Here Is Everything You Need To Know About Love Languages
“Must a woman’s beauty fade as she gets older? Must she worship the altar of youth and glamour to stay pretty? I can always tell when a woman is loved by her husband because she gets more beautiful as she ages.”
– Jack Hayford
The 5 Love Languages is a bestseller. Compelling, wonderful and feel-good, it was written by Dr. Gary Chapman, a marriage counsellor who spent the best part of thirty years counselling couples, helping them to get back on track.
As such, he accumulated a wealth of experiences, and over the years has been able to identify the various different ways that couples express their love to one another.
As it turns out, there are not just one or two ways that we communicate with our soul mate – there are actually five.
While some people may tell you that love and marriage were meant to go together like a horse and carriage (I think it was Cole Porter who said that!), the truth is rather different. Marriage does not come ready-made. No matter how much you love each other, you still have to work hard to piece the jigsaw together so that this works out.
In my personal experience, communication is more important for anything else for making a marriage stick. But the languages of love are about more than just communication. They’re about many things, and knowing them will help you to strengthen your marriage and keep the love flowing.
If you haven’t yet got round to reading this magnificent book, here is everything you need to know about the Love Languages themselves.
Make Your Words Genuine
How many times have you told your partner that you love them? If you are like most people, you’ve no doubt lost count.
Sometimes, we get to the point in a relationship where “I love you” becomes a habit. We say it without thinking, and we sometimes even say it without realising it.
If we say it unthinkingly, does it still have meaning?
It’s a tricky question. But what is important here is that when you do say something as powerful as those three magical words, you say them with genuine passion.
Saying “Yes, I love you, whatever” before you hastily head out of the day in a bad mood isn’t going to make your partner feel reassured. You need to be honest with your words.
Be Of Service
Are there things that your partner really wants you to do, but which you routinely keep putting off?
Perhaps they want you to finally clean out your messy wardrobe or garage, or maybe they’d really appreciate it if once, just once, you’d vacuum while they had a day of rest.
Every now and then, it’s important that you perform so-called acts of service that you know your partner will appreciate. This could be something like cooking a meal, vacuuming, preparing them a bath, or even doing the grocery shopping this week.
Make sure, however, that you don’t perform the act of service with a huff. If you do, it’s not an act of love. You have to be positive and do it all with a smile on your face.
Don’t Use Words As Weapons
Some people are very good at using words as weapons, especially writers (obviously). The great American poet Charles Bukowski was famous for cutting down his women with his words, and reducing them to tears.
But verbal sparring matches between partners are unhealthy, and I strongly suggest that you do all you can to avoid them.
Words can build and create, or they can tear down and destroy. What do you want yours to do?
Actively Listen To Your Partner
We like the sound of our own voice so much that we sometimes forget what it’s like to just sit down and listen to what our partner is saying to us.
How much of what they say do you say you absorb? And how much do you really absorb?
When you’re not giving your partner your full, undivided attention, they can tell. They know you’re not truly listening, and that alone can cause fractures. They lose a bit of confidence, and maybe next time they won’t be as keen to speak about certain matters out of fear that you won’t be there to hear them out.
When they’ve got something to say to you, give them your time. Listen properly, and then ask questions. Store the information. It will help your relationship.
Everyone likes to receive a gift, especially when it’s come out of the blue and we weren’t expecting it.
Your gift does not have to be something hugely expensive. It doesn’t have to be that at all. But what it should show is that you went to a lot of time, effort and trouble to get it for them.
A gift is a gesture. It is a sign that you appreciate them and have been thinking about them. It could be something as simple as flowers for the window display, or it could be something as magical as your unexpected early return home from a business trip.
Think outside the box now and then and give them something they didn’t see coming.
Spend Some Quality Time Together
Marriage counsellors have heard it all before.
“But we do spend a lot of time together! Last night we stayed in and caught up on Netflix.”
Does watching Netflix together equate as quality time? Maybe occasionally, but how many times are you preoccupied by your phone or tapping away on your laptop?
The quality time we’re talking about here is the time where you give your partner your undivided attention, and they give you theirs. There are no distractions, such as the TV and your phones. There is just you and them, talking to each other, looking at one another.
Maybe you could take long walks or dine out. Perhaps you could go for a romantic getaway in the woods, or go sailing for the day.
Whatever you do, it’s important that you find ways of devoting yourselves to one another.