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The Instagram Favourite, Love Languages

Love Languages have been circulating on line for a while, so I thought I'd investigate them a bit deeper. The five love languages describe five ways that people can receive and express love in their relationships.

Knowing your partner's love language and letting them know yours is a way to help you both feel loved and appreciated.





The Five Love Languages

The five love languages are:

  • Words of affirmation

  • Quality Time

  • Physical Touch

  • Acts of Service

  • Receiving gifts

Words of Affirmation

"Words of affirmation" is about expressing feelings using spoken words which could be praise, or appreciation. When this is someone's primary love language, they like kind words and encouragement, love notes and messages.


Quality Time

Someone with this love language values your full presence when you are together. They feel most loved if you are fully present with them. This means putting your phone down, switching off electronics, making eye contact and actively listening when you are together.


Physical Touch

A person with physical touch as their primary love language feels love through physical affection. For example, their partner holding their hand or touching them gently will mean a lot to them. They feel most loved when physically interacting with their partner.


Acts of Service

Acts of service are nice things you do for your partner that make them feel loved and appreciated, such as:

  • Helping with household chores

  • Picking up the shopping

  • Making dinner

If your partner's main love language is acts of service, they'll notice and appreciate little things you do for them. They tend to perform acts of service and kindness for others, too.


Receiving Gifts

For someone who resonates with this love language, gifts symbolize love, care, and affection. They love not only the gift itself but also the time, effort  and thought that was put into selecting it.

When you take the time to pick out a gift specifically for them, it tells them you are thoughtful and really know and care about them and their preferences.


How Love Languages Benefit Relationships

We all express and receive love differently. Learning and understanding those differences can have a big impact on your relationship.


Love Languages Promote Selflessness

When you are committed to learning someone else's love language, you are focused on your partners needs rather than your own. It helps couples to make an effort to learn and respond to their partner's love language rather than trying to convince their partner to change to their own.


Love Languages Create Empathy

As you learn more about how your partner experiences love, you learn to empathise with them. It helps us to take a look at what makes another person feel significant and loved.

When couples are committed to learning and using the love languages, they increase their emotional intelligence and learn how to put someone else's needs above their own.


Love Languages Help Maintain Intimacy

Regularly talking about love languages can build more understanding—and ultimately, intimacy—in your relationship. Couples can keep learning more about one another, but they can also connect in more meaningful and deeper way.


Love Languages Help You Share Love in Meaningful Ways

When couples start speaking one another's love language, the things they do for each other become more intentional and meaningful and can help their partners to feel more noticed, content, and appreciated.


Downsides of the Love Language Theory

Though learning the love languages helps many people communicate better with their partners, there are limitations to the theory and how people apply it to their relationships.


People Can Misuse the Languages

Some people get a bit competitive about using love languages, which can actually strain a relationship. For example, you might start keeping track of all the times you use your partner's love language and compare it to how many times your partner used yours, which can slip into control in a relationship.

Love languages can be a way to open up communication and compassion, but they shouldn't be use them as weapons against a partner.


Love Languages Don't Fix Other Relationship Problems

The five love languages won't fix a relationship. They are simply one way to improve communication with your partner.

Your love language can change, too. It's important to accept and expect that love languages can change over time, especially as life changes.


They May Lead to Pressure on Partners

Many people talk about love languages in the context of committed relationships or marriage. Remember that learning and understanding your own love language is an important tool for you to practice self-love. Try not to put pressure on your partner.

It's important for the giver to communicate and for the recipient to recognise and show appreciation for their partner's efforts, even if they don't exactly meet expectations. This positive feedback will allow learning to happen and changes to continue in a relationship.


Continue Thinking and Growing

Once you and your partner know each other's love language, you can both benefit. Speaking your partner's love language can take a bit of effort, especially if it is different from yours. Healthy relationships aren't born; they're developed through attention and effort.

The good news is that you can enhance your relationship by learning your partner's love languages and putting them into practice. And, if you both are committed to loving one another in the ways that speak to both of you, you will find yourself not only in a deeper relationship, but also in a more meaningful and fulfilling relationship. What is your love language?

 




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