When I sit with a couple, what I often see is disconnect in how they are showing and receiving love, which they end up interpreting as a LACK of love in one another. I typically refer to Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages when I see this happening. Exploring their love languages and understanding their partner’s can help to enhance a loving relationship. This can improve feelings of emotional intimacy and connectedness. Read the quick explanations of each love language below and see if you relate to one or more!
- Words of Affirmation – This person’s language centers around praise and appreciation. Small compliments such as “thanks for working so hard” is one example.
- Acts of Service – If you’ve ever heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words”, that rings most true to people who receive love with this language. This can be as small as doing the dishes or as big as taking the kids and letting your partner have the night “off.”
- Receiving Gifts – This is pretty straight forward. This person feels special and loved when they receive gifts. Maybe you can’t buy jewelry every week for your partner, but picking up their favorite dessert or surprising them with flowers can make all the difference.
- Quality Time – This language focuses on spending time with each other and giving UNDIVIDED attention. I highlight that word because it is important! When you are married or living with your partner you may see them every day, but you lack actually spending quality time. This can be making the effort to turn off the TV/cellphones/devices during dinner and talking to each other without distraction.
- Physical Touch – This person experiences love through physical touch. This comes in many forms such as sexual intercourse, hand holding, embracing, or even a small caress while walking past your loved one. We form bonds with other people, not just our partners, through physical touch. Think of holding a baby to bond with them before they understand verbal language. To explore more about the 5 Love Languages and to take a short questionnaire to help you find out your language go to: 5 Love Languages