this is your love language then receiving gifts is of primary importance to you. Its important to say that this is often misconstrued as greed which is completely untrue. The size or cost of the gift is irrelevant. What is relevant is the sentimentality behind the gift giving, the message it conveys, ‘I was thinking of you.’ You feel loved when you are reminded you are loved and you feel best reminded of this when your partner buys you a chocolate bar when he pops out to the shop for example. Small gestures will speak volumes to you.
If this is your love language then physical touch (were not just talking about sex here) is of primary importance to you. Physical touch, a hug or a touch on the arm is the biggest expression of love for you. You feel valued by hand holding or a touch on the shoulder. The physical feeling it produces can be a powerful feeling of love. You prefer physical expressions of love above verbal communication. Intimate (kissing or touching) and non-intimate (sitting closely together) physical expressions are equally as important to you.
Whilst we all have one dominant love language we also have different proportions of the others so to some extent being aware of all of them is useful but communicating to your partner which language is the most dominant and finding out their dominant language can be fun and fulfilling.
If you’d like to take the quiz click on the image below.